Pathology Laboratory (Medical)

What is the Urine Routine Test? Urinalysis

Last updated on January 21st, 2023 at 12:00 pm

A urine routine test or urinalysis is a test that checks the amount of protein, glucose, ketones, blood cells, and other substances in the urine.

There are many types of tests that can be done on urine. These include microscopic examination, chemical analysis, immunological testing and bacterial culture.

What is the urine routine test?

It can help your doctor detect problems that may be shown by your urine. Many illnesses and disorders affect how your body removes waste and toxins. The organs involved in this are your lungs, kidneys, urinary tract, skin, and bladder. Problems with any of these can affect the appearance, concentration, and content of your urine.

Urine Routine Test is not the same as a drug screening or pregnancy test, although all three tests involve a urine sample.

Urinalysis test

Urine Routine Test is often used:

  • prior to surgery
  • as a preemptive screening during a pregnancy checkup
  • as part of a routine medical or physical exam

Your doctor may also ask to do this test if they suspect that you have certain conditions, such as

If you already have a diagnosis for any of these conditions, your doctor may use urinalysis to check on the progress of treatments or the condition itself.

Urine routine test normal values

Your doctor may also want you to do a urinalysis or Urine Routine Test if you experience certain symptoms, including:

  • abdominal pain
  • back pain
  • blood in your urine
  • painful urination

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Medicines that affect the result of urine routine test

Inform your doctor about any medications or supplements you’re taking. Some of these that can affect the results of your urinalysis include:

Some other drugs can affect your results as well. Tell your doctor about any substances you use before doing a urinalysis.

Types of urine routine test

There are three ways to analyze urine, and your laboratory may use all of them.

One is a visual exam, which checks the colour and clarity. If your urine has blood in it, it might be red or dark brown. Foam can be a sign of kidney disease, while cloudy urine may mean you have an infection.

A microscopic examination checks for things too small to be seen otherwise. Some things that shouldn’t be in your urine that a microscope can find include:

The third part of urinalysis is the dipstick test, which uses a thin plastic strip treated with chemicals. It’s dipped into your urine, and the chemicals on the stick react and change colour if levels are above normal. Things the dipstick test can check for include:

  • Acidity, or pH. If the acid is above normal, you could have kidney stones, a urinary tract infection (UTI) or another condition.
  • Protein. This can be a sign your kidneys are not working right. Kidneys filter waste products out of your blood, and your body needs protein.
  • Glucose. High sugar content is a marker for diabetes.
  • White blood cells. These are a sign of infection.
  • Bilirubin. If this waste product, which is normally eliminated by your liver, shows up, it may mean your liver isn’t working properly.
  • Blood in your urine. Sometimes this is a sign of infections or certain illnesses.

Urine protein test

Your urine normally contains a negligible level of protein. Sometimes, protein levels in your urine can spike due to:

  • excessive heat or cold
  • fever
  • stress, both physical and emotional
  • excessive exercise

These factors aren’t usually a sign of any major issues. But abnormally high levels of protein in your urine can be a sign of underlying issues that can cause kidney disease, such as

Your doctor may ask you to do follow-up tests to identify any conditions causing abnormally high protein levels in your urine.

If your urinalysis or urine routine test results come back abnormal, your doctor may require additional tests to determine the cause. These can include:

Urine sugar test

Sugar (glucose) is usually present in the urine at very low levels or not at all. Abnormally high amounts of sugar in the urine, known as glycosuria, are usually the result of high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar usually occurs in diabetes, especially when untreated.

Normally, when blood is filtered in the kidneys, some sugar remains in the fluid that will later become urine. If the level of blood sugar is low, as is normally the case, the body can reabsorb the sugar from this fluid before it leaves the kidney to be excreted as urine. When the blood sugar is high, there is too much sugar in the fluid leaving the kidney to be reabsorbed, so some sugar passes into the urine.

Sugar in the urine is associated with high blood sugar and diabetes. It is important to consult your doctor if you tested sugar in your urine. Sugar in the urine is often accompanied by other symptoms of diabetes, including fatigue, unexplained weight loss, excessive thirst or hunger, and frequent urination.

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