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How to Prepare for a 5-HIAA Urine Test?(5-hydroxyindoleaceticacid)

How to Prepare for a 5-HIAA Urine Test?(5-hydroxyindoleaceticacid)
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5-HIAA urine test is a test of urine in which the laboratory person see that what is the concentration of 5-HIAA is present in the urine which is also called5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid. product of serotonin Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that sends signals between nerve cells in your brain and body……[2][3][1] 5-HIAA..

If the doctor suspects you may have a carcinoid syndrome or a neuroendocrine tumor, then he may order this test. Carcinoid syndrome occurs when a neuroendocrine tumor develops in your gastrointestinal tract or lungs. These tumors can make high amounts of serotonin.

If the level of this test are raisedso then the doctor think so then the doctor think that doctors suggest that you may have this rare tumor so the order other tests and history and sign and symptoms to prove that you are suffering from this disease so this test is very essential and very crucial for the detection of this disease and to detect their there is more and extra breakage of serotonin

Now let’s discuss how to prepare for this lab test.

How to Prepare for a 5-HIAA Urine Test

Here are the key steps to prepare for your 5-HIAA urine test:

Collect a First Morning Urine Sample

For this test, it is extremely important that you collect your very first urine of the morning, also known as a “first void” sample. This is because serotonin breakdown levels are highest first thing in the morning before food or drink intake.

To collect the sample:

  • Do not urinate at the time when first waking up in the morning. Hold it if needed.
  • When you cannot hold it any longer, collect your urine in the provided container from your doctor’s office or lab.
  • The sample should be at least 30 ml or 1 ounce of urine.
  • . No on the sample you should put your name with your father’s name with your reference number date and time and preserve it
  • You should send this sample to the laboratory within 24 hours and you should put this in their refrigerator so this sample is preserved

Restrict Certain Foods Before the Test

For 2 days before the urine collection, limit or avoid foods high in serotonin precursors like:

  • Bananas
  • Pineapples
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocados
  • Eggplant
  • Walnuts
  • dried figs, milk, cheese, yogurt they are high in tryptophan and this is a fact that the serotonin is formed by the amino acids which have tryptophan

This is because serotonin is made from the amino acid tryptophan found in these foods. Limiting tryptophan intake before the test helps provide a more accurate baseline serotonin level reading.Avoid Certain Medications

This is also advised that you should not take a few medicine which are available on the contour for at least we want to two days before this test

  • Acetaminophen
  • Naproxen
  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen (Aleve)Antidepressants like Prozac, Zoloft
  • Antacid medicines containing aluminum or magnesium

These can interfere with serotonin or 5-HIAA levels and affect test results. Check with your doctor and only stop medications if advised.

Inform Your Doctor of All Medications

No it’s also advised that you should inform your doctor about all the medicines supplements herbs and any other medicine you are taking so the doctor can judge that he either you have to stop it or to continue this this is very essential Good communication is key.

Test Results from Your Doctor

when you will hand over your sample to the laboratory it will take one to three days to receive the results and in the meantime you should be in contact with other your Doctor So you can I’m going to for further investigations and tests and the results

After dropping off your first morning urine sample at the lab, results will typically be available in 1-3 days. Make a follow up appointment with your doctor to go over the numbers and discuss what they may mean for your health. They can explain if results are normal or abnormal and recommend next steps. Frequently Asked Questions


Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about the 5-HIAA urine test:

What does a normal test result mean?

Normal or negative 5-HIAA levels in urine are typically below 5-10 mg per 24 hours or 5-10 mcg per gram of creatinine. Values higher than normal may indicate carcinoid syndrome or a neuroendocrine tumor.

What if I cannot collect a first morning urine sample?

If for some reason you are unable to provide a first morning urine, inform your doctor. The test may still provide useful information, but results would not be as accurate or reliable. Trying again the next morning is best if possible.

How long until I get results?

Most labs process 5-HIAA urine tests within 1-3 business days. Normally your doctor contracts you and calls you once the results are received but if they don’t call you then you should not hesitate to make an appointment with the doctors for further follow up if

Can diet or supplements affect results?

Yes, as mentioned foods high in tryptophan and certain supplements could potentially alter 5-HIAA levels detected on the test. Following the prep guidelines and informing your doctor of all medications, vitamins and supplements is important.

What if the test is negative, but I still have symptoms?

If the test is negative it doesn’t mean that you have not this disease but your doctor will further evaluate your in disease by further tests listening to your symptoms and signs and history and he may even order another test or may even repeat the test. Additional testing like imaging scans may still be recommended.


