Elimination of waste material and toxins from the body is done by the lungs, skin, kidneys, bladder, and urinary tract. A problem in any of these systems can affect the appearance, concentration, and content of the urine.
Urinalysis is a lab test done to diagnose and evaluate health problems that may be detected in the urine. Although the test is done as a routine annual check, the doctor may also use the urinalysis before surgery.
Furthermore, you need a urinalysis if you have any of the following;
- Abdominal pain and painful urination
Our abdomen houses many organs such as kidneys, which are usually subjected to infection. The nature of your abdominal pain will vary from mild to severe depending on the cause, but cramping accompanied by painful urination is a sign of a Urinary Tract Infection. UTI is caused by bacteria and is the most common infection in adults.
Abdominal pain can also be a sign of prostatitis, an inflammation of the prostate. Don’t self-medicate if you have abdominal pain coupled with painful urination, instead visit our emergency room for a proper assessment.
- Blood in the urine
Hematuria, whether gross or microscopic can be an indication of a Urinary Tract Infection, kidney infection or disease, a bladder or a kidney stone.
Bloody urine occurs without other symptoms, therefore, it is crucial to seek medical attention anytime you notice any abnormalities.
- Severe back pain
There are various tests done to diagnose back pain and urinalysis is one of them, usually done to check for kidney infection. Acute pyelonephritis, a sudden and severe kidney infection, causes the kidneys to swell and at times it can cause permanent damage.
What to Expect
Urinalysis is used to diagnose conditions like kidney problems, diabetes among others. So, depending on the goal, the results will be different;
- Protein in the urine. The urine normally has negligible traces of proteins caused by fever, excessive heat or cold, emotional and physical stress, excessive exercise. However, a high level of proteins can be a sign of diabetes, a heart condition, high blood pressure, lupus, leukemia—all of which lead to kidney disease.
- Glucose which is a sign of diabetes
- White blood cells signify inflammation or infection
What to Do Before the Test?
You can eat and drink as normal if the urinalysis is the only test to be done, but avoid beetroot or food dyes as they may color the urine. Furthermore, inform the doctor of any supplements you may be taking such as vitamin c or riboflavin which can affect the results.
The doctor may ask you to bring your urine sample or produce it in the office. Regardless of the location, it is important to follow the instructions given by the doctor to avoid contamination.
Which Tests Will Be Done?
The doctor can do either microscopic or dipstick tests;
- A microscopic test examines a drop of urine to check for any abnormalities in your red or blood cells. The test also checks for crystals, infectious bacteria or tumors.
- With the dipstick test, the doctor inserts a stick into the urine sample to check for blood, protein sugars or other substances.
A visual examination may also be done to confirm any oddity in the urine such as abnormal odors, cloud appearance, or reddish or brownish urine appearance.
If the urinalysis tests are abnormal, your doctor may order follow up sessions to determine the cause. Some of the tests performed include blood tests, urine culture, comprehensive metabolic panel, and a complete blood count.
The time of the urine collection is not important, although sometimes advised to take it in the morning as it is more concentrated. The doctor may also ask you to take the urine sample during a specific time if they are looking for something specific.
Although you may be tempted to take pain relievers if you have abdominal or back pain, don’t. Visit our diagnostic laboratory in Texas for a proper checkup.