A urinalysis, also referred to as a urine test, analyzes the physical, chemical, and microscopic components of your urine (pee). It may consist of a variety of tests that use a single urine sample to identify and quantify different compounds that pass through your urine.
Urinalysis is frequently used as patient health screenings to diagnose urinary tract infections as well as to screen for or monitor a number of common health conditions, including diabetes, liver disease, and
kidney disease (UTIs).
While a urine sample can be used to test a variety of aspects of your health, your doctor will decide which tests to request as part of a urinalysis based on your symptoms and the circumstances.
Which examinations are part of a urinalysis?
A urinalysis may involve a number of different tests, according to your healthcare provider. Your doctor will decide which urine tests to order under a urinalysis based on your symptoms, pre-existing medical conditions, and/or your current circumstances.
A medical professional or laboratory technician can generally check a
urine sample from a urinalysis for the following general things:
- both appearance and color.
- Chemical results.
- microscopic discoveries
- Color and appearance of urine
In the majority of urinalysis tests, a medical professional looks at the urine sample with their “naked eye.” They look to see if it is clear or cloudy, and whether it is light, dark, or another color.
Normal urine is typically some shade of yellow, but depending on how concentrated or diluted (watery) your urine is, it can range from colorless to pale yellow to deep amber.
Numerous factors, such as specific medications and dietary supplements as well as specific foods you consume, such as beets, can influence the color of your urine. However, a disease may also be indicated by an unusual urine color. For instance, reddish urine can occur when blood is present in the urine and is a sign of disease or
injury to a urinary system component.
Urine that is cloudy is not always a sign of poor urine quality. For instance, skin cells and sperm are both safe but may cause your urine to appear cloudy.
White blood cells, bacteria, and other substances that can cause your urine to appear cloudy can all be signs of various medical conditions, including:
- infection of the urinary tract (UTI).
- sexually transmissible diseases (STIs).
- Kidney stones
- chemical findings in urine
Healthcare professionals or lab technicians frequently use specialized test strips called dipsticks to check for specific chemical substances in the urine sample in order to examine the chemical aspects of the urine sample. When certain substances come into contact with the
chemical pads on the strips, they change color.
The amount of substance present can be inferred from the degree of color change on the dipstick.
For instance, a small amount of protein may be present in the urine sample, as indicated by a slight color change in the protein test pad, whereas a large amount may be indicated by a deep color change.
The following are examples of typical tests that practitioners might incorporate into a urinalysis using a dipstick:
Protein urine test: A protein urine test checks your urine for the presence of proteins like albumin. Higher-than-average urine protein levels can be a sign of many different medical problems, including dehydration, kidney disease, and heart failure.
Test for urine’s pH: A urine pH test determines the urine’s acid-base (pH) level. A urinary tract infection and kidney problems are two conditions that can both be indicated by a high urine pH. (UTI).
Diarrhea and diabetes-related ketoacidosis are two conditions that can both be indicated by a low urine pH.
When your body must break down fats and fatty acids to use as fuel for energy, ketones build up in your urine. If your body does not receive enough sugar or carbohydrates as fuel, this is most likely to occur. Ketone urine tests are most frequently used by medical professionals to look for diabetic ketoacidosis.
A glucose urine test counts the grams of sugar (glucose) present in your urine. Considering that glucose shouldn’t normally be present in urine, its presence could be a sign of diabetes or gestational diabetes.
Bilirubin urine test: Your liver produces bile, a fluid that contains the yellowish pigment bilirubin. Bilirubin in the urine may be a sign of problems with the liver or bile ducts.
Nitrite urine test: A positive nitrite test result could mean you have an infection in your urinary tract (UTI). Although a nitrite test came back negative, you can still have a UTI because some bacteria can’t turn nitrate, a substance that is typically found in your urine, into nitrite.
Leukocyte esterase urine test: The majority of white blood cells contain the enzyme leukocyte esterase. If this test results in a positive result, your kidneys or urinary tract may be inflamed. White blood cells in urine are typically caused by bacterial urinary tract infections.
Tests for the specific gravity of your urine’s constituent chemicals can be used to determine their concentration. Results that are abnormal could point to a number of different medical issues.
Why do I require a urine test?
Since a urine sample can reveal a wealth of information about your health, healthcare providers order urinalysis tests for a variety of conditions. For one or more of the following reasons, your doctor
Might request that you have a urinalysis:as a component of your annual physical to check for potential early warning signs of certain illnesses.
- If you exhibit any symptoms or signs of a medical condition, such as diabetes or kidney disease.
- to keep an eye on certain medical conditions that you are being treated for, like diabetes or kidney disease.
- to determine whether a urinary tract infection (UTI).
- if a hospital has accepted you as a patient.
- as a checkup prior to surgery.
How often do urinalysis tests occur?
Urine tests are frequently performed. They’re an easy and painless way to examine various facets of your health.
What distinguishes a urine culture from a urinalysis?
In order to diagnose infections other than urinary tract infections, a urine culture entails growing bacteria from a urine sample in a lab. Routine urinalysis tests do not include urine cultures. A urine culture sample must also be collected, like a urine analysis, using the clean catch technique or by inserting a catheter through the urethra into the bladder.
Your healthcare provider might request a urine culture to be performed in a laboratory using the urine sample you provided for the initial urinalysis if the results of your urinalysis suggest a UTI is likely. The type of bacterium that caused the UTI can be identified by a urine culture.
A urine analysis may involve a number of various examinations, measurements, and evaluations of various aspects of your urine.
What do the results of my urine test mean?
There may only be a few or several measurements on your test results, depending on which tests your healthcare provider ordered for your urinalysis. The following details are typically included in laboratory reports, including those for urinalysis tests:
the name of the urine test or the results of the urine analysis.
your urine test result, expressed as a number, measurement, or evaluation.
the typical outcome, measurement range, or evaluation for that examination.
Information indicating whether your outcome is normal or abnormal.
How clear your urine sample was is referred to as urine clarity. The majority of laboratories classify urine clarity as one of the following:
- a little bit cloudy
Turbid (opaque, or thick with suspended substances) (opaque, or thick with suspended substances).
The results of a chemical urine test, such as one for glucose or nitrite, could be either positive or negative and/or show how much of the substance was present.
If your urine was examined under a microscope to look for bacteria or red blood cells (RBC), the laboratory would probably classify the quantity of the substance as one of the following:
A useful and frequent test that can shed light on several areas of your health is a urinalysis. Be aware that just because one of your urinalysis results was abnormal doesn’t mean you necessarily have a medical issue. Your results may be impacted by numerous factors. If additional testing is required to identify the cause of the abnormal level, your healthcare provider will let you know. Ask your provider as many questions as you need to. They are in your favor.