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Osmolality Test

AMBULATORY CARE:

An osmolality test

measures electrolytes, sugar, and waste products in your blood, urine, or bowel movement. Examples of electrolytes include sodium, potassium, and chloride. An example of a waste product includes urea.

Why you need this test:

You may need an osmolality test for any of the following reasons:

  • Symptoms of low sodium levels, such as confusion, extreme thirst, headache, nausea, and seizures
  • More or less urination than usual
  • Currently taking medicine to decrease the amount of water or swelling in your body
  • Ate or drank something poisonous or toxic
  • Chronic diarrhea

How to prepare for the test:

Your healthcare provider will tell you how to prepare for the test. The provider may tell you to stop eating and drinking 6 hours before the test. He or she may also tell you not to take certain medicines on the day of the test.

The results of the test:

The results of an osmolality test tell healthcare providers how well your body balances water with electrolytes, sugar, and waste products. The results of an osmolality test can help healthcare providers do the following:

  • Diagnose conditions that affect your hormone levels
  • Diagnose problems with your brain or kidneys
  • Decide if your medicines are working correctly

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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