Urine test - what you should know

The urinary system consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The kidneys take out waste material, minerals, fluids, and other substances from the blood to be passed in the urine. Urine has hundreds of different body wastes. By examining urine, indications for diseases of the urinary system can be detected. Urine tests are very useful for providing information to assist in the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of a wide range of diseases. Urine test can also provide evidence of metabolic diseases like diabetes or liver disease. 

Most of us have already had a urine sample taken at some point in our life. What you eat, drink, how much you exercise, and how well your kidneys work can affect what is in your urine.

Expected value
Specific gravity 1.010-1.025 mg/ml Can be used to test and monitor the concentrating and diluting abilities of the kidney. Low in those with diabetes insipidus, glomerulonephritis, pyelonephritis. High in those with vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, fever, adrenal insufficiency, hepatic diseases, heart failure.
Color Pale yellow Many things affect urine color, including fluid balance, diet, medicines, and diseases. How dark or light the color is tells you how much water is in it. Vitamin B supplements can turn urine bright yellow. Some medicines, blackberries, beets, rhubarb, or blood in the urine can turn urine red-brown.
pH 6-8 (normal diet) Acidic (<6) in those with a high protein diet or starvation, during administration of some drugs, and in association with uric acid, cysteine, and calcium oxalate kidney stones. Alkaline (>8) in individuals consuming diets rich in vegetables or dairy products, in those with a urinary tract infection, immediately after meals, with some drugs, with phosphate and calcium carbonate kidney stones.
Protein 2-8 mg/dl Marked proteinuria in those with nephrotic syndrome, severe glomerulonephritis, or congestive heart failure. Moderate with most renal diseases, preeclampsia, or urinary tract inflammation. Minimal in those with certain renal diseases or lower urinary tract disorders.
Glucose Not detected Positive in those with diabetes mellitus, gestational diabetes. Rarely in benign conditions.
Ketones Negative When fat is broken down for energy, the body makes substances called ketones. These are passed in the urine. Large amounts of ketones in the urine may mean a very serious conditions: diabetic ketoacidosis, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus (type I), in those with a fever, anorexia, persistent vomiting, cachexia, or who are fasting or starving. A diet low in sugars and carbohydrates may also cause ketones to be in the urine.
Blood Negative Indicates urinary tract infection, neoplasm, trauma, traumatic muscle injuries, hemolytic anemia.
Bilirubin Not detected Index of unconjugated bilirubin, increase in those with gallstones.
Urobilinogen 0.1-1 units/dl Index of conjugated bilirubin. Increased with hemolytic conditions, used to distinguish among hepatic diseases.
Nitrite Negative Index of bacteriuria.
Leukocyte esterace Negative
Indirect test of bacteriuria, detect leukocytes. Traces can be expelled through the urine which are usually the old and the damaged cells. The normal levels of leukocytes in the urine are somewhere around 0-10 leu/vl but if the levels exceed 20 leu/vl, it is better to get urinalysis to avoid further complications.


  1. Anonymous9/12/2013

    If one has a problem urinating, does it affect test results?

    1. Difficulty starting or maintaining a urine stream affects people of all ages and occurs in both sexes. But, it is most common in older men with an enlarged prostate gland. Urinary hesitancy can be caused by urinary tract infection. And that is seen in a urine test.

  2. Anonymous9/13/2013

    Does a routine urinalysis include drug testing?

  3. Anonymous9/13/2013

    What does the urinalysis test for?

    1. A urinalysis is a diagnostic test of your urine. If you have a chronic disease such as kidney disease, gout, or diabetes, your results will help clinicians know whether your disease is under control.

  4. Anonymous9/13/2013

    How much urine is needed for a routine urinalysis?