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Aldosterone in Urine

How It Is Done

  • You start collecting your urine in the morning. When you first get up, empty your bladder but do not save this urine. Write down the time that you urinated to mark the beginning of your 24-hour collection period.
  • For the next 24 hours, collect all your urine. Your doctor or lab will usually provide you with a large container that holds about 1 gal (4 L). The container has a small amount of preservative in it. Urinate into a small, clean container, and then pour the urine into the large container. Do not touch the inside of the container with your fingers.
  • Keep the large container in the refrigerator for the 24 hours.
  • Empty your bladder for the final time at or just before the end of the 24-hour period. Add this urine to the large container and record the time.
  • Do not get toilet paper, pubic hair, stool (feces), menstrual blood, or other foreign matter in the urine sample.

How It Feels

There is no pain while collecting a 24-hour urine sample.

Risks

There is no chance for problems while collecting a 24-hour urine sample.

Results

An aldosterone test measures the level of aldosterone (a hormone made by the adrenal glands) in the urine.

The normal values listed here—called a reference range—are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.

Aldosterone in a 24-hour urine sample 1
Normal:

2–26 micrograms (mcg) or 6–72 nanomoles (nmol)

High values

High aldosterone levels can be caused by:

  • A tumor in the adrenal glands (Conn's syndrome).
  • Heart failure.
  • Kidney disease.
  • Liver disease.
  • A condition during pregnancy that causes high blood pressure (preeclampsia).
  • Some medicines that are used treat high blood pressure.

Symptoms of high aldosterone include high blood pressure, muscle cramps and weakness, numbness or tingling in the hands, and low levels of potassium in the blood.

Low values

Low aldosterone levels can be caused by:

  • Addison's disease.
  • Kidney disease. such as the types of kidney disease seen in people who also have diabetes.
  • Heparin treatment. Heparin is a medicine that helps prevent blood clots. It is given as a shot.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 20, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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