You may need to give some of your urine for testing. A urine test will show if you have a urinary tract infection and if there are traces of blood in the urine. It is often part of routine check-ups or preparation for surgery. It is also used for regular follow-up if you have a kidney disease. Other names for this test are urine analysis and urinalysis.
Urine can be examined by looking at its colour and clarity, studying it under a microscope, and measuring it with a dipstick. Your urinalysis may include some or all of these methods.
Your doctor can learn some things by just looking at your urine. A reddish or brown colour often indicates blood in the urine. This can be caused by a number of things but can indicate an infection or other disease. An infection can also make urine look cloudy. A kidney disease might produce foam.
Entities too small to be see by eye can be noticed under a microscope. Studying urine with a microscope can show red blood cells, which make up the blood. White blood cells and bacteria in urine show infection. Crystals, which are made of minerals, suggest stones in the urinary tract.
When placed in urine, a dipstick changes colour to show acidity and the presence of different chemicals in the waste. High acidity suggests kidney stones or a urinary tract infection. High glucose can show diabetes. The presence of bilirubin suggests a problem in the liver. Protein in the urine indicates that the kidneys are not filtering properly. Blood and white blood cells can also be detected with a dipstick.
The information gained from this test can help your doctor determine more specific tests or treatments.