Urinalysis is a complete examination of urine sample for health objectives. Educate yourself about the urinalysis normal values, so that you can read urine test reports on your own.
Urine test is performed for several health reasons―as a routine checkup procedure, for confirmation of pregnancy, or as a diagnostic test for diseases. Like for instance, urine test is a reliable method for detection of diabetes and confirmation of urinary tract infection (UTI). The fact is that urinalysis test results reveal certain things about the overall health of the candidate. As with any type of test, standard urinalysis values are put forth for easy reference.
Values and Interpretation
If you have to take this test before, you might be aware about the preparatory steps and urinalysis interpretation. Most likely, the doctor will ask for first urine sample collection in a sterile bottle in the morning. The bottle containing the sample is labeled properly with your name and details, after which it is sent to the laboratory for testing. Urinalysis is done in three steps―visual examination, chemical examination, and microscopic examination.
1. Visual Urine Examination
This is the first step performed in urine test. The sample is simply analyzed visually to check the color and odor. A near transparent or yellowish-colored urine signifies normal conditions. Cloudy, turbid, or strong odor are signs of UTI. A sample with reddish coloration can be because of hematuria (presence of red blood cells in urine) or eating red-colored foods (blackberry and fresh beet).
2. Chemical Urinalysis
The chemical testing of urine is done with the help of a plastic stick (dipstick) that is already loaded with chemical solutions. Upon reacting with the urine components, the colors of the dipstick may change, which is indicated as abnormal urinalysis results. The parameters tested by dipstick method and their normal values are given below.
Urine pH value is a measure of acidity of the sample, and the ideal value is around 6. But, it may range from as low as 4.5 to as high as 8. Fluctuation in acidity levels may indicate an infection.
Concentration of urine or urine-specific gravity that falls between 1.002 and 1.035 (for random sample) is considered normal. Very low concentration reveals dilute urine, while high value signifies dehydration.
For a healthy person, urine protein is present in a very less amount and is rarely detected. Presence of protein in very low concentration, say 10 mg/100 ml or 150 mg/day is normal. Higher protein levels than this is a sign of proteinuria.
Coming to sugar content in urine, the amount should be less than 0.1 percent of the total urine volume, or in other words, less than 130 mg/day. A higher sugar value should not be neglected, as it may indicate diabetes mellitus.
Urine sample collected from a healthy person is devoid of ketones. These are a group of compounds (acetone, beta-hydroxybutyric acid) secreted by the body, when there is a deprivation of simple glucose. This is observed among diabetic patients and people who are on a low-carb diet.
Leukocyte esterase (LE) is released as a byproduct of white blood cells (WBCs). While negative test result for the same reveals less chances of infection, a positive result is a warning sign for elevated production of WBCs and UTI.
In an ideal case, the test for nitrites in urine comes out negative. In case of positive urinalysis results, further tests and urine culture are conducted for presence of gram negative, rod shaped bacteria.
3. Microscopic Urinalysis
Another step in the urine test is the preparation of a slide with urine sample, and seeing it under a sophisticated microscope. Normal urinalysis test results are absence or presence of very few RBCs, WBCs, epithelial cells, casts, crystals, and microorganisms (bacteria and yeast).
While speaking about urinalysis normal values in pregnancy, presence of hCG hormone (human chorionic gonadotropin) is used for confirming conception. Since the urinary system involves kidney as a major organ, much of the abnormal test results are related to kidney diseases. Other medical conditions that can be detected from urinalysis test results are infections (bacteria and yeast), diabetes (high urine sugar), liver problem (elevated bilirubin), kidney stones (presence of crystals), and at times, tumor growth in the urinary tract.
Refer to the report and you will notice the components present in the actual urine sample along with normal levels on the right side. In case, you are confused about the interpretation, don’t hesitate to ask the concerned medical specialist to clear your doubts.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.