Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Albumin Urine Test

Albumin Urine Test

Test Overview

An albumin test checks urine for a protein called albumin. Albumin is normally found in the blood and filtered by the kidneys. When the kidneys are working as they should, there may be a very small amount of albumin in the urine. But when the kidneys are damaged, abnormal amounts of albumin leak into the urine. This is called albuminuria. If the amount of albumin is very small, but still abnormal, it is called microalbuminuria.

Albuminuria is most often caused by kidney damage from diabetes. But many other conditions can lead to kidney damage. These include high blood pressure, heart failure, cirrhosis, and lupus.

If early kidney damage is not treated, larger amounts of albumin may leak into the urine. When the kidneys spill albumin, it can mean serious kidney damage is present. This can lead to chronic kidney disease.

An albumin urine test can be done on a sample of urine that is collected:

  • At a random time. This is usually after the first time you urinate in the morning.
  • Over a 24-hour period.
  • Over a specific period of time, such as 4 hours or overnight.
Why It Is Done

Why It Is Done

This test is done to check for albumin in the urine. It helps tell your doctor how well your kidneys are working. This test is done most often to check the kidneys in people with diabetes. Other conditions also cause albuminuria. These conditions include high blood pressure, heart failure, and cirrhosis.

The sooner your doctor knows you have kidney damage, the more your doctor can do to protect your kidneys.

How To Prepare

How To Prepare

  • Do not exercise just before the test.
  • Tell your doctor if you are having your period or have vaginal discharge.
  • Your doctor or the lab likely will give you the container you need to hold the urine. You will get instructions on when and how to collect the urine. This might be a one-time sample or a number of samples over a period of time.
How It Is Done

How It Is Done

Random one-time test

A morning urine sample gives the best information about albumin levels.

  1. Wash your hands before you collect the urine.
  2. Prepare the container.

    If the container has a lid, remove the lid and set it down with the inner surface up.

  3. Clean the area around your penis or vagina.
  4. Start to urinate into the toilet or urinal.
  5. Collect the urine in the container.

    After the urine has flowed for several seconds, place the collection container in the stream. Collect about 2 ounces (a quarter cup) of this "midstream" urine without stopping the flow. Don't touch the rim of the container to your genital area.

  6. Finish urinating.
  7. Replace the lid on the container.
  8. Wash your hands.

Specific period of time test

You collect your urine for a period of time, such as over 4 or 24 hours. Your doctor will give you a large container that holds about 1 gallon. You will use the container to collect your urine.

  • When you first get up, you empty your bladder.

    But don't save this urine. Write down the time you began.

  • For the set period of time, collect all your urine.

    Each time you urinate during this time period, collect your urine in a small, clean container. Then pour the urine into the large container. Don't touch the inside of either container with your fingers.

  • Don't get toilet paper, pubic hair, stool (feces), menstrual blood, or anything else in the urine sample.
  • Keep the collected urine in the refrigerator for the collection time.
  • Empty your bladder for the last time at or just before the end of the collection period.

    Add this urine to the large container. Then write down the time.

How It Feels

How It Feels

This test usually doesn't cause any pain or discomfort.

Risks

Risks

There are no known risks from having this test.

Results

Results

Each lab has a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should show the range that your lab uses for each test. The normal range is just a guide. Your doctor will also look at your results based on your age, health, and other factors. A value that isn't in the normal range may still be normal for you.

Higher-than-normal values

You may need more than one test to find out how well your kidneys are working.

  • If your results are higher than normal, your doctor may check your urine more often to watch for kidney damage.
  • If you have 2 or 3 high results in a 3- to 6-month period and you have diabetes, your doctor may find kidney damage. Even though diabetes is the most common reason for high results, there are many other kidney problems that can cause high results.

Pregnant women with diabetes may have their urine checked to watch for high amounts of albumin.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Medical Tests: Questions to Ask the Doctor

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details