what does a urine test show
Tests & Procedures

Urine Test – Types, Procedure, Preparation, Results Interpretation

Most people have been asked to submit the urine sample for testing when they visit a health institution. The sample is used to analyze various urine test types that can help the doctors diagnose disease or monitor a patient’s progress. Urine elimination in the body is important as it helps maintain the body water balance as well as remove toxic substances produced during the metabolism process.

What Does A Urine Test Show?

The smell and the color of the urine sample can be an indication of something wrong. Adults should the urinalysis periodically to ensure that their health is intact. A urine test might result in different scenarios. Even before the test, there are some factors that indicate the patient is not okay.

  1. Having dark urine indicates there is less water intake or a problem with the kidneys while flaky and cloudy urine indicates the presence of a urinary tract infection.
  2. In some cases, the urine can be reddish indicating that there might be blood. To avoid speculations and to know further, it is essential to take a urine test strip which shows either a person is suffering from diabetes or urinary tract infection.
  3. Persistent occurrence of protein in urine tests is an early indicator of a chronic kidney disease while the glucose elements indicate signs of potential diabetes.
  4. The white blood cells in the urine indicate the presence of urinary tract infection. Undertaking a urine test is important as it helps the doctors to know exactly what they are dealing with and offer the suitable solutions.

The urine test types for people who are already suffering are done in intervals to monitor their progress especially those suffering from chronic kidney disease. The urine test show if the given treatment is reducing the protein in the urine or not.

Urine Test Types

There are various urine test types that are performed for various reasons in the quest to determine what is wrong with a patient. It may be part of a regular physical routine check

1. Urinalysis

A complete urinalysis is done in the laboratory and performed on people who are about to go for surgery, having been admitted to the hospital or whose different urine results are abnormal. It is used to either determine or monitor bleeding in the urinary system, urinary tract infection, diabetes, kidney disease, bladder stones and blood disease.

2. Rapid Urine Test

It is the easiest way to test urine and involves dipping the urine test strips in the urine samples. Diabetic people use this test to check their sugar levels. It can also be performed ion people with acute lower abdomen pains, backaches, blood in the urine, stomachache and persistent painful urination. The rapid urine test detects the following

3. Pregnancy Test

Urine for pregnancy test determines whether a woman has conceived or not. The test is done like a rapid test, eight to ten days after a late menstrual date for accurate results. The test should not be done too soon when a woman is on medication or having taken a lot of fluid just before the test to avoid altering the results.

4. Urine Culture Test

The urine test is done in the laboratory to determine the presence of fungi or bacteria. If they are found, the right kind of antibiotics is then administered for treatment.

5. 24 Hour Urine Collection Test

This test is used to determine the presence of proteins, salt, metabolic products, hormones among other substances are excreted in the body. The urine is collected in 24-hour duration and stored in the refrigerator during that period.

How to Prepare for A Urine Test?

It is important to take normal meals when going for a urine test. It is also essential to take plenty of water. Let your physician know about any type of medicine, supplements or substance you have been using as some o them might alter the urine test results. Also, for women, let the doctor know if menstruating.

What is The Procedure of The Urine Test?

The health institution issues a container where the urine sample is collected. One can use the clean-catch collection method which involves washing up the urinary opening area first. One can then urinate in the toilet first then a few ounces in the container and finishing up in the toilet. The sample is handed over to the doctor for testing.

In some cases, the doctor might use a catheter which is inserted into the bladder through the urethra. The procedure can be discomforting causing mild pains. For the testing, the doctor can use either a visual exam, dipstick test or microscopic exam when conducting the urine test.

Urine Test Results and Interpretation

When the results are abnormal, the doctor determines the next step based on various factors. Previous diagnosis with urinary tract problems, kidney issues or any other related condition may result in further tests. It is vital to identify the occurrence of the abnormal contents of the urine.

Having high level proteins in urine indicates there are underlying issues that can result in kidney disease. Such conditions include leukemia, lupus, heart conditions, hypertension, sickle cell anemia and rheumatoid arthritis. Also, a high level of glucose in the urine can indicate the presence of diabetes.

Urine test pus cells indicate that the urinary tract has major issues. Most of the times it can either be a bladder infection or kidney infection. If there is the presence of too much pus cells in the urine test, then it means the patient has an abscess near the kidney, sexually transmitted disease, kidney infection or urinary tract infection. The condition can also be an indication of stones in the urinary passage.

It is important to have a regular checkup where the doctor takes different urine test types to determine your general health. Some of the diagnosed conditions don’t show the normal signs and symptoms thus the importance of carrying out the tests.

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sameer Kumar (MBBS, MS, FMAS, DMAS)Obstetrician & Gynecologist