24-Hour Urine Collection Test: Purpose, Procedure, Results, Cost

24 hour urine protein test

The 24-hour urine test is done by collecting the urine in the last 24 hours. Testing urine can help doctors diagnose various medical conditions. Changes in any kind of substances in the body such as red or white blood cells, sugar levels, or protein content (excess) is determined by this test. A complete urine analysis gives an insight into any kind of urinary tract infections, kidney diseases and dysfunction and other health conditions.


What is a 24-hour urine protein test?

A 24-hour urine protein test is a test of the urine collected over a period of 24 hours to detect various health conditions in a small special container and sent to the lab for analysis. 24-hour urine protein tests allow the doctor to understand the amount of protein leakage in the urine. But it does not tell the kind and type of protein leaked into the urine. To know that, a doctor will ask for other related blood test.


Why is a 24 hour urine collection done?

A 24-hour urine collection test is done to diagnose any kidney malfunctions or other kidney-related issues. A doctor orders a 24-hour urine test if you have symptoms such as swelling in the hands, feet, ankles or face. Other symptoms such as more or less urination than normal, pressure while urination, urine colour changes, foamy, foggy or bubbly urine or having to get up more than once to urinate at night are other reasons why the test is prescribed.


How to prepare for this test?


  • Listen to your healthcare professional’s instructions. Please clarify all doubts.
  • If you are asked to stay away from certain food make sure you follow them without fail
  • Choose your 24-hour time period for collection such that you avoid transit of urine from one place to another.
  • If you are on pregnant or planning for it, keep your health professional informed
  • Give the list of all your prescribed medicines, vitamins, supplements, probiotic drinks, herbs to your health care professional

24 hour urine collection process

  • Urine is collected in a special container either white or brown in colour. The urine is collected in a special pan that either fits a toilet or the urinal. The collected urine is transferred from the pan to the small collection container and stored in a cool place.
  • The 24 hour is accounted for from the time you collect the urine but as a general practice, it is usually recommended to collect it as soon as you wake up in the morning and clear the bladder.
  • Flush the first time urination and do not store it. Note the time as the 24-hour time is calculated from here. All urine post the first flush is collected and refrigerate it either on ice or in a refrigerator. Try urinating at the same time post the 24-hour start time you initially noted to complete the process.
  • You need to take it to the pathology lab near you as soon as possible after the process is over. If you are doing the process at home, your healthcare professional will give you specific instructions on how and where you should be taking it to.
  • You might be asked to repeat the process depending on your health condition


24 hour urine test cost

What should you not do during a 24-hour urine collection?

Urine collection is easy and one can do it by themselves. However, certain factors can affect the urine collection process.

  • Collecting less urine
  • Crossing the 24-hour limit and collecting more urine
  • Spilling the collection container by over filling it
  • Unable to keep it cold while collecting
  • Stress
  • Excess and strenuous exercise regime
  • Intake of hot beverages (tea, coffee), citrus, vanilla, and banana


What do the test results mean?

With a fluid intake of 2 litres per day the normal results of urine protein value ranges from 80-100 mg for 24 hours. Some doctors consider a urine value of 150 mg of protein per day to be normal.  The average cost of urine test is from Rs. 80-350 depending on the city, quality of the test and availability.

Diseases that can be diagnosed in a 24-hour urine collection are:

  • Lupus
  • Diabetes
  • Nephritic syndrome
  • Kidney stones
  • Polycystic kidney diseases
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