In summary, the 5-HIAA urine test is an important lab exam that can help doctors evaluate for carcinoid syndrome and neuroendocrine tumors. With the proper preparation steps – collecting a first morning urine sample, limiting certain foods and medications before the test, and good communication with your doctor – you can ensure the most accurate results possible. Be sure to discuss outcomes of the test at a follow up appointment to get a medical professional’s perspective. I hope this guide helps you feel prepared for your upcoming 5-HIAA urine collection and results discussion with your physician. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Some more Questions

What foods can I eat the day before the test?

The day before the test, aim to eat a balanced diet without focusing too much on serotonin precursor foods. Good choices include lean proteins like chicken and fish, whole grains, veggies, fruits besides bananas and citrus. Stay hydrated by drinking plain water.

How long do medication restrictions last?

the medicine you are taking they should be Restricted at least 1–2 today’s and you should also consult your doctor regarding the intake of medicine and should tell him that what medicines you are taking so he may more guides you in a proper way

What should I do with the urine sample after collection?

After collecting the sample in the provided container, immediately screw the lid on tightly and refrigerate. This prevents bacteria growth and degradation of 5-HIAA levels prior to testing. Bring the chilled sample directly to the lab within 24 hours of collection.

Could test results be affected if I’m sick?

Illnesses like infections, inflammation or hormonal changes can sometimes cause inconsistencies in test results due to their effects on serotonin levels. Rescheduling the exam for when you feel better may provide more reliable findings. Consult your doctor for the best timing.

Will my doctor explain the results over the phone?

While basic results may be disclosed over the phone, your doctor will want to meet in person or via telehealth to thoroughly review outcome details, discuss implications, answer questions and outline next clinical steps. Book a follow up visit for a comprehensive results evaluation.

Some Additional Details

Lab Testing Process:

  • Once the urine sample reaches the lab, technicians will perform analyses using a technique called high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). This separates and identifies different chemicals in the sample.
  • HPLC is used to specifically quantify the levels of 5-HIAA compared to other substances in the urine. It can detect amounts as low as 1 mg/L.
  • In addition to 5-HIAA levels, the lab may also do Urine creatinine levels.: this test is also carried out in the laboratory along with 5-HIAA for comparison

Dietary Sources of Tryptophan:

  • While limiting high sources before the test, tryptophan is an essential amino acid found in many foods like poultry, fish, nuts, seeds, eggs, oats, beans and spinach. It’s important for general health, so don’t need to eliminate these foods entirely from the diet long term.

Causes of Elevated Levels:

  • In addition to carcinoid tumors, levels may be higher due to other rare neuroendocrine cancers, metastasis from other primary tumors, or multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) syndrome. Certain medications like serotonergic drugs can also potentially alter results.

Follow Up Testing:

  • If initial 5-HIAA urine levels are abnormal, additional testing may include CT/MRI scans, endoscopy, plasma chromogranin A levels, and flexible endoscopy to locate the source of excess 5-HT production. A tissue biopsy may ultimately be needed for diagnosis.


  • Serial 5-HIAA urine tests may be used to monitor treatment response or disease progression over time for patients diagnosed with carcinoid syndrome or neuroendocrine tumors.

Some more information

What conditions can cause elevated 5-HIAA levels?

In addition to carcinoid tumors and neuroendocrine cancers, higher than normal 5-HIAA levels may indicate:

  • Pheochromocytoma – this is a very rare kind of tumor of adrenal glands and it secretes epinephrine and norepinephrine.
  • Mast cell disease – Conditions where the mast cells in the body release too many chemical mediators, sometimes including serotonin.
  • Medication side effects – Certain antidepressants, ulcer medications, and narcotic pain relievers on rare occasions cause serotonin release that elevates 5-HIAA.
  • Genetic disorders – Rare inherited conditions likefamilial medullary thyroid carcinoma (FMTC) predispose people to neuroendocrine tumors.

So while carcinoid syndrome is the most common cause, other underlyingpathologies should be considered and ruled out as needed.

What tissues can carcinoid tumors develop in?

Carcinoid tumors originating from neuroendocrine cells most frequently occur in:

  • Gastrointestinal tract – Stomach, small intestine, appendix, colon, rectum.
  • Lungs – Bronchial epithelial carcinoid tumors in the lungs are a common type.

Other less frequent primary sites include ovaries, testes, lymph nodes, breast, thymus and heart. Understanding potential locations aids diagnosis and treatment planning.

What symptoms may point to carcinoid syndrome?

Typical signs beyond just elevated 5-HIAA levels include:

  • Flushing of the face and neck
  • Diarrhea
  • Wheezing or respiratory difficulty
  • Valvular heart disease
  • Telangiectasias (spider-like blood vessels) on the chest, arms or stomach
  • Pellagra-like rash
  • Carcinoid crisis – a sudden drop in blood pressure

Recognizing these patterns assists early detection of neuroendocrine tumors. Let me know if any part needs more detail!

Originally posted 2023-11-28 21:37:43.

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