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What does your urine say about your health ?

  • Dr. Madhav Sanzgiri, Consultant Urology
  • Dr. Janet Rodrigues, Clinical Assistant in Urology
    Manipal Hospitals Goa

The kidneys act like the filtration system of the human body. In simple terms, they extract all the impurities of the human metabolism and push them out of the body via the urine and urinary system. Hence a simple urine analysis test can give us a lot of important information about the health of a person.

Evaluation of the urine is the most basic test done usually in 2 scenarios:
1. As a part of preventive health check-ups.
2. As a part of investigations and evaluation of clinical symptoms.

The evaluation of urine includes
1. Gross examination
2. Dipstick analysis
3. Chemical analysis
4. Microscopic analysis
5. Culture and antibiotic sensitivity

However, this evaluation needs to be done in a standardized and nationally accredited laboratory.
Colour
The normal color is pale yellow (pigment urochrome). The color varies because of
1. Concentration.
2. Type of food
3. Medications
4. Metabolic products
5. Infection

Abnormal color can be seen in :
1. Colorless -> Very dilute urine/overhydration.
2. Cloudy -> Pyuria (infection)/ Phosphaturia/ Chyluria
3. Red -> Hematuria (Infection/ Stones/ Trauma)

Specific Gravity
Normal 1.015- 1.025 :
Reflects the STATE OF HYDRATION :
LOW due to
1. Abnormal renal function
2. Excessive fluid intake
3. Drugs like Diuretics
4. Diabetes Insipidus

HIGH due to
1. Uncontrolled Diabetes mellitus
2. SIADH
3. Dehydration

Ph
Can help in the diagnosis of UTI. Stone disease.
Ph is ACIDIC in patients with uric acid and cysteine stones.

Hematuria (Blood in urine): This could be an indicator of the:
URINARY INFECTION/ URINARY STONES/ URINARY CANCER/ TRAUMA/DRUG-INDUCED (BLOOD THINNERS)

Proteinuria: Normally 80-150 mg.

Can be an indicator of Renovascular/ Glomerular/ Tubulointerstitial medical renal disease/ Multiple myeloma/ Severe exercise.

Glycosuria can be an indicator of Diabetes mellitus
Detection of bile salts and pigments could be an indicator of LIVER DISEASE

Urine Microscopy is done to detect
RBCs (Hematuria)
Epithelial Cells (Renal disease)
Leukocytes (Infection)
Casts (Renal disease)
Crystals (Stones)
Bacteria (Infection)
Yeast (Fungal)
Parasites (Infection)

Urine Culture gives us information about the type of INFECTION present and SENSITIVITY tells us about the correct antibiotics, and medications to be used for treatment.
Hence EVALUATION OF THE URINE SAMPLE is a very important “Window” into the health of the patient.

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