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Urinalysis

Overview Risks Results
Alternative Names:
Urine appearance and color; Routine urine test
Normal Values:
  • Normal urine may vary in color from almost colorless to dark yellow. Some foods (like beets and blackberries) may color the urine red.
  • The urine specific gravity ranges between 1.006 and 1.030 (higher numbers mean a higher concentration). The specific gravity varies depending on the time of day, amount of food and liquids consumed, and the amount of recent exercise.
  • The urine pH is also influenced by a number of factors. Generally the normal pH range is from 4.6 to 8.0, with an average of 6.0.
  • There is usually no detectable urine glucose, urine ketones, or urine protein.
  • There are usually no red blood cells in urine.
  • Hemoglobin is not normally found in the urine.
  • Bilirubin is normally not detected in the urine. There may be a trace of urobilinogen in the urine.
  • Nitrites and white blood cells (leukocytes) are not normally present in the urine.
Note: see also the individual components.
What abnormal results mean:

URINE APPEARANCE AND COLOR:
If the urine is of an unusual color that cannot be accounted for by food intake or medication (and the urinalysis is positive), consult the health care provider.

URINE SPECIFIC GRAVITY:
If the specific gravity is higher or lower than the normal range, or if it does not vary (the concentration of the urine depends on the time of day, the amount of food and fluids you have had, and the amount of exercise you have had recently), it may indicate a kidney problem, and you should consult the health care provider.

URINE PH:
In some situations, an alkaline urine is good. Kidney stones are less likely to form and some antibiotics are more effective in the alkaline urine. There may be times when the acidic urine may help prevent some kinds of kidney stones and may prevent growth of certain types of bacteria. If the pH is very acidic or alkaline, you may want to discuss it with the health care provider.

URINE SUGAR:
When blood levels of glucose are very high, some of the glucose may show up in the urine. The glucose and the ketones tests are usually done together. Large amounts of ketones may be present in uncontrolled diabetes. Consult the health care provider.

URINE PROTEIN:
Finding protein in the urine is probably the best test for screening for kidney disease, although there may be a number of causes for an increased protein level in the urine. Consult the health care provider.

When blood is found in the urine, it may indicate a urinary tract disease or bleeding from the kidneys. However, the cause may also be vigorous physical exercise. If there is no association between exercise and the positive blood findings, consult the health care provider.

OTHER:
Bilirubin in the urine is a sign of a liver or bile duct disease, and you should consult the health care provider. Urobilinogen is found in small traces in the urine. If there are large amounts, you should discuss it with the health care provider.

Nitrites and white blood cells are an indication that a urinary tract infection is present, and you should contact the health care provider.

Any vitamin C that the body does not need is excreted in the urine. If there are measurable amounts of Vitamin C in the urine, it may interfere with the other urine tests. One may receive false positives and false negatives on the results.

Note: see also the individual components.

Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:

Female urinary tract
Female urinary tract
Male urinary tract
Male urinary tract
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