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About the test
What is this test done for?
The spot urine electrolyte is a test that measures electrolytes like sodium, calcium, potassium, and chlorides in the urine.
Why is it Done?
The urine electrolyte test helps in assessing the functioning of kidneys, levels of calcium in urine, and thus, functioning of the parathyroid glands. The chloride helps in understanding the acid base balance in the body to know if the person is suffering from electrolyte imbalance.
When should it be performed?

This test is performed when a patient is suspected to have:

  • Kidney stones
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrheas
  • Dehydration
  • Abnormal sodium levels in the blood
  • Calcium deficiency related diseases
How is it done
An early morning urine sample will be needed. Discard the first urine and collect sample from middle stream, avoiding any contact with skin. Collect urine in a sterile container.

The values are also dependent on the intake of calcium rich diet or salt-

  • Normal value of urine calcium is 100 to 300 milligrams per day (mg/day).

If the levels are high, it could probably indicate the following conditions:

  • Chronic kidney diseases
  • High Vitamin D levels
  • Leaking of calcium from kidneys, which can lead to kidney stones
  • Abnormal parathyroid hormone levels
  • Excessive use of diuretics

If the levels are low, they suggest:

  • Malabsorption
  • Kidneys not functioning well
  • Parathyroid hormones not released well
  • Low levels of Vitamin D
  • Normal value of sodium in urine is 40 to 220 mEq/L per day.
  • Levels can rise if there has been use of diuretics, if the adrenal gland functioning is abnormal, inflammation in kidneys which causes loss in salt, or if there has been excessive high salt intake in diet.
  • Levels can drop when adrenal gland releases too much of aldosterone, or due to dehydration or fluid loss, or in heart failure and liver cirrhosis.
  • Normal value of potassium in urine is 25 to 125 mEq/l per day.
  • Conditions like diabetic acidosis can lead to increased levels of potassium. Overeating or bulimia also can cause increase in levels. Low magnesium levels or muscle damage can lead to high potassium.
  • Low levels are due to medicines like beta blockers, lithium, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Normal value of chloride in urine is 110 to 250 mEq/L per day. 
  • High levels or abnormal levels are due to abnormal functioning of the adrenal glands, excessive salt in diet, or polyuria.
  • Low levels can be because of sodium retention, a disease condition named Cushing syndrome, low intake of salt or due to fluid loss as in vomiting or diarrhea.
Other Tests
Serum electrolytes should also be performed with other kidney function tests for an appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
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