What do the results of a urine test mean?

Urine tests are often used to screen for various medical conditions, including diabetes, kidney disease, and urinary tract infections. But what exactly do the results mean? Well, we’re here to break it down for you in a way that won’t put you to sleep.

Understanding Urinalysis

Before we dive into what each result means, let’s first discuss how urine samples are analyzed. A urinalysis typically involves three components:

  1. Physical examination: This is where the color and appearance of your pee will be evaluated.
  2. Chemical examination: Here, different chemical compounds in your urine will be screened.
  3. Microscopic examination: Your sample will be looked at under a microscope to identify any abnormalities.

Now that we have an understanding of the process involved let us look deeper into what each component means.

Physical Examination: Color and Appearance

Have Fun With Colors!

Believe it or not, your pee can actually tell you quite a bit about your health! The normal color of urine ranges from pale yellow to amber-colored depending on hydration levels throughout the day^1 . However,dark brown colors could indicate important issues ranging from liver problems or even rhabdomyolysis- when muscles break down too quickly and release harmful proteins into body fluids such as blood & Urine(^2). So next time someone calls you “orange”, make sure they know that’s just carotenoids making their mark (or just silently appreciate this obscure knowledge)

As hilarious as this may seem staying hydrated with lots-a H20 always helps keep those kidneys happy.^3 Dehydration causes concentrated urine which can exacerbate existing bladder irritations [like UTI or cystitis] requiring antibiotics…UNLESS already said infection has reached his/her friends called Kidney Stones who’ll cause lines longer than Disneyland ride queues (^4)

Other appearance related concerns might include cloudiness or turbidity ,which might stem from urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), even cancer, and cysts. However stress not all dark clouds follow one another like lost puppies; some women’s bodies naturally produce cloudier urine before periods(i.e. monthly menstrual cycle) so just get to know your own basal state (^5).

Chemical Examination

Lets play a game of chemistry

Different compounds may be screened for depending on what the doctor is looking for but typically this will involve testing for:

  1. Glucose: Increased levels of glucose in your urine could indicate diabetes or impaired fasting glucose.
  2. Protein: Protein in your urine can indicate problems with kidney function.
  3. Ketones: Ketones are produced when the body breaks down fat instead of sugar, which could signal conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes or low-carbohydrate diets .
  4. Bilirubin: The presence of bilirubin- a substance produced when red blood cells break down can highlight liver issues that result from hepatitis

Microscopic Examination

The secret lives of particles

After the chemical examination comes microscope time! Through examining characteristics like size & shape under magnification medical professionals search for :

1 . White blood cells: Elevated numbers raised by UTIs , STD(s) and inflammation within body
2 . Red Blood Cells(RBC’s): Normally absent in Urine tests,could signify underlying problems regarding Kidney disease , Bladder Infections,Trauma/Stress affecting organ base structure(most likely resulting into disintegration).
3 Crystals : Precursors to potential kidney stones.The two most commonly analyzed ones are calcium oxalate and uric acid crystals.

It’s worth noting that lab results should always be interpreted by a healthcare professional who has insight into each individual patient’s case history& overall health condition.Yes Google is great but when it comes to interpreting diagnostics -medical professionals tackle incoming results with more than a simple search engine. Plus why give up the opportunity of hearing hilarious puns from your favorite MDs right? [After all, they have studied for years and their judgment helps avoid unnecessary testing &/or spending.]

To close out- Please stay hydrated! Depending on individual water requirements^6 , staying consistent with adequate fluid intake (~2 liters for woman; ~3 litres man ) should help maintain optimal kidney appraisal . Don’t be afraid to voice any concerns on appearance/color etc.from personal research before diagnostic tests discussed above..every report is unique ;What might seem unusual in Mss.A could differ from those presented by Mr.B .

2. Balaan, Morgan E., et al.”Urine Color: Overview of Factors That Influence Urine Color and Relevance to Medicine”Elsevier ScienceDirect Volume 30, Issue 4, December 2019
3.Wolford G.Frederick.and Swartz Robert.(16 October 2008) “The Importance of Fluid Intake in Preventing Kidney Stones”. Urologic Clinics Of North America.Authors.
4.Assimos,D’arcy.,Krambeck,Amy and Miller,Nathan(15 February 2020).”Prevention of recurrent calcium stone formation with potassium citrate therapy in patients with distal renal tubular acidosis”. Journal Of Endourology(authors)
5.Thomas A.Riddell and Marcela C.Smigiel (2019). “Urinary Tract Infections During Pregnancy”(authors).
6.Hörl WH (October1987).”Noninvasive diagnosis using body fluids: The significance of urinalysis.Proceedings.Conference:{Conference}


1.Matarese LauraE.“Medical Tests and Diagnostic Procedures” Elsevier Health Sciences 2014
2.Splitzer PatriciaM.“Clinical Urinalysis: Theory and Practice” ASCP Press,1991-Goodreads Authors-Author-Quotes

Thank you for coming to learn with humor at the same time.