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Calcium in Urine Test

What is a Calcium in Urine Test?

A calcium in urine test measures the amount of calcium in your urine. Calcium is one of the most important minerals in your body. You need calcium for healthy bones and teeth. Calcium is also essential for proper functioning of your nerves, muscles, and heart. Almost all of your body's calcium is stored in your bones. A small amount circulates in the blood, and the remainder is filtered by the kidneys and passed into your urine. If urine calcium levels are too high or too low, it may mean you have a medical condition, such as kidney disease or kidney stones. Kidney stones are hard, pebble-like substances that can form in one or both kidneys when calcium or other minerals build up in the urine. Most kidney stones are formed from calcium.

Too much or too little calcium in the blood can also indicate a kidney disorder, as well as certain bone diseases, and other medical problems. So if you have symptoms of one of these disorders, your health care provider may order a calcium blood test, along with a calcium in urine test. In addition, a calcium blood test is often included as part of a regular check-up.

Other names: urinalysis (calcium)

What is it used for?

A calcium in urine test may be used to diagnose or monitor kidney function or kidney stones. It may also be used to diagnose disorders of the parathyroid, a gland near the thyroid that helps regulate the amount of calcium in your body.

Why do I need a calcium in urine test?

You may need a calcium in urine test if you have symptoms of a kidney stone. These symptoms include:

You may also need a calcium in urine test if you have symptoms of a parathyroid disorder.

Symptoms of too much parathyroid hormone include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Bone and joint pain

Symptoms of too little parathyroid hormone include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tingling fingers
  • Dry skin
  • Brittle nails

What happens during a calcium in urine test?

You'll need to collect all your urine during a 24-hour period. This is called a 24-hour urine sample test. Your health care provider or a laboratory professional will give you a container to collect your urine in and instructions on how to collect and store your samples. A 24-hour urine sample test generally includes the following steps:

  • Empty your bladder in the morning and flush that urine down. Do not collect this urine. Record the time.
  • For the next 24 hours, save all your urine in the container provided.
  • Store your urine container in a refrigerator or a cooler with ice.
  • Return the sample container to your health provider's office or the laboratory as instructed.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

You don't need any special preparations for a calcium in urine test. Be sure to carefully follow all the instructions for providing a 24-hour urine sample.

Are there any risks to the test?

There is no known risk to having a calcium in urine test.

What do the results mean?

If your results show higher than normal calcium levels in your urine, it may indicate:

  • Risk for or the presence of a kidney stone
  • Hyperparathyroidism, a condition in which your parathyroid gland produces too much parathyroid hormone
  • Sarcoidosis, a disease that causes inflammation in the lungs, lymph nodes, or other organs
  • Too much calcium in your diet from vitamin D supplements or milk

If your results show lower than normal calcium levels in your urine, it may indicate:

  • Hypoparathyroidism, a condition in which your parathyroid gland produces too little parathyroid hormone
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • A kidney disorder

If your calcium levels are not normal, it doesn't necessarily mean you have a medical condition needing treatment. Other factors, such as diet, supplements, and certain medicines, including antacids, can affect your urine calcium levels. If you have questions about your results, talk to your health care provider.

Is there anything else I need to know about a calcium in urine test?

A calcium in urine test does not tell you how much calcium is in your bones. Bone health can be measured with a type of x-ray called a bone density scan, or dexa scan. A dexa scan measures the mineral content, including calcium, and other aspects of your bones.

References

  1. Hinkle J, Cheever K. Brunner & Suddarth's Handbook of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests. 2nd Ed, Kindle. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; c2014. Calcium, Serum; Calcium and Phosphates, Urine; 118–9 p.
  2. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2017. Calcium: At a Glance [updated 2017 May 1; cited 2017 May 9]; [about 2 screens]. Available from:
  3. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2017. Calcium: The Test [updated 2017 May 1; cited 2017 May 9]; [about 4 screens]. Available from:
  4. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2017. Calcium: The Test Sample [updated 2017 May 1; cited 2017 May 9]; [about 3 screens]. Available from:
  5. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2017. Glossary: 24-Hour Urine Sample [cited 2017 May 9]; [about 3 screens]. Available from:
  6. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2017. Glossary: Hyperparathyroidism [cited 2017 May 9]; [about 3 screens]. Available from:
  7. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2017. Glossary: Hypoparathyroidism [cited 2017 May 9]; [about 3 screens]. Available from:
  8. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2017. Kidney Stone Analysis: The Test [updated 2015 Oct 30; cited 2017 May 9]; [about 4 screens]. Available from:
  9. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2017. Parathyroid Diseases [updated 2016 June 6; cited 2017 May 9]; [about 3 screens]. Available from:
  10. Mayo Clinic [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; c1998–2017. Hyperparathyroidism: Symptoms; 2015 Dec 24 [cited 2017 May 9]; [about 3 screens]. Available from:
  11. Mayo Clinic [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; c1998–2017. Hypoparathyroidism: Symptoms and Causes; 2017 May 5 [cited 2017 May 9]; [about 5 screens]. Available from:
  12. Mayo Clinic [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; c1998–2017. Kidney Stones: Symptoms; 2015 Feb 26 [cited 2017 May 9]; [about 3 screens]. Available from:
  13. Merck Manual Consumer Version [Internet]. Kenilworth (NJ): Merck & Co. Inc.; c2017. Overview of Calcium's Role in the Body [cited 2017 May 9]; [about 2 screens]. Available from:
  14. National Cancer Institute [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms: hyperparathyroidism [cited 2017 May 9]; [about 3 screens]. Available from:
  15. National Cancer Institute [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms: parathyroid gland [cited 2017 May 9]; [about 3 screens]. Available from:
  16. National Cancer Institute [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms: sarcoidosis [cited 2017 May 9]; [about 3 screens]. Available from:
  17. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Definitions & Facts for Kidney Stones; 2016 Sep [cited 2017 May 9]; [about 4 screens]. Available from:
  18. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Diagnosis of Kidney Stones; 2016 Sep [cited 2017 May 9]; [about 4 screens]. Available from:
  19. University of Rochester Medical Center [Internet]. Rochester (NY): University of Rochester Medical Center; c2017. Health Encyclopedia: 24-Hour Urine Collection [cited 2017 May 9]; [about 2 screens]. Available from:
  20. University of Rochester Medical Center [Internet]. Rochester (NY): University of Rochester Medical Center; c2017. Health Encyclopedia: Calcium (Urine) [cited 2017 May 9]; [about 2 screens]. Available from:

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The medical information provided is for informational purposes only, and is not to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please contact your health care provider with questions you may have regarding medical conditions or the interpretation of test results.

In the event of a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.
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