Several Reasons why your doctor could recommend urinalysis

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Urinalysis is testing of the urine. A urine sample is usually collected using the clean-catch method or another sterile method.  Urinalysis can be used to detect and measure the level of various substances in the urine, including protein, glucose (sugar), ketones, blood, and other substances. A urinalysis is a simple and cheap test that can help to detect problems in many parts of the body, including the kidneys, urinary tract, heart, and liver. A urinalysis can include a visual examination of a urine sample, microscopic examination, and a dipstick test.


Uses of Urinalysis

It uses are as follows: 

Protein in the urine (proteinuria) can usually be detected by dipstick when present in large amounts. Protein may appear constantly or only intermittently in the urine, depending on the cause. Proteinuria may occur normally after strenuous exercise, such as marathon running, but is usually a sign of a kidney disorder. Small amounts of protein in the urine may be an early sign of kidney damage due to diabetes. Such small amounts may not be detected by dipstick. In these cases, urine will need to be collected over a period of 12 or 24 hours and tested by a laboratory.

Glucose in the urine (glucosuria) can be accurately detected by dipstick. The most common cause of glucose in the urine is diabetes mellitus, but absence of glucose does not mean a person does not have diabetes or that the diabetes is well controlled. Also, presence of glucose does not necessarily indicate diabetes or another problem.

Ketones in the urine (ketonuria) can often be detected by dipstick. Ketones are formed when the body breaks down fat. Ketones can appear in the urine as a result of starvation or uncontrolled diabetes mellitus and occasionally after drinking significant amounts of alcohol.

Blood in the urine (hematuria) is detectable by dipstick and confirmed by viewing the urine with a microscope and other tests. Sometimes the urine contains enough blood to be visible, making the urine appear red or brown.

Nitrites in the urine (nitrituria) are also detectable by dipstick. High nitrite levels indicate a urinary tract infection.

Leukocyte esterase (an enzyme found in certain white blood cells) in the urine can be detected by dipstick. Leukocyte esterase is a sign of inflammation, which is most commonly caused by a urinary tract infection.

The acidity of urine is measured by dipstick. Certain foods, chemical imbalances, and metabolic disorders may change the acidity of urine.

The concentration of urine (also called the osmolality, roughly indicated by specific gravity) can vary widely depending on whether a person is dehydrated, how much fluid a person has drunk, and other factors. Urine concentration is also sometimes important in diagnosing abnormal kidney function. The kidneys lose their capacity to concentrate urine at an early stage of a disorder that leads to kidney failure. In one special test, a person drinks no water or other fluids for 12 to 14 hours. Urine creatinine gives an estimate of the concentration creatinine in the urine. Creatinine is a by-product of normal muscle activity, which is found in the urine and blood.

Why Urinalysis Is Done

There are several reasons your doctor may order you to undergo urinalysis.

Urinalysis is one of the laboratory investigations during pregnancy checkups, prior to surgery, or part of a routine medical examination.

The doctor may request for urinalysis if he or she suspects you of having certain conditions, such as abdominal and back pain, blood in the urine, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, painful urination, urinary tract infection, and edema.

The Risks of Urinalysis

There is no risk involve in urinalysis as you will only need a bottle to urinate into.

Preparation for Urinalysis

The best preparation for giving a urine sample is to drink enough water to provide an adequate sample.

What next after a Urinalysis?

If the outcome of the screening is abnormal screening, the doctor will request you to undergo blood tests, imaging tests (CT scans, MRI, etc.), or other diagnostic procedures to adequately determine the cause of your problems. 

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