Amino acids are the fundamental constituents of proteins. A certain amount of amino acids is normally present in the urine and does not cause any harm. However, in some cases, this amount may exceed safe limits and lead to toxicity. This happens due to both genetic and acquired metabolic disorders, which cause improper and insufficient synthesis and utilization of proteins by the gastrointestinal tract and the kidneys. A medical test known as amino acids urine test can be conducted in order to determine the exact level of these acids in the urine and the nature of treatment required if the level is too high. A related test is called the plasma amino acid test, which measures the level of amino acids present in the blood plasma. If irregularities in the amino acids level are detected early enough, children can be saved from future complications. You may also be advised to get yourself tested at regular intervals if you have already been diagnosed with excessive amino acids in your urine and are being treated for the condition, as this reveals whether you are reacting positively to the treatment.
The test is fairly simple and merely involves the collection of a urine sample. Since the level of amino acids in the urine may vary according to age, sex and diet, the readings for different persons may vary according to these factors. Unless otherwise specified by your doctor, you should eat and drink the normal food and fluids that you do on a daily basis. You should not drink alcohol before and during the test. You should also provide your doctor with a complete list of medicines that you might be consuming for treating other ailments, and seek her advice as to whether you should temporarily discontinue consuming them before the test is conducted. On the day of the test, you would simply be asked to collect as much urine as you can at one go in a container. The urine sample may also be obtained using a catheter. In some cases, your physician may also require you to collect urine samples throughout the day in order to monitor variations in the level of amino acids. Once the urine sample is collected, it is sent to the pathological laboratory, where an amino acids serum is extracted from the urine sample(s) and its concentration per unit of urine is measured. The results of this test can be obtained within a week or two.