Urinalysis: Results & Interpretation
Simply put, a urinalysis is the analysis of one’s urine. A urinalysis test is an extremely common procedure done during routine physicals and even diagnostic testing. Chances are, you’ve had your urine analyzed many times. But do you know what the results mean? This diagnostic and screening test is extremely beneficial to your health and you should know exactly what your urine is telling you. Keep reading for more on urinalysis results and interpretation.
Macroscopic vs. Microscopic Urinalysis
There are two types of urinalysis: macroscopic and microscopic. Macroscopic urinalysis does not require a microscope and is done through simple examination of the urine. By looking at the appearance of urine, a doctor can determine if a patient is dehydrated, has an infection, liver disease, rhabdomyolysis, kidney stones, proteinuria, and much more. Microscopic tests are done under a microscope and are used for evaluating white and red blood cells, the presence of bacteria, and the amount of cellular debris and crystals in the urine.
During a routine urinalysis, a dipstick test is usually performed. This tests for glucose, ketones, blood, leukocyte esterase, nitrites, bilirubin, and urobilinogen. Once the dipstick is placed in the urine and then removed, it takes a few seconds for the colored squares to display any abnormalities. If the color remains the same, there are no issues in the urine. However, if the colors change, each issue is represented by a specific color.
This dipstick test is fast and convenient. It’s extremely useful to urgent care clinics, emergency rooms, and a physician’s office. There is a limited time frame between placing the dipstick in the urine and removing it. There is only a few seconds period where the information is completely accurate. Therefore, the dipstick test is used as a screening tool so if anything suspicious displays, further testing will be needed.
What to Expect
It’s very likely that you have previously had urine analyzed, but just in case you haven’t, this is what you should expect:
- Wipe the urethra with a cleansing wipe
- Begin urinating into the toilet for about 3 seconds.
- After the initial stream has passed, collect the rest of the urine in the sample cup
The Results of Urinalysis
First and foremost, the color of the urine is examined. Most healthy urine is a shade of yellow. Abnormal colors can be red, yellow-brown, or greenish-brown. These abnormal colors can be indications of diseases, medications, kidney stones, and bilirubin. Next, the physician will analyze the clarity of the urine, which is easy for you to do as well. Normal urine can appear clear or cloudy, however, severely cloudy urine can indicate that red or white blood cells are present or a bacterial infection.
Specific gravity allows the practitioner to see how concentrated one’s urine is. These measurements are in comparison to the amount of substances in the urine compared to water. Perfect gravity would be 1.000 and is not possible. A doctor would want to know the specific gravity of a patient’s urine when testing for a specific protein or substance. A concentrated urine measures to about 1.035.
There are no “bad” pH levels. While there are more common ones, there are no abnormal measurements. Urine ranges from a pH of about 4.5 to 8. Depending on the person, basic or acidic urine can cause crystals to form, which can result in kidney stones.
A healthy patient will not have any bilirubin in their urine. Bilirubin is present in individuals with liver problems. This indicates that the liver is producing waste due to broken down red blood cells. The presence of bilirubin in urine is a sign of liver disease and can be present before any other symptoms begin.
Blood, or red blood cells, in the urine is not normal. If you or your doctor spots blood in your urine, more in depth tests will follow. An increased number of white blood cells indicates infection or inflammation in the urinary tract. In conjunction with bacteria, this usually means the patient has a urinary tract infection.
Urinalysis is a simple test that greatly benefits patients. It’s fast, convenient, and tells a lot about a person. Now that you know what each aspect of your urinalysis means, you will know exactly what we’re talking about when we hand you your results. Contact GMP Medical today for a routine physical, IV therapy, an EKG, and much more. 1-305-823-2433
September 10, 2018 8:00 am
Categories: Lab Work