A doctor may request that you have a 24-hour urine test. This test is ordered for a variety of reasons and a variety of substances can be sought in the 24-hour urine sample. The urine is collected and stored in specific ways.
For your 24-hour urine test, you will be given one or more urine collection containers. Your physician will also give you a container to urinate into because you will not be able to void directly into the 24-hour urine container. The test should begin in the morning. You will empty your bladder of the first morning’s urine and this urine will be discarded. The rest of the day and that night you will collect your urine and pour it into the 24-hour collection container. Your urine the following morning will also be collected. You will need to keep the 24-hour urine collection container in the refrigerator or a cooler. Do not let it freeze as freezing will affect the test results.
This 24-hour urine test will determine the amount of protein in your urine. It is done to monitor kidney function and to diagnose early kidney disease. For the test your doctor may also order that blood be drawn to obtain a serum protein and creatinine level to do a protein creatinine ratio test.
This 24-hour urine test is done to measure the amount of aldosterone secreted in your urine. Aldosterone is produced by the adrenal gland, and is responsible for regulating the balance of salt and water in your body. Aldosterone secretion is triggered by low salt levels. Increased aldosterone secretions will cause your body to retain salt and can cause high blood pressure.
A free cortisol 24-hour urine test is done to determine if a patient has Cushing’s syndrome. Cushing’s syndrome is a disease caused by tumors in the adrenal cortex, or prolonged use of cortisone drugs. Elevated free cortisol levels can also be indicative of pituitary tumors or ectopic ACTH production.
A 24-hour copper urine test is done to determine if a patient is suffering from Wilson’s disease. Wilson’s disease is a condition in which the body takes in and keeps too much copper. This increased copper is deposited in the kidneys and liver causing damage to these organs. Wilson’s disease is very rare and is inherited from one’s parents.