Urine tests are a standard diagnostic tool and an excellent way to check your health. They are always a part and parcel of health checkup packages. All pregnant women get urine tests during their visits to the doctor coupled with blood tests like thyroid test or TSH test, CBC test, Lipid profile test, FBS test, uric acid test etc.
Urine is analyzed for its levels of glucose, proteins, blood, uric acid levels, abnormal tissue cells etc as it gives a clear indication of infections in the body. Some of the conditions where urine tests coupled with blood tests provide for a definite diagnosis are pregnancy, jaundice, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney, bladder and urinary tract infections, typhoid, prostate problems in middle-aged men and many more. We shall discuss a few urine tests and what they mean.
You will be asked to urinate into a sterile cup. This sample is used for testing in the laboratory. If menstruating, inform the doctor and take a home-sample of urine with you.
Urine tests are diagnostic tools. The results are only indicative of conditions that could exist.
Dip stick test.
A urine test on your first prenatal visit to the doctor will confirm pregnancy. It also is a good indicator of your health, what conditions are unfavorable to the pregnancy, whether there are any contraindications to pregnancy and so on. Ask the doctor to interpret your urine analysis for you. Any unusual traces in the urine can be an indicator of an underlying problem and will be immediately treated.
Normally a blood test is also done in tandem to get information crucial to your pregnancy such as Rh-Typing, TBC tests, hemoglobin levels etc.
This simple test indicates
- Changes in pH showing acid levels as happens when you have kidney stones, are pregnant, have a urinary tract infection, jaundice, typhoid etc.
- Changes in protein levels would mean impaired kidney functions.
- Changes in the FBS test glucose content is a definite marker of diabetes.
- Changes in Bilirubin levels indicate liver malfunction as in jaundice and hepatitis.
- Changes in blood-levels in the urine can indicate serious underlying conditions.
Microscopic Urine Test and Analysis
The sample is analyzed for a variety of infections and bacteria, red and white blood cells, epithelial cells, crystals etc under a microscope. This is done to further confirm a diagnosis indicated in the dip-stick method.
This test is used to detect the levels of Uric Acid in the blood. Uric acid is contained and passed out in the urine and hence changes in levels can be easily monitored. When levels of this acid in the urine vary beyond limits a blood test for uric acid levels in the blood is conducted to confirm a diagnosis.
Gout and Cancer patients have high uric acid levels, while persons suffering from kidney disorders like renal stones, renal failure, liver disorders, alcoholism etc. can have very low uric acid levels. Fasting for 4-8 hours before the test is needed.
If taking only a urine test fasting is not required. When combined with blood tests it may require 4-8 hours of fasting. Food-dyes, beetroots, B-complex tablets etc can color urine. Discuss what medications you take, your family history, your symptoms and doubts etc with the doctor to help him make a diagnosis and decide your course of treatment.
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