Microalbumin in urine

Ben Swiercz
Ben Swiercz
October 31, 2023
min read
Technically reviewed by: 
Taylor Steed
Microalbumin in urine

Small changes in your urine are often nearly impossible to detect without a urine test. But these irregularities can be early warning signs of underlying health conditions. Microalbuminuria is one example of an often invisible change that can have significant implications. This condition occurs when the body excretes small amounts of the protein albumin through the urine [1].

Microalbuminuria may not sound alarming, but it’s often one of the first signs of kidney damage [1]. Discover common causes of this condition, symptoms, and the urine microalbumin normal range.

What Is Urine Microalbumin?

Albumin is a type of protein that circulates through the bloodstream. Normal functioning kidneys ensure that most albumin molecules stay in your body by filtering them out of the bloodstream and sending them through the renal tubes to get reabsorbed [1].

However, malfunctioning kidneys don’t filter the blood properly and allow excessive amounts of this protein to leak into the urine. Microalbuminuria is a condition that occurs when the body excretes more than 100 mg of albumin every 12 hours or 300 mg every 24 hours [1].

Causes of Microalbumin in Urine

Microalbuminuria is a symptom of an underlying disease causing kidney damage, such as:

  • Diabetic Nephropathy: Diabetes can cause progressive damage to the nephrons, which are tiny units in the kidneys that filter blood. These weakening filters often start leaking albumin in urine years before other symptoms of diabetic kidney disease appear [2].
  • Hypertension: Microalbuminuria can be a sign of hypertension, also known as chronically high blood pressure [3].
  • Preeclampsia: Research suggests microalbuminuria can be an early indication of preeclampsia. This dangerous condition occurs when pregnant women develop hypertension [4].

Symptoms of Microalbumin in Urine

Microalbumin in urine typically causes no symptoms. However, people with diabetes may exhibit these signs [1]:

  • Cardiac disease
  • Swelling in the ankles and feet
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vision problems

Testing for Microalbumin in Urine

Healthcare providers can detect this condition by performing a urine albumin-creatinine ratio (uACR) test. The muscles naturally excrete creatinine, and the body sheds this waste product in urine. Comparing the ratio of microalbumin and creatinine allows doctors to identify abnormal levels of albumin excretion relative to creatinine [5].

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What Is the Normal Range for Microalbumin in Urine?

People with normal kidney function excrete less than 30 mg of albumin per gram of creatinine in urine every 24 hours [1].

Microalbuminuria occurs when the body excretes more than 100 mg of albumin every 12 hours or 300 mg in 24 hours [1]. People who exceed this range have albuminuria, which indicates a higher level of kidney damage [6].

Your doctor will use a microalbumin creatinine ratio calculator to assess your kidney function.

Microalbuminuria vs Proteinuria

Some people use these terms interchangeably, but proteinuria broadly refers to excessive levels of any protein in urine [7]. By contrast, microalbuminuria refers specifically to albumin in urine [7].  

Empower Yourself With Urinox Urine Test Strips

Diagnox offers various configurations of at-home and professional urine test strips, including urine protein test strips and multiparameter urine dipstick tests. These convenient tests enable you to monitor your urine at home for an affordable price. It is essential to know that standard urine protein test strips don’t detect microalbumin specifically, but they check general protein concentrations in urine at a broader range from 15 mg/dL (trace) to 2,000 mg/dL. A multiparameter urinalysis strip can check up to ten urine parameters, such as glucose, ketones, urobilinogen, and pH, among others. These tests can provide critical insights into your health.

You can learn more about multiparameter strips in this article. If you would like to learn more about how at-home urine protein tests can benefit you, please read this article.

Take control of your health today with Urinox-10 test strips.

  1. R. Prasad, A. Bali, and R. Tikaria. “Microalbuminuria,”  in StatPearls, Treasure Island, FL: StatPearls Publishing, 2023.
  2. MedlinePlus Staff. “Diabetes and kidney disease,” MedlinePlus, Available Online, [Accessed October 2, 2023].
  3. J. Shin, A. Chang, et al. “Albuminuria Testing in Hypertension and Diabetes: An Individual-Participant Data Meta-Analysis in a Global Consortium.” Hypertension, vol. 78, no. 4, pp. 1042-1052, 2021.
  4. A. Khair, F. Begum, et al. “Microalbuminuria in early pregnancy as a Predictor of Preeclampsia.” Scholars International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 37-42, 2022.
  5. MedlinePlus Staff. “Microalbumin Creatinine Ratio,” MedlinePlus, Available Online [Accessed October 2, 2023].
  6. National Kidney Foundation Staff. “Albuminuria (proteinuria).” National Kidney Foundation, Available Online[Accessed October 2, 2023].
  7. M. Haider and A. Aslam. “Proteinuria,” in StatPearls, Treasure Island, FL: StatPearls Publishing, 2023.
About the Author
Ben Swiercz

Ben Swiercz’s writing spans from healthcare policy summaries to middle-grade fiction. With degrees in education and history, he previously worked as a teacher and medical billing executive. He writes in a variety of styles ranging from succinct and informative to loose and comedic.

About the Reviewer
This blog was
Technically reviewed by: 
Taylor Steed

Taylor Steed played a crucial role in ensuring the quality of this blog by serving as its editor and proofreader.

The blog was also reviewed by the Diagnox content team. Diagnox Staff consists of a multidisciplinary team of scientists, content writers, and healthcare professionals with an expertise to create and review high-quality, informative, accurate, and easy-to-understand content for both professionals and everyday readers. Our staff follows strict guidelines to ensure the credibility and authenticity of the information, reviewing them independently and verifying them by various scientific and technical sources to ensure accuracy. Our review team believes in delivering knowledge free from bias to improve public health and well-being.

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