Protein Electrophoresis 24-Hour Urine Test is used to measure specific proteins in the urine from a 24-hour urine sample. This test is used to determine any conditions or diseases that may cause abnormal protein production or loss. In this method, the proteins are separated based on their shape, size, and charge.
Proteins are known as the building blocks of cells and tissues. They are essential for the proper functioning and growth of the body’s cells and tissues. The blood contains two major types of proteins called albumin and globulin.
Normally, healthy kidneys do not allow the proteins to pass through it and into the urine. But in damaged or diseased kidneys, the proteins start to get filter through and appear in the urine. Albumin is the most abundant protein in the blood. Due to its small molecular size, it gets easily filtered through the kidney if it is damaged. The condition of an excess amount of protein in the urine is known as proteinuria.
This test is performed to monitor or diagnose the conditions or diseases that may cause abnormal protein production or loss. This test is recommended to diagnose conditions such as multiple myeloma (blood cancer) or monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance (MGUS). Your doctor may ask you to perform this test if you experience any signs or symptoms of abnormal protein levels such as weakness, sudden weight loss, back pain, nausea, unusual thirst, constipation, or frequent urination, etc. This test is recommended in individuals with kidney or liver disorders. Your doctor may also advise you to perform this test if you have an abnormal result on a total protein or albumin blood test.
If you have a family history of liver or kidney problems, your doctor may ask you to perform this test on a 6-monthly basis or a yearly basis. Patients with liver or kidney disorders should perform this test on a regular basis, as instructed by the doctor.
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Protein Electrophoresis 24 Hour Urine. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Protein Electrophoresis 24 Hour Urine.
Healthcare professional may ask you to collect the urine sample in a sterile container over a 24-hour period. Follow all the appropriate instructions given by the healthcare professional during and after the urine sample collection. Submit the collected urine samples in the lab for the test.
If the test results fall in the normal reference range, generally no medical intervention is necessary.
If the test result shows a positive urine protein test ( high protein levels in the urine), it may indicate a problem with kidney function. Increased levels of protein in the urine may also be seen in conditions such as bladder cancers or tumors, diabetes, congestive heart failure, urinary tract infection, amyloidosis (presence of amyloid proteins in tissues and organs), increased blood pressure, an inflammatory autoimmune disease; lupus, heavy metal poisoning, multiple myeloma (cancer of plasma cells), pre-eclampsia in pregnant women (a condition of increased blood pressure), or due to use of excessive medicines that may cause kidney damage.
High levels of protein in the urine are also seen in individuals with stress or who do excess exercises. Abnormally increased levels of protein in urine indicate a kidney damage or disease. Signs and symptoms of kidney damage are poor appetites, foamy or dark-colored urine, fatigue, swollen abdomen, decreased urination or change in the frequency of urination, back pain, high blood pressure, or uncontrolled diabetes, etc.
However, your doctor may recommend a few more additional tests to detect the exact cause of the protein loss.
A negative urine protein test indicates that there are no detectable levels of protein in the urine sample.
Based on the test results, your doctor may advise appropriate medical treatments, lifestyle modifications, or further diagnostic tests.
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