Does this test have other names?
What is this test?
This test measures the level of calcium in your urine.
Your body uses calcium in many ways, from developing teeth to building bones. Your
parathyroid gland regulates the calcium in your body. It releases extra calcium from
the bones when your body needs it. If your body has too much calcium, it is carried
out of your body with your urine.
If the calcium in your urine builds up and crystallizes, you may develop kidney stones.
These can cause pain on either side of your lower back. Although kidney stones can
form from other things in the urine, calcium stones are the most common.
You can also develop stones if your kidneys absorb too much calcium. Your diet, including
how much fluid you drink, can also lead to kidney stones. Drinking too little water
means that you'll make less urine and more calcium can build up.
Your body tries to get rid of kidney stones by sending them out through your bladder.
Kidney stones can be quite painful, especially when you urinate.
For this test, you collect all the urine you make in a 24-hour period so that it can
be looked at in a lab.
Why do I need this test?
You may have this test if your healthcare provider needs to see how well your kidneys
are working, especially if you get kidney stones.
What other tests might I have along with this test?
Your healthcare provider may also order other tests. These include:
Calcium blood test
What do my test results mean?
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses
to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you
may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare
Results are given in milligrams per day (mg/day). A normal level of calcium in the
urine is less than 45 mg/day.
If your results are higher, it may mean you are at risk for kidney stones. The risk
for kidney stones rises at levels greater than 100 mg/day. The higher the reading,
the greater the risk is for both men and women.
To lower the calcium level in your urine, your healthcare provider might suggest that
you eat more vegetables and fruits and less animal products, like red meat and eggs.
If you're an older adult, your provider may recommend that you add more potassium
to your diet. Cutting back on the amount of calcium you eat likely won't lower your
risk for stones. This is true unless you eat very large quantities of calcium.
If your results are lower, it may mean you have a lack of vitamin D.
How is this test done?
This test requires a 24-hour urine sample. For this type of urine sample, you must
collect all the urine you make for 24 hours. Empty your bladder completely first thing
in the morning without collecting it and note the time. Then collect your urine every
time you go to the bathroom for the next 24 hours, including the first time the next
Does this test pose any risks?
This test poses no known risks.
What might affect my test results?
Eating meat and eggs can affect your results. Your test results can also be affected
if you do not collect all urine samples in a 24-hour period. To get accurate results
follow the directions your provider gives you.
How do I get ready for this test?
You don't need to prepare for this test. But be sure your healthcare provider knows
about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes
medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.