Copper is an essential element in the body and is used for a variety of functions including the creation of enzymes. The other uses of copper are mostly in the transport of electrons and therefore plays an important part in transmitting bio-electricity. It is also extremely crucial in the absorption of iron from the diet as well. Copper and zinc are actually competing minerals and the increased intake of one will result in the decreased intake of the other. There are problem associated with excessive copper in the blood and these include Wilson's disease, biliary cirrhosis, and chronic hepatitis. The test for copper in the body is called the 24 hour urine copper test. This is a test for the amount of copper in urine that is a good indication of whether excretion of extra copper is adequate. The ideal urine copper level is pegged between 10 and 30 micrograms.
The copper urine test is a test that is conducted to find the levels of copper that is excreted in the body. This is a useful test of good liver function that should be corroborated with serum copper levels as well. The test is quite elaborate and is done over a twenty four hour period.
The 24 test is performed by setting a date for collecting urine samples. You will be asked to empty your bladder completely on the first day of collection in the morning. After the first emptying, you will have to collect subsequent samples assuming a normal intake of water. Every sample should be collected till the next morning. The samples should be marked with your details and the time of taking the sample as well.
There is no special preparation except accumulating some containers to collect the sample in. Avoid taking zinc supplements a few days before the test is started. This is because zinc will prevent the uptake of copper in the intestines and this can give false results of the actual level of copper in the blood. Wilson's disease is the ailment that this test is undertaken to detect. This is a disease of excess copper in the body and is manifested by liver failure, neurological disturbances that can reach psychosis, and sometimes uncontrolled bleeding in the esophageal tract. If serum copper levels are low and urine levels are elevated, this is a confirmation of Wilson's disease.