Urinalysis (Urine Routine Test)
You may have a urinalysis as part of a routine check of your overall health, like during your yearly physical. Urinalysis is one way to find certain illnesses in their earlier stages. They include:
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
Your doctor may want to test your urine if you’re getting ready to have surgery or are about to be admitted to the hospital. Urinalysis can be part of a pregnancy checkup, too.
If you have symptoms of a kidney or urinary tract problem, you may have the tests to help find out what the problem is.
You might also have this test regularly if you have a condition such as a kidney disease that needs to be watched over time.
There are three ways to analyze urine, and your test might use all of them.
One is a visual exam, which checks the color and clarity. If your pee has blood in it, it might be red or dark brown. Foam can be a sign of kidney disease, while cloudy urine may mean you have an infection.
A microscopic exam checks for things too small to be seen otherwise. Some of the things that shouldn’t be in your urine that a microscope can find include:
- Red blood cells
- White blood cells
- Crystals (clumps of minerals, a possible sign of kidney stones)
The third part of urinalysis is the dipstick test, which uses a thin plastic strip treated with chemicals. It’s dipped into your urine, and the chemicals on the stick react and change color if levels are above normal. Things the dipstick test can check for include:
- Acidity, or If the acid is abnormal, you could have kidney stones, a urinary tract infection (UTI), or another condition.
- This can be a sign your kidneys aren’t working right. Kidneys filter waste products out of your blood.
- A high sugar content is a marker for diabetes.
- White blood These are a sign of infection or inflammation, either in the kidneys or anywhere else along your urinary tract.
- This means that there is an infection with certain kinds of bacteria.
- If this waste product, which is normally eliminated by your liver, shows up, it may mean your liver isn’t working properly.
- Blood in your Sometimes this is a sign of infections or certain illnesses.
Frequently Asked Questions
The normal values range from pH 4.6 to 8.0. The examples above are common measurements for results of these tests. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples
Dipstick urine analysis is a quick and inexpensive test however sensitivity (and therefore negative predictive value) were found to be as low as 75%.
The results of urine tests can be affected by diet, dehydration, medicines, exercise, and other factors. Sometimes, you will be asked to come back and give another sample. Many people are familiar with pregnancy tests that use urine to detect a substance that only pregnant women produce.
A urinalysis is a simple test that looks at a small sample of your urine. It can help find problems that need treatment, including infections or kidney problems. It can also help find serious diseases in the early stages, like kidney disease, diabetes, or liver disease.
Before the test, don’t eat foods that can change the colour of your urine. Examples of these include blackberries, beets, and rhubarb. Don’t do heavy exercise before the test. Tell your doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products you take.
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