There are many ways to test the wellbeing of your bodily functions. While many a time, a detailed blood work reveals quite a few results your doctor may often recommend going for urine analysis, for diagnosing and monitoring several medical conditions.

So, it is extremely significant to get your urine analyzed every now and then and it is known as Urinalysis.
Urinalysis

What Is Urinalysis?

Urinalysis, also known as urine test, urine analysis, or UA is a series of test conducted using the urine to detect and manage a wide range of disorders, such as urinary tract infections, kidney disease and diabetes. There are several illnesses and disorders that affect how the body removes waste and toxins. This test chiefly involves checking the appearance, concentration and chemical composition of the urine.

Also Read: Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

What Is The Use Of Urinalysis?

A urinalysis is a common test conducted by a doctor or a lab technician for several reasons:

Check Overall Health: The doctor may recommend a urinalysis as part of a regular medical or physical exam, pre-surgery preparation, preemptive screening during a pregnancy checkup, or on hospital admission to screen for a variety of disorders, such as diabetes, kidney disease and liver disease.

Diagnose a Medical Condition: The doctor may recommend a urine examination if you're experiencing back pain, abdominal pain, frequent or painful urination, inflammation or swelling in the genitals, blood in the urine, or other urinary problems. A urinalysis may help diagnose the actual cause of these symptoms.

Monitor A Medical Condition: If you are already suffering from a medical condition, such as kidney disease or a urinary tract disease or infection, your doctor may conduct or suggest for a urinalysis on a routine basis to monitor the condition to suggest appropriate treatment.

Confirm Pregnancy: The doctor may recommend urinalysis if you are showing up pregnancy symptoms and want to confirm it. Although the test during pregnancy screening is different than the regular urinalysis since it measures a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), still it is considered a part of urinalysis.

Also Read: Pregnancy Test: What Is It And What To Expect?

Screen Presence of Drugs: Urinalysis may also be suggested by doctors as a part of routine checkup for certain employment programmes to look for the presence of drugs or other metabolic products in the urine.

What Are The Methods Of Urinalysis And What The Results Interpret?

Urinalysis is chiefly conducted by following one or more of the methods:

Microscopic Exam

In the microscopic exam, the doctor chiefly examines a few drops of the urine under a microscope to look for the following specifications:

  • Abnormalities in the red or white blood cells; which may be signs of infections, blood disorder, kidney disease, or even urinary bladder cancer
  • Crystals; that may indicate presence of kidney stones
  • Bacteria or yeasts; that may show presence of infection
  • Epithelial cells; which can indicate a tumor
  • Casts; tube-shaped proteins that may suggest kidney disorders

Dipstick Test

For this test, the doctor or technician mainly inserts or dips a chemically treated plastic stick into the urine sample. If the stick changes color based on the presence of certain substances, it can help your doctor to examine the following:

  • Bilirubin; high levels indicate liver damage
  • Proteins; larger amounts may indicate a kidney problem
  • Blood; it may be a sign of kidney damage, blood disorders, infection, kidney or bladder stones, kidney or urinary bladder cancer
  • Concentration or specific gravity, high concentration indicates inadequate intake of fluids
  • Changes in pH levels or acidity; abnormal pH levels may indicate a kidney or urinary tract disorder
  • Sugars; aggravated levels of sugar may indicate diabetes
  • Ketones; any amount of ketones detected in your urine could be a sign of diabetes
  • Nitrites or leukocyte esterase; it may indicate an evidence of infection

Visual Exam

The doctor can also visually examine the urine sample for abnormalities, such as:

  • Clouded appearance or abnormal odors; can indicate an infection
  • Reddish or brownish appearance; can indicate blood in your urine

How To Prepare For Urinalysis?

There is no special preparation required for a urine examination. One just needs to ensure that they drink plenty of water or other fluids so that they can give an adequate urine sample. But make sure to disclose to the doctor if you are taking any medications or supplements before undergoing the test.

How Is Urinalysis Conducted?

The doctor may ask the patient to collect the urine sample at home or at the diagnostic centre depending upon the medical condition. It usually involves the following steps:

  • Cleanse the urinary opening with a premoistened cleaning wipe
  • Begin to urinate into the toilet
  • Pass the collection container into your urine stream
  • Urinate a small amount into the collection container.
  • Finish urinating into the toilet.
  • Avoid touching the inside of the cup to ensure that you don’t transfer any bacteria from your hands to the sample
  • Close the lid and deliver the sample as directed by your doctor.

Conclusion

If the results are abnormal, the doctor may suggest follow-up testing to confirm and evaluate the specific condition. The additional tests may include urine culture, complete blood count, comprehensive metabolic panel, imaging tests such as CT scans or MRIs, and/or liver or renal panel.