Urinalysis – Urine Test
A urinalysis is a simple and painless test that examines your urine. A urinalysis is used to look at small samples of your urine to detect and manage a large amount of disorders. You may need to have a urinalysis if you have suspected kidney problems, infections or pain when urinating. A urinalysis is able to check, diagnose and monitor conditions such as early stages of diabetes, liver disease and kidney disease.
There are three parts to a urine test:
- Visual exam – A urinalysis will cover the appearance of your urine, whether it be cloudy, clear, blood tinged or even foamy, the difference in appearance may be a sign of a problem.
- Microscopic exam – a microscopic exam means that a small amount of urine will be placed under a microscope to check for any discrepancies in your urine that can’t be seen by the naked eye, such as red and white blood cells, bacteria and crystals.
- Dipstick test – A dipstick test is a a thin plastic strip with chemicals on it that once dipped into urine will change colour. A dipstick can check for:
What are we looking for?
- Acidity (pH). The pH level indicates the amount of acid in urine. Abnormal pH levels may be a sign of kidney stones or infections.
- Protein. Protein flows through our blood and not urine so if protein is found in the urine it can mean that there may be a problem with your kidneys.
- Sugar. If sugar is found in your urine, this may be a sign of diabetes.
- Bilirubin. Bilirubin in your urine may be a sign of liver disease as it is a made from red blood cell breakdown which is usually removed from the liver.
- White blood cells. If either nitrites or leukocyte esterase — a product of white blood cells — is detected in your urine, it may be a sign of a urinary tract infection.
- Blood. Signs of blood in your urine can be a red flag for a number of conditions such as damage, infection, cancer, kidney stones and more.
When taking a urine test it is very simple and quick. You can do it at home or in a bathroom in your doctors’ clinic. You simply urinate into a small collection container and hand back to your doctor or reception area. The test will be sent to a lab and you will be contacted for your results.
This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.