What is normal urine albumin creatinine ratio?
Have you ever been to a doctor and wondered what they meant when they spoke about your urine albumin creatinine ratio? Well, me neither. But just in case you are far more studious than I am, or maybe you’re suffering from insomnia and need some reading material to help induce that deep sleep, let’s dive into this subject together!
So What Exactly Is It?
The Urine Albumin Creatinine Ratio (UACR) is a test used by doctors as an evaluation of kidney health. This means that your kidneys’ ability to filter out wastes such as proteins or creatinine levels are checked.
Now, for all us non-medical professionals who have no idea what these things mean… protein is one of the basic building blocks for life – yep! You heard it right – protein literally holds us together like glue! And creatinine is a waste product formed by our muscles whenever we use them; it’s filtered through our kidneys and exits our bodies via urination.
So basically, UACR measures if there’s too much protein present and not enough filtration occurring within the kidneys that may indicate damage; hence checking on this value can lead diagnosis or prevention of possible kidney conditions.
Breakdown: The Wonders behind Ratios
In layman terms – how does testing ratios work? Can’t doctors just take a sample of some clear urine (or whatever bodily fluid), weigh it up against its volume and ta-daa – using magic math solve everything? No dearest reader…it doesn’t work that way.
For instance, there are numerous factors at play with UACR measurements-such as time elapsed since last meal has an impact on protein levels or whether bladder was completely emptied before taking samples-which can cause fluctuations within results thus enabling comparative analysis lest biased measurements occur over multiple tests.
To prevent these fluctuations, doctors usually take multiple samples over time and create detailed ratios which ensure accuracy of results. A ratio is simply a method used to compare two things – in this case urine albumin and creatinine values within your pee!
But What’s Normal Exactly?!
Ahh the million dollar question- what is considered a normal UACR? As always it depends –
Firstly, age doesn’t play any role in what’s normal for UACR tests.
Secondly, there are different opinions regarding what’s too high or too low; hence who decides that – well, various expert organizations such as the National Kidney Foundation (NFA) recommends that an UACR greater than 30 mg/g indicates increased risk for chronic kidney disease (something we’d all prefer to avoid). However other experts believe a lower limit of 20mg/g would suffice here.
For instance, If you have an UACR higher than these recommended levels then don’t worry it’s not like you can develop superhuman powers overnight sighs– however note that it may indicate underlying issues with your kidney function thus more further testing should be completed.
Women: if their ratio falls between+/-30g/mmol mark
Men: if they fall under 25 g/mmol mark,
but again please remember that guidelines provided by any organization are just recommendations and actual interpretation is entirely dependent on specific medical context! Please don’t go around giving arbitrary advice based on this article now!
So Your Results Are In
So lets start singing Destiny Child’s “Say My Name” since no one wants strangers knowing their name especially associated with bodily fluids #CanIGetAnAmen?!– but how do we know whether our test results fall into those infamous “normal ranges’?
Below we reveal some examples derived from research studies of what varrying urinary albumin creatinine ratios might mean (begin granny style reading glasses on…now!):
|Urine Albumin Creatinine Ratio mg/g||What The Result Might Mean|
|Between 3 and 30||moderate increase (possible underlying kidney disease be aware!)|
As you can see – what’s considered normal will vary in regards to UACR results; hence it’s always best to discuss your specific test results further with a medical professional.
So What Could Mess Up Your Results?
Being nervous around our friends during quiz night may dawn a few beads of sweat, but not enough to impact the accuracy of that UACR exam…However there are various factors that might actually cause fluctuations within the results such as:
- Smoke inhalation
- Medications intake which could elevate protein level (use common sense here, don’t just stop taking prescribed medicine after laughter inducing article)
- Inflammation or infections.
- Exercise as well!
So before acting upon UACRs perhaps double check if any of these variables played into your most recent tests for accurate readings!
Wrapping It Up
And there we has it folks- now maybe with all this newfound knowledge about urine albumin creatinine ratio tests -you can blow people away at cocktail parties (#LifeHacks). Or more importantly appreciate how much hard work goes into assessing something so seemingly minuscule-yet important within context. Go ahead and share with fellow pre-med slackers-if only for those three seconds when they think “wow maybe she/he did attend that lab”.