What is a Urinalysis (UA) test?
A Urinalysis (UA) is a urine test. A UA is used to detect and evaluate a wide range of disorders, including urinary tract infections, kidney disorders and diabetes.
What is included in a UA?
A UA may check the following depending on the results of the initial analysis:
•Specific Gravity (Concentration)
•Nitrites and Leukocyte Esterase
•White blood cells (Leukocytes)
•Red blood cells (Erythrocytes)
•Bacteria or Yeasts
Why should I get tested?
If you want a general health screening or are having symptoms such as abdominal pain, back pain, frequent or painful urination, blood in your urine, or other urinary problems, you may want to consider getting a UA.
How should I prepare for the test?
Females should clean the vagina front to back (toward the anus) prior to collection of urine, and men should clean the tip of the penis prior to collection of urine. Also you should avoid collecting the initial stream of urine by waiting a few seconds before you begin to fill the cup.
What could my screening results mean?
Normal urine is typically light yellow and/or clear. Noticeable abnormalities in the color, clarity, and cloudiness may suggest likelihood of an infection, dehydration, blood in the urine (hematuria), liver disease, or breakdown of muscle or red blood cells in the body. Foamy urine may indicate large amounts of protein in the urine (proteinuria). Certain medications can also change the color of urine.
Abnormal pH levels may indicate a kidney or urinary tract disorder.
Higher than normal concentrations often will be the result of dehydration, but it may indicate a kidney disorder.
Urine protein levels are normally low and will not be detected by a UA test. Small increases in protein usually are not a cause for concern. Larger amounts of protein in the urine may indicate a problem with your kidneys.
Normally, the amount of sugar (glucose) as well as ketones in urine is too low to be detected. Any detection of sugar or ketones on your UA test could indicate diabetes.
Bilirubin is normally carried in the blood and passes into your liver, where it’s removed and becomes part of bile, bilirubin in your urine may indicate liver damage or disease.
Blood in your urine may be an indication of kidney damage, kidney stones, infection, blood disorders or bladder cancer, as well as various other disorders. White blood cells (Leukocytes) or nitrates may be a sign of infection, while red blood cells (Erythrocytes) may be a sign of kidney disorders, blood disorders or another underlying medical condition, such as bladder cancer. Epithelial cells in your urine may be a sign of a tumor, but it may indicate that the urine sample was contaminated during the test, and a new sample is needed.
Bacteria or yeasts may indicate an infection.
Casts may form as a result of kidney disorders, while crystals in urine may be a sign of kidney stones.
A UA typically will not provide a definitive diagnosis, and abnormal results normally require further testing and evaluation to determine the cause of the problem. If your UA Test indicates abnormalities, you should consult your healthcare provider for further analysis. Also you should tell your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications or vitamins as they may affect the test results.