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Indican Urine Test

The Indican Urine test measures the indican levels in urine samples to help screen for potential digestive disorders.

Test Code: 669

CPT Code: 81005

Also Known As: Obermeyer Test; Indican Assay


Colorimetric (C)

Specimen Type: Urine


No fasting is required. Patient should stop consumption of alcohol 24 hours and iodine or bile supplements 72 hours prior to collection.

Test Results:

3-15 days. May take longer based on weather, holiday, or lab delays.


What is indican?

Indican is an indole (byproduct) made by bacteria in the intestines when they break down a specific amino acid called tryptophan. Most indican is expelled during bowel movements; however, some is absorbed into the liver and then released in urine. Typically, only trace amounts of indican are found in urine samples. However, high indican levels may be found in the urine of individuals with digestive or gastrointestinal disorders. High indican levels may also result from excessive protein intake in the diet.


What is the purpose of this test?

Order this test to measure the indican levels in urine samples to help screen for potential digestive disorders. Although an Indican Urine test cannot determine the specific digestive or gastrointestinal disorder, the results can still be used to point toward possible causes and treatments. 


What causes abnormal indican levels?

Potential causes of abnormal indican levels include:


  • Auto-immune disease
  • Bloating
  • Cancer
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Diarrhea
  • Dysbiosis
  • Excessive intake of protein in the diet
  • Gas
  • Insufficient production of digestive enzymes
  • Intestinal infections
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Leaky gut
  • Liver Disease 
  • Low stomach acid
  • Malabsorption of protein
  • Overgrowth of bacteria in the intestines


When should I order an Indican Urine Test?

Individuals may order this test if they frequently experience digestive symptoms and want to investigate their digestive health further. Common symptoms related to abnormal indican levels may include:


  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Weight gain 
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • Headaches
  • Skin conditions
  • Nervous system problems
  • Colon toxicity

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