Friday, May 1, 2015

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Urine Testing: What Is It And What Does It Show?

A test or series of tests conducted on your pee is known as urine testing. This process is used in the detection and management of several illnesses such as kidney diseases, diabetes, and urinary tract infections. However, there are other popular urine tests like pregnancy, drug test, proteins and specific chemicals in the body that are not part of a usual urinalysis.

How Does Urine Testing Work?

Urine can be analyzed in different ways and sometimes all these methods are used. The first method is a visual examination, and it checks the clarity and color of the urine. When urine has blood in it, it appears dark brown or red. Also, the foam may be a warning sign of kidney disease. A cloudy urine, on the other hand, may be caused by an infection.

urine test

Lab staff can use a microscope to check for substances that cannot be seen by the naked eye. Some of the items that are seen by a microscope and should not be in your pee include:

  • White blood cells
  • Red blood cells
  • Crystals
  • Bacteria

A dipstick test is another part of urinalysis, and it uses a small plastic strip that is chemically treated. When the stick is dipped into the pee, chemicals react, and this changes the color of the strip, in case the abnormal levels of the substances are present.

The dipstick test can test for the following:

  • pH or acidity: the abnormal level of the acid in urine may indicate a urinary tract infection or kidney stones.
  • Glucose: high sugar level indicates diabetes.
  • Protein: when protein is spotted in your urine, it could mean that your kidneys aren’t functioning correctly.
  • Bilirubin: when this waste product is detected, it means the liver function is impaired.
  • White blood cells in the urine are the signs of infection.
  • Blood in pee may be linked to a few serious illnesses or infections.

How Urine Test Is Conducted

You will either need to pee in a cup at home and take it to the laboratory or produce the sample at the lab. The sample cup is usually provided by the laboratory or healthcare provider.

The “clean-catch” method has been proven to produce the best results. The steps are as follows:

  • Wash the urinary opening surroundings.
  • Start to pee in the water closet or urinal.
  • Stop peeing midstream.
  • Allow one or two ounces to enter the flask.
  • Finish urinating in the water closet.
  • Hand over the sample following the instructions of your healthcare provider.

What Does It Reveal?

Urine test can show some warning signs, but is not a conclusive diagnosis on what is wrong with you. However, it may indicate the need for other tests and follow-up to determine the problem.

What Else?

Lots of factors can interfere with the results of urine test. Be sure to follow the instructions of your healthcare provider so you can produce a “clean catch” sample. Also, do not conceal your medical history from your healthcare practitioner, as it could affect the result. This should include informing about all the prescribed and over-the-counter drugs as well as supplements you’re taking.


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