The physical, chemical and microscopic examination of the urine is called urinalysis. Number of various tests can be performed to measure and detect the various compounds and abnormalities in the urine, which can signify other diseases or ailments in the body.
Types of Urinalysis
There are many tests that can be performed; here are some of the common tests run on the urine to find out the problems.
- Colour – The colour of the urine is the basis of this test, where the water content is of the prime concern along with the effects that some medicines that can cause.
- Clarity – Generally normal urine is clear but the presence of mucus, blood, bacteria, crystals, sperm can make it cloudy.
- Odor – Urine has a light smell, but some diseases or infection can cause it to have strong odour.
- Specific Gravity – Kidney passes water with other substances in urine, this test analysis the water content in the urine and the other materials that kidney passes in the urine. The higher the specific gravity, it means the water content is low.
- pH – pH test is used for measuring the nature of the urine, whether acidic or alkaline. A 7 in pH test means its neutral and a 4 is strongly acidic in nature whereas 9 is very much alkaline. A doctor can advise on how to maintain a balance to prevent kidney stone formation.
- Protein – Kidney diseases, pregnancy, auto-immune conditions and other aliments can cause protein to be present in urine which is normally not there.
- Glucose – Kidney ailments, damages or even diabetic patients are likely to have the presence of glucose in urine, which is normally not present in urine and can be found in blood.
- Nitrites – Urinary tract infections (UTI) are caused due to bacteria and that transforms the urinary nitrates to nitrites.
- Leukocyte esterase (WBC esterase) – This test shows the presence of leukocyte (white blood cells) in the urine and it generally means the presence of UTI.
- Ketones – Ketone is the substance that is formed when the body breaks down the energy and it is then passed in the urine, but the presence of large amount of ketones means the person is suffering from some serious ailments of conditions.
- Microscopic analysis – In this test the urine is taken in a test tube and put in the certrifuge (a special machine) where the tube is spun so that the solid materials would settle down at the bottom. The solid materials are then taken and put on a slide for further testing.
Here is a list of different tests performed under microscopic analysis.
1. Red or white blood cells,
4. Bacteria, parasites, yeast cells, and
5. Squamous cells.
Many diseases or ailments can be detected from urinalysis. Generally these are the primary reasons for which it is done.
- Regular medical evaluation – A yearly or a regular check up for an assessment of the health or before surgery is done where the condition of the kidney and other diseases are checked with the urinalysis.
- For Particular symptoms – A doctor can ask an individual to undergo urinalysis so that a particular condition or problem can be detected from the symptoms.
- Diagnosing a medical ailment – Some chronic medical ailments or conditions can be detected from this test.
- Monitoring the progression of a therapy – At times a doctor advises urinalysis within a short or a particular time span to check the progression or the responses the patient has to the therapy to the ailments.
How to prepare
This test need the attention and the awareness in the technical aspect of the patient as the urine sample is to be collected by the individual. So listen to the advice the lab authorities give regarding collection of the sample.