A urine test checks different components of urine, a waste product made by the kidneys. A regular urine test may be done to help find the cause of symptoms. The test can give information about your health and problems you may have. The kidneys take out waste material, minerals, fluids, and other substances from the blood to be passed in the urine. Urine has hundreds of different body wastes.
What you eat and drink, how much you exerciseand how well your kidneys work can affect what is in your urine. A regular urinalysis often includes the following tests: Do not eat foods that can color the urine, such as blackberries, beets, and rhubarb, before the test.
Do not exercise strenuously before the test. Tell your doctor if you are menstruating or close to starting your menstrual period.
Your doctor may want to wait to do the test. Your doctor may ask you to stop taking certain medicines that color the urine.
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These include vitamin B, phenazopyridine Pyridiumrifampinand phenytoin Dilantin. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking diureticswhich may affect the test results.
Talk to your doctor any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form What is a PDF document? A routine urine test can be done in your doctor’s office, clinic, or lab.
You may also be asked to collect a urine sample at home and bring it with you to the office or lab for testing. Collecting a urine sample from a small child or baby is done by using a special plastic bag with tape around its opening. The bag is placed around the child’s genitals until he or she urinates.
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Then you carefully remove the bag. To collect a urine sample from a very sick baby, a doctor may use a urinary catheter through the urethra or a needle through the baby’s belly directly into the bladder suprapubic tap.
Return the urine sample to the lab. If you are collecting the urine at home and cannot get it to the lab in an hour, refrigerate it.
The normal values listed here-called a reference range-are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what’s normal.
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Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses.
Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab. Abnormal: Many foods and medicines can affect the color of the urine.
Urine with no color may be caused by long-term kidney disease or uncontrolled diabetes. Dark yellow urine can be caused by dehydration. Red urine can be caused by blood in the urine. Abnormal: Cloudy urine can be caused by pus white blood cellsblood red blood cellssperm, bacteria, yeast, crystals, mucus, or a parasite infection, such as trichomoniasis. Abnormal: Some foods such as asparagusvitamins, and antibiotics such as penicillin can cause urine to have a different odor.
A sweet, fruity odor may be caused by uncontrolled diabetes. A urinary tract infection UTI can cause a bad odor. Urine that smells like maple syrup can mean maple syrup urine diseasewhen the body can’t break down certain amino acids.
Abnormal: A very high specific gravity means very concentrated urine, which may be caused by not drinking enough fluid, loss of too much fluid excessive vomitingsweatingor diarrheaor substances such as sugar or protein in the urine. Very low specific gravity means dilute urine, which may be caused by drinking too much fluid, severe kidney disease, or the use of diuretics.
Abnormal: Some foods such as citrus fruit and dairy products and medicines such as antacids can affect urine pH. A high alkaline pH can be caused by severe vomiting, a kidney disease, some urinary tract infections, and asthma. A low acidic pH may be caused by severe lung disease emphysemauncontrolled diabetes, aspirin overdose, severe diarrhea, dehydrationstarvation, drinking too much alcohol, or drinking antifreeze ethylene glycol.
Abnormal: Protein in the urine may mean that kidney damage, an infection, cancer, high blood pressurediabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus SLEor glomerulonephritis is present.
Protein in the urine may also mean that heart failureleukemiapoison lead or mercury poisoningor preeclampsia if you are pregnant is present. Intravenous IV fluids can cause glucose to be in the urine. Too much glucose in the urine may be caused by uncontrolled diabetes, an adrenal gland problem, liver damage, brain injury, certain types of poisoning, and some types of kidney diseases. Healthy pregnant women can have glucose in their urine, which is normal during pregnancy.
Abnormal: Ketones in the urine can mean uncontrolled diabetes, a very low-carbohydrate diet, starvation or eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimiaalcoholismor poisoning from drinking rubbing alcohol isopropanol. This may occur when a person is sick and cannot eat or vomits for several days. Low levels of ketones are sometimes found in the urine of healthy pregnant women. Normal: Very few or no red or white blood cells or casts are seen.
