A urinalysis is a test of your urine. A urinalysis is used to detect and manage a wide range of disorders, such as urinary tract infections, kidney disease and diabetes. A urinalysis involves checking the appearance, concentration and content of urine. Abnormal urinalysis results may point to a disease or illness. For example, a urinary tract infection can make urine look cloudy instead of clear. Increased levels of protein in urine can be a sign of kidney disease. Unusual urinalysis results often require more testing to uncover the source of the problem.
Why is it done?
For a urinalysis, your urine sample is evaluated in three ways: visual exam, dipstick test and microscopic exam.
A lab technician examines the urine’s appearance. Urine is typically clear. Cloudiness or an unusual odor may indicate a problem, such as an infection. Blood in the urine may make it look red or brown. Urine color can be influenced by what you’ve just eaten. For example, beets or rhubarb may add a red tint to your urine.
A dipstick — a thin, plastic stick with strips of chemicals on it — is placed in the urine to detect abnormalities. The chemical strips change color if certain substances are present or if their levels are above normal. A dipstick test checks for:
During this exam, several drops of urine are viewed with a microscope. If any of the following are observed in above-average levels, additional testing may be necessary:
A urinalysis alone usually doesn’t provide a definite diagnosis. Depending on the reason your doctor recommended this test, abnormal results may or may not require follow-up.
Your doctor may evaluate the urinalysis results along with those of other tests — or order additional tests — to determine next steps.
For example, if you are otherwise healthy and have no signs or symptoms of illness, results slightly above normal on a urinalysis may not be a cause for concern and follow-up may not be needed. However, if you’ve been diagnosed with a kidney or urinary tract disease, elevated levels may indicate a need to change your treatment plan.
For specifics about what your urinalysis results mean, talk with your doctor.
If you are in need of a urinalysis, call The Urgent Care.