Urinalysis plays a vital role in the diagnosis of various urologic conditions like calculi (kidney stones), various urinary tract infections, and even diabetes. It is also used to confirm the presence of any systemic disease affecting the kidneys.
What is urinalysis?
Urinalysis is the examination of urine which is used to check for the presence of a wide range of disorders related to the kidneys and bladder. Three main characteristics of urine are checked. These are concentration, color, and odor. Medication, certain types of food, and infections can change the appearance of urine. Cloudy urine may indicate the presence of infection, kidney stones, or even dehydration.
Diabetic ketoacidosis can cause urine to have a fruity or sweet smell. People with urinary tract infections often have urine with a strong pungent odor. Some other causes or abnormal odor are related to food or the use of some medications.
Dipstick urinalysis is the quickest and easiest way to check urine. A thin plastic stick with strips of chemicals on it is dipped into the urine, and if any substance is present in abnormal quantity the strip will change its color. Dipstick urinalysis is used to check the following substances:
- Protein: These are important building blocks of the body and should normally stay inside your blood. In abnormal cases protein leaks into the urine, indicating kidney issues. Healthy kidneys efficiently remove waste products from the body but when they are damaged, they are unable to remove unnecessary substances from the body which then leaks into urine suggesting that the kidney’s filtering units are damaged by kidney disease.
- Sugar: the presence of glucose above normal ranges can indicate diabetes.
- The presence of white blood cells in urine above a certain level could be the sign of an infection.
- Bilirubin: This is a byproduct of old red blood. If it is present in the urine, then it could indicate liver disease.
- Acidity: acidic urine can be an indication of kidney stones, urinary tract infections, or other kidney-related issues.
Microscopic urinalysis is the examination of urine under a microscope to look for the presence of abnormal substances which are not visible via the naked eye. This could include white blood or red blood cells, bacteria, or the presence of crystals that eventually form kidney stones.
Before undergoing urinalysis, a patient advised to drink ample water. In some cases, healthcare professionals may want the urine sample to be the first time you pee in the morning.
Certain medications change the color of the urine like antimalarial drugs or laxatives or methocarbamol, so your medical provider may ask you to stop taking these medications before conducting urinalysis.
In case of urgent medical care assistance, AfterOurs Urgent Care offers immediate telemedicine services, where medical providers are available to offer assistance. Anyone who experiences signs and symptoms requiring urgent medical attention can simply book their appointment with AfterOurs Urgent Care to directly talk to an expert. If your medical issue is not appropriate for telemedicine, we will let you know and refer you to an in-person facility.
When to visit a doctor:
If you are having difficulty or pain with urination, it is a good idea to see a medical provider.
For more information regarding Urinalysis, see the following website: