Protein is not normally found in urine, this is because your kidneys ensure that large molecules such as protein remain in the blood. However, the kidneys sift out the smaller impurities and expel them through the urine. In case some protein does get through, the body usually re-absorbs it and uses it as an energy source. However, if there is too much protein in the blood, then some amount of protein will be present in the urine. This can happen even if the kidneys are functioning properly. An albumin urine test will provide information about the quantity of protein (albumin) present in urine.
An albumin in urine test is conducted if the doctor suspects kidney disease. If detected early, the doctors can begin treatment that can prevent further kidney damage and salvage as much kidney functioning as is possible.
There is no special preparation required for this test, which involves normal urination.
You will need to collect urine samples and send it to the lab for testing. This can be done by either collecting a one time mid-stream urine sample or collecting urine samples over a 24-hour period. For the one-time clean catch urine sample, ensure that the collection vial is clean. This sample can be collected in the morning. Allow a little urine to flow before collecting the sample, and then collect the sample without interrupting the urine flow. Replace the vial cover. Another method is to collect a number of urine samples throughout the day. If your doctor wants this type of a sample, he or she will normally provide you with a large collection bowl that can hold up to 1 gal of urine.
You will have to make note of the first time that you urinate in the morning; however, this sample is not collected. This will mark the start of the 24-hour collection period. Then collect all your urine for the next 24 hours using a clean vial to collect the sample, which you should transfer to the larger collection bowl. The collection bowl should remain in the refrigerator for 24 hours. This sample is tested in the lab for the presence of protein. Normal results will show less than 30 mg of albumin in urine in the 24-hour sample, and less than 20 mg per liter albumin in urine in the one time collection sample.