No bacteria, yeast cells, parasites, or squamous cells are present. A few crystals are normally seen. Red blood cells in the urine may be caused by kidney or bladder injury, kidney stonesa urinary tract infection UTIinflammation of the kidneys glomerulonephritisa kidney or bladder tumor, or systemic lupus erythematosus SLE.
White blood cells pus in the urine may be caused by a urinary tract infection, bladder tumor, inflammation of the kidneys, systemic lupus erythematosus SLEor inflammation in the vagina or under the foreskin of the penis. Depending on the type, casts can mean inflammation or damage to the tiny tubes in the kidneys, poor blood supply to the kidneys, metal poisoning such as lead or mercuryheart failureor a bacterial infection. Large amounts of crystals, or certain types of crystals, can mean kidney stones, damaged kidneys, or problems with metabolism.
Some medicines and some types of urinary tract infections can also increase the number of crystals in urine. Bacteria in the urine mean a urinary tract infection UTI. Yeast cells or parasites such as the parasite that causes trichomoniasis can mean an infection of the urinary tract.
The presence of squamous cells may mean that the sample is not as pure as it needs to be. These cells do not mean there is a medical problem, but your doctor may ask that you give another urine sample. Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. By Healthwise Staff Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD – Family Medicine Specialist Medical Reviewer Avery L.
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Video: Flu Symptoms and Remedies. A to Z Guides. A regular urinalysis often includes the following tests:. Many things affect urine color, including fluid balance, diet, medicines, and diseases. How dark or light the color is tells you how much water is in it. Vitamin B supplements can turn urine bright yellow. Some medicines, blackberries, beets, rhubarb, or blood in the urine can turn urine red-brown. Urine is normally clear.
Bacteria, blood, spermcrystals, or mucus can make urine look cloudy. Urine does not smell very strong, but it has a slightly “nutty” odor. Some diseases cause a change in the odor of urine.
For example, an infection with E. This checks the amount of substances in the urine. It also shows how well the kidneys balance the amount of water in urine. The higher the specific gravity, the more solid material is in the urine. When you drink a lot of fluid, your kidneys make urine with a high amount of water in it, which has a low specific gravity.
When you do not drink fluids, your kidneys make urine with a small amount of water in it, which has a high specific gravity. The pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline basic the urine is.
Sometimes the pH of urine is affected by certain treatments. For example, your doctor may instruct you how to keep your urine either acidic or alkaline to prevent some types of kidney stones from forming. Protein normally isn’t found in the urine. Fever, hard exercisepregnancyand some diseases, especially kidney diseasemay cause protein to be in the urine. Glucose is the type of sugar found in blood. Normally there is very little or no glucose in urine. When the blood sugar level is very high, as in uncontrolled diabetesthe sugar spills over into the urine.
Glucose can also be found in urine when the kidneys are damaged or diseased. Bacteria that cause a urinary tract infection UTI make an enzyme that changes urinary nitrates to nitrites. Nitrites in urine show a UTI is present. Leukocyte esterase WBC esterase. Leukocyte esterase shows leukocytes white blood cells [WBCs] in the urine.
WBCs in the urine may mean a UTI is present. When fat is broken down for energy, the body makes substances called ketones or ketone bodies. These are passed in the urine. Large amounts of ketones in the urine may mean a very serious condition, diabetic ketoacidosisis present. A diet low in sugars and starches carbohydratesstarvation, or severe vomiting may also cause ketones to be in the urine.
In this test, urine is spun in a special machine centrifuge so the solid materials sediment settle at the bottom. The sediment is spread on a slide and looked at under a microscope.
Things that may be seen on the slide include: Red or white blood cells. Blood cells aren’t found in urine normally. Inflammationdisease, or injury to the kidneys, ureters, bladderor urethra can cause blood in urine. Strenuous exercise, such as running a marathon, can also cause blood in the urine. White blood cells may be a sign of infection or kidney disease. Some types of kidney disease can cause plugs of material called casts to form in tiny tubes in the kidneys.
The casts then get flushed out in the urine. Casts can be made of red or white blood cells, waxy or fatty substances, or protein. The type of cast in the urine can help show what type of kidney disease may be present. Healthy people often have only a few crystals in their urine. A large number of crystals, or certain types of crystals, may mean kidney stones are present or there is a problem with how the body is using food metabolism.
