In our office, we can check urine through an Automated Dipstick Urinalysis. Our staff will give you specific instructions on how to provide a urine sample. Once a urine sample is collected, our medical staff will place a specially treated chemical strip (dipstick) into it. Patches on the dipstick will change color to indicate the presence of such things as white blood cells, protein, or glucose. The dipstick is then placed into a machine that uses beams of light that analyze the color changes. This process allows us to more accurately diagnose your symptoms and treat you accordingly.
When Should I have a Urinalysis done?
When you have unexplained urinary symptoms. The results of an automated dipstick urinalysis may point to a diagnoses to conditions such as a urinary tract infection (UTI), kidney disease, urinary tract trauma, or diabetes. If test results are abnormal, further testing may or may not be required.
This is a very easy procedure! No preparation other than cleansing the area around the urethra (urinary opening) is required.
What to expect?
The test involves collecting normal urination into a specimen cup, there shouldn’t be any discomfort. It’s important to keep the area around the urinary opening clean before the test and to catch the urine sample midstream. By midstream we mean for you to start to urinate in the toilet then collect the urine after a few seconds of urinating. We do not want the very beginning of the urine stream.
Results of an In house Dipstick Urinalysis come back almost instantaneously. This is very convenient for the patient! The main advantage of the urine dipstick test is that it is a convenient and rapid test. This makes it very useful in settings such emergency departments, urgent care facilities, and other outpatient settings like doctor’s offices.Many drugs, including nonprescription medications and supplements, can affect the results of a urinalysis. Before a urinalysis, tell your doctor about any medications, vitamins or other supplements you’re taking to ensure accurate results.
Here is what a Urine Dipstick Test checks for:
- Acidity (pH) -The pH level tells us the amount of acid in urine. Abnormal pH levels may mean you have a kidney or urinary tract disorder.
- Concentration -A measure of concentration, or specific gravity, shows how concentrated particles are in your urine. A higher than normal concentration normally means that you are not drinking enough fluids.
- Protein – Large increases could mean problems with the kidneys or infection.
- Sugar- Normally the amount of sugar (glucose) in urine is too low to even be detected! If there is sugar in the urine, a follow up for diabetes is needed!
- Ketones-As with sugar, any amount of ketones that is found in your urine could be a direct link to diabetes.
- Bilirubin -Bilirubin is a product of red blood cell breakdown. Usually, bilirubin is carried in the blood and passes into your liver. Bilirubin in your urine may indicate that your liver is not working properly or that you may have liver disease.
- Evidence of infection- If either nitrites or leukocyte esterase a product of white blood cells is detected in your urine, it is likely due to a Urinary Tract Infection
- Blood- Blood in your urine requires additional testing it could be a number of things, such as kidney damage, infection, kidney or bladder stones, kidney or bladder cancer, or various blood disorders.