A urine test, or urinalysis is a test of your urine used to detect and control a wide range of ailments, such as urinary tract infections, kidney disease and diabetes. Numerous illnesses and disorders affect how your body eradicates waste and toxins. The organs involved in this are the lungs, kidneys, skin, bladder and urinary tract.
A urinalysis includes inspecting the appearance, concentration and content of urine. Irregular urinalysis results can indicate disease or illness, for instance, a urinary tract infection can make urine look cloudy as opposed to clear and increased levels of protein in urine can be an indication of kidney disease. Unusual urinalysis results will probably require additional testing to discover the source of the problem.
Although all three tests involve a urine sample, a urinalysis is not the same as a drug testing or a pregnancy test.
Why are they Performed?
A urinalysis is a common test that is ordered by doctors for several reasons:
- To check your overall health
- Your doctor may recommend a urine test as part of a routine yearly screening, pregnancy check-up, assessment prior to surgery and screening for a variety of disorders, such as diabetes, kidney disease and liver disease
- To diagnose a medical condition.
- Your doctor may suggest a urine test if you are suffering with problems such as abdominal pain, back pain, repeated or painful urination, uncontrolled diabetes or blood in your urine. A urinalysis may help diagnose the cause of these symptoms and other urinary symptoms
- To monitor a medical condition or disease
If you have been diagnosed with a medical disorder, such as kidney disease, lupus or a urinary tract disease, your doctor may suggest a urine test on a regular basis to observe and monitor your condition and treatment.
How do they Work?
If only a urinalysis is being performed, you can eat and drink normally prior to the test. However, drinking excessive amounts of water may cause inaccurate results. If you are having additional tests at the same time, you may need to fast beforehand (your doctor will give you information on what you need to do prior to the test). Various drugs, including non-prescription medications and supplements, can affect the outcomes of a urine test. Along with numerous other drugs, some of the supplements that may affect the results of your urinalysis include:
- Vitamin C supplements
- Nnthraquinone laxatives
Prior to a urinalysis, inform doctor of any medications, vitamins or supplements you are currently taking. Check with your doctor if you are unsure whether you are taking something that will affect the results of your urine test.
How to Provide a Sample
In most cases, your doctor will provide you with a container for the urine sample; this can be provided at home or in the doctor’s office. It may be advised for you to collect the sample first thing in the morning as that is the time of day when your urine is most concentrated and irregularities will be more obvious.
Urine can be easily contaminated by bacteria and other substances so it is a good idea to clean the genital area with water (do not use soap) before giving a sample. To achieve an accurate result and avoid contamination the sample may need to be collected midstream, by using the clean-catch method. You take a sample of midstream urine by interrupting the flow of the urine after a few seconds and collecting the middle portion in the container provided. This method involves the following steps:
- Clean the area around the urinary opening
- Start to urinate into the toilet
- Pause midstream
- Urinate at least 1 to 2 ounces into the container
- Finish urinating in the toilet
Follow your doctor’s directions for delivering the sample. If you are unable to deliver the sample to the specified place within one hour of collection, refrigerate the sample, unless you have been informed otherwise by your doctor. For people and babies who are not able to provide a sample this way, a doctor may have to insert a soft, narrow tube called a catheter through the urinary opening and into the bladder to collect the urine sample.
There are different techniques used to examine the urine:
A Visual Exam
A visual scan assesses the colour and clarity of your urine. Foam can be an indication of kidney disease; if your urine has blood in it, it may appear red or dark brown and cloudy urine may indicate you have an infection.
A Microscopic Examination
This exam looks for things too small to be seen by the naked eye. These include:
- Red blood cells
- White blood cells
- Crystals (a possible sign of kidney stones)
- A urine dipstick test, which only takes a few minutes to get the results. This test uses a thin plastic strip treated with chemicals, which is then dipped into your urine. If the levels are above normal, the chemicals on the strip react and change colour. A urine dipstick test can check for the following:
If the acid is irregular, this could be a sign of kidney stones or urinary tract infection (UTI).
Protein in your urine may be a sign that your kidneys are not functioning properly.
Elevated levels of glucose in the urine is a common sign of diabetes. It may also be a sign of renal glycosuria (a rare condition where the kidneys release glucose into the urine).
White Blood Cells
White blood cells in the urine may indicate infection or inflammation, in either the kidneys or urinary tract.
The appearance of nitrites in urine usually means that there is a bacterial infection in your urinary tract.
Bilirubin is found in your liver and helps you digest food. If found in urine it may be a sign of liver disease
Blood in your Urine
Blood in your urine can indicate a urinary tract infection. Your doctor may also advise a culture test, which can help, locate harmful bacteria in your body. Results are usually ready in 2-3 days. If your result comes back positive, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to help eradicate the harmful bacteria.
A urinalysis is a quick, non-invasive examination that includes no special preparation and in most cases is easy to carry out. Your doctor may use the test as part of a routine health check-up or as a diagnostic technique to look for underlying conditions and infections.
Follow the instructions given to you by your doctor when taking the test to achieve a valid sample.
One Ashford Hospital offers a range of urinalysis testing. As we are based in Kent, we are perfectly located for private patients in Ashford, Maidstone, Dover, Canterbury, Folkestone and all nearby areas. Contact us on 01233 423000 to find out more.
You can use your private medical insurance or pay for your Urine Tests treatment. We offer competitive, fixed price packages as well as the ability to spread your cost with the option of 0% finance. If you are using your health insurance please do contact your insurer first for approval and let them know you’d like to be treated at One Ashford Hospital
Why One Ashford Hospital
- Access to leading Consultants within 48 hours*
- 0% and low interest finance options**
- Competitive fixed-price packages
- Modern purpose-built hospital
- Fast access to diagnostics including CT, MRI, X-Ray and Ultrasound
- Private, spacious, ensuite rooms
- Specialist Physiotherapy and nursing teams
- Little waiting time for surgery
- Calm, dignified experience
*Dependent on Consultant availability
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Diagnostics & Imaging Pricing Guide at One Ashford Hospital
This is a list of guide prices for some of common Diagnostics & Imaging treatments and procedures.
|MRI Scan from||£390|
|X Ray from||£110|