Bacteria, yeast cells, or parasites. There are no bacteria, yeast cells, or parasites in urine normally. If these are present, it can mean you have an infection. Why It Is Done.
A urine test may be done:. To check for a disease or infection of the urinary tract. Symptoms of a urine infection may include colored or bad-smelling urine, pain when urinating, finding it hard to urinate, flank pain, blood in the urine hematuriaor fever. To check the treatment of conditions such as diabeteskidney stonesa urinary tract infection UTIhigh blood pressure hypertensionor some kidney or liver diseases.
As part of a regular physical examination. Do not eat foods that can color the urine, such as blackberries, beets, and rhubarb, before the test. How It Is Done. Clean-catch midstream one-time urine collection. Wash your hands to make sure they are clean before collecting the urine. If the collection cup has a lid, remove it carefully and set it down with the inner surface up.
Do not touch the inside of the cup with your fingers. Clean the area around your genitals. A man should retract the foreskin, if present, and clean the head of his penis with medicated towelettes or swabs.
A woman should spread open the genital folds of skin with one hand. Then she can use her other hand to clean the area around the urethra with medicated towelettes or swabs. She should wipe the area from front to back so bacteria from the anus is not wiped across the urethra. Begin urinating into the toilet or urinal. A woman should hold apart the genital folds of skin while she urinates. Do not touch the rim of the cup to your genital area.
Do not get toilet paper, pubic hairstool fecesmenstrual bloodor anything else in the urine sample. Finish urinating into the toilet or urinal. Carefully replace and tighten the lid on the cup, and then return it to the lab. Double-voided urine sample collection. This method collects the urine your body is making right now. Urinate into the toilet or urinal. Do not collect any of this urine. Then get a urine sample. Follow the instructions above for collecting a clean-catch urine sample.
The collection period usually starts in the morning. When you first get up, urinate-but don’t save this urine. Urinate into a smaller, clean container, and then pour the urine into the large container. Avoid touching the inside of the container with your fingers. Keep the large container in the refrigerator during the collection period. Add this urine to the large container, and write down the time. Avoid getting toilet paper, pubic hairstool fecesmenstrual bloodor other foreign matter in the urine sample.
There is no discomfort in collecting a urine sample. There is no chance for problems in collecting a urine sample. Normal: Pale to dark yellow. Normal: Slightly “nutty” odor. A one-time urine collection, if normal, will be negative for glucose. What Affects the Test. Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:. If you are having your menstrual period.
Taking medicines, such as diuretics, erythromycin, trimethoprim Trimpexor high doses of vitamin C ascorbic acid taken with an antibioticsuch as tetracycline. What To Think About. Some urine tests can be done using a home test kit. Ketones Home Test for Urinary Tract Infections. Other substances that may be checked during a urine test include: Bilirubin. This is a substance formed by the breakdown of red blood cells.
It is passed from the body in stool. Bilirubin is not found in urine. If it is present, it often means that the liver is damaged or that the flow of bile from the gallbladder is blocked. To learn more, see the topic Bilirubin. This is a substance formed by the breakdown of bilirubin. It is also passed from the body in stool. Only small amounts of urobilinogen are found in urine. Urobilinogen in urine can be a sign of liver disease cirrhosishepatitis or that the flow of bile from the gallbladder is blocked.
A urine test is often done when multiple myeloma is suspected. The protein test done during a regular urine test does not check for Bence Jones protein. To lower the chance of contaminating the urine sample with bacteria, a health professional may collect a urine sample by using a urinary catheter. A catheter may be used to collect urine from a person in the hospital who is very ill or who can’t give a clean-catch sample.
Using a catheter allows a clean sample to be collected. If an abnormal result is found during a urine test, more tests may be done, such as a urine culture, X-ray of the kidneys intravenous pyelogram [IVP]or cystoscopy.
Urine Culture Intravenous Pyelogram IVP Cystoscopy. Seifert, MD – Urology. WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise. Is Stress Making Your MS Worse? What to Eat Before Your Workout. Could Supplements Ease Your Pain? Exercise Tips for Diabetes. Health Insurance: The Facts. Slideshow: Essential Tips to Manage Your Diabetes. What Is Coronary Artery Disease?
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