Urinalysis Interpretation: Information on Urinalysis Values

Sample of urine

Sample of urine (Wikimedia Image)

We have still not been able to understand the human body which seems to be as perplexing as the universe we are a part of. However, with time we have developed certain techniques to dwell into the physiology and get exact reasons for some of the diseases that befall us. Lab tests involving sample of urine cannot only help the doctors diagnose but also observe medical conditions. One of these tests is urinalysis. The urine, which is adjudged by all as a body’s waste, carries important information about what’s going on inside and how things, if gone wrong, can be rectified.

Here’s how you can interpret urinalysis to diagnose various bodily issues.

Color

Color of the urine is the most evident aspect in judging somebody’s help. You must have noticed by yourself that during sickness or when on certain medication, the color of urine changes to dark yellow. The hot weather also can result in yellow color. A red or reddish-brown urine color may occur because of a presence of either hemoglobin after breakdown from the blood, myoglobin from muscle breakdown, a food dye, and consumption of beets or due to intake of a drug.

Clarity

Cloudiness in the urine sample can be due to excessive protein or because of crystallization of salts due to room temperature. People who have undergone bladder surgery often have cloudy urine because of presence of bacteria in the body. Urinary tract infection can also lead to cloudy urine.

Protein

As mentioned earlier, high protein levels in the urine can lead to cloudiness in the sample. However, detection of protein in the urine means kidneys are not functioning properly. Kidneys act as a filter and usually don’t let large molecules like proteins to get into the urine. Another reason for elevated protein levels can be intake of excess meat or urinary tract infection.

Acidity

Our kidneys work overtime to remove the excess acid from our body. The acidity is generally picked up by pH of urine. Normal pH range is from 4.5 to 9.0 and anything beyond that indicates acidity or alkalinity. Low pH level can also affect the detection of other elements including nitrites which don’t show up even if present in the sample. High nitrite values indicate presence of bacteria in the urinary tract.

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Casts

If the urine sample is tested positive for casts, it can be due to several reasons. While white casts can be due to kidney infection, red casts are a result of nephritic syndrome and muddy brown casts can indicate kidney failure.

Specific gravity

Specific gravity is another indicator that can be of great help in diagnosing various conditions. The normal range of specific gravity is 1.002 to 1.035 and any reading above this range indicates contamination or high level of glucose. A patient who receives intravenous dyes for radiography tests also gets a high reading.

Ketones and Glucose

Ketones are compounds that are produced when fatty acids are broken down for energy in the liver or kidney. Excess ketones are produced when the body is under starvation. Type I diabetics can also have excess ketones when the body is deprived of insulin and switches to burning fatty acids. Excess sugar in urine or glycosuria usually indicates diabetes mellitus.

Leukocyte Esterase

This test indicates if there is any infection present in the upper or lower urinary tract or with acute glomerulonephritis. A positive test will indicate presence of white blood cells which defend our bodies against infection. A negative test indicates there is no infection present.

Bacteria

Our genitals normally harbour bacteria because of abundant normal microbial flora of the vagina in females and external urethral meatus in both males and females. This is why only more than 100,000/ml of an individual reflects significant presence of bacteria.

All this knowledge can help you interpret urinalysis in a better way.[ad#afterpost]