Find a
Location:
Find a Location
or
Find a
Provider:
Find a Doctor
and/or

Article Manager

Health Information Encyclopedia - Medical Tests

Search Health Information   

Male urinary system
Male urinary system


Sodium - urine

Definition:

The sodium urine test measures the amount of salt (sodium) in a urine sample.

Sodium can also be measured in a blood sample.

See also: Sodium - blood test



Alternative Names:

Urinary 24 hours sodium; Urine Na+



How the test is performed:

This test may be done using a random urine sample or a 24-hour urine collection.

If a 24-hour urine sample is needed:

  • On day 1, urinate into the toilet when you get up in the morning.
  • Afterwards, collect all urine in a special container for the next 24 hours.
  • On day 2, urinate into the container when you get up in the morning.
  • Cap the container. Keep it in the refrigerator or a cool place during the collection period.
  • Label the container with your name, the date, the time of completion, and return it as instructed.

For an infant, thoroughly wash the area around the urethra. Open a urine collection bag (a plastic bag with an adhesive paper on one end), and place it on the infant. For males, place the entire penis in the bag and attach the adhesive to the skin. For females, place the bag over the labia. Diaper as usual over the secured bag.

This procedure may take a couple of attempts -- lively infants can move the bag, causing the urine to be absorbed by the diaper. Check the infant frequently and change the bag after the infant has urinated into it. Drain the urine from the bag into the container provided by your health care provider.

Deliver it to the laboratory or your health care provider as soon as possible upon completion.



How to prepare for the test:

Your health care provider will instruct you, if necessary, to discontinue drugs that may interfere with the test.

Drugs that can increase test measurements include:

  • Certain antibiotics
  • Diuretics
  • Prostaglandins

Drugs that can decrease test measurements include:

  • Certain corticosteroids
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

If a 24-hour urine collection is being taken from an infant, a couple of extra collection bags may be necessary.



How the test will feel:

The test involves only normal urination, and there is no discomfort.



Why the test is performed:

The test is often used to determine your hydration status and your kidney's ability to conserve or remove sodium from the urine.

Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:



Normal Values:

Normal values are generally 40 to 220 milliequivalents per liter per day (mEq/L/day), depending on how much fluid and salt you consume.

The examples above are common measurements for results of these tests. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.



What abnormal results mean:

Greater than normal urine sodium levels may be caused by:

  • Too much salt in the diet
  • Certain medications, such as diuretics
  • Adrenal gland insufficiency
  • Salt-wasting nephropathy

Lower than normal urine sodium levels may be a sign of:



Special considerations:

Too little or too much sodium in the diet may affect test results.



References:

Landry DW, Bazari H. Approach to the patient with renal disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 116.




Review Date: 8/21/2011
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com


Text Only Options

Change the current font size: larger | default | smaller

Current color mode is Black on White, other available modes: Yellow on Black | Black on Cream

Current color mode is Yellow on Black, other available modes: Black on White | Black on Cream

Current color mode is Black on Cream, other available modes: Black on White | Yellow on Black

Open the original version of this page.