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Urine Examination and Its Importance

Interventional Nephrology, DM - Nephrology, MD - General Medicine, MBBS
Nephrologist, Bangalore  •  12 years experience
Urine Examination and Its Importance

What is a Urinalysis?

A urinalysis is a laboratory test of urine commonly referred to by medical professionals as a “UA.” The urine is evaluated for the presence of certain chemicals. A microscopic exam of the urine is also done to look for abnormalities.

A urinalysis is indicated for evaluating pets with urinary abnormalities such as increased urine production, increased urinary frequency, straining to urinate, bloody urine or abnormal color to the urine. This test can also be helpful in cases of unexplained fever, loss of appetite or weight loss. A urinalysis is often done when indicated by the results of an X-ray, results of blood tests indicating a problem with the urinary system or as a follow up to physical examination when abnormalities are detected.

Any evaluation for health or illness should include a urinalysis. Urinalysis results can give an idea of hydration and kidney function; it can also indicate inflammation or infections in the urinary tract.

There is no real contraindication to performing this test. Even normal results help determine health or exclude certain diseases.

Why Is It Done?

Perhaps you might have noticed that even when you go for your routine health checkup, the physician would suggest you to undergo a urine examination. Similarly, when you approach the doctor for a certain specific ailment, then also the physician may suggest you to undergo a urine test. This test is necessary because urine provides considerable data to the physician to ascertain the cause of your ailment. Urine examination is very important as it indicates the state of your general health. A urinalysis is done for several reasons:

  1. To check your overall health: Your doctor may recommend a urinalysis as part of a routine medical exam, pregnancy checkup, pre-surgery preparation, or on hospital admission to screen for a variety of disorders, such as diabetes, kidney disease and liver disease.
  2. To diagnose a medical condition: Your doctor may suggest a urinalysis if you're experiencing abdominal pain, back pain, frequent or painful urination, blood in your urine, or other urinary problems. A urinalysis may help diagnose the cause of these symptoms.
  3. To monitor a medical condition: If you've been diagnosed with a medical condition, such as kidney disease or a urinary tract disease, your doctor may recommend a urinalysis on a regular basis to monitor your condition and treatment.

Other uses of urine examination:

Urine examination or analysis is also called as “urinalysis”. The urine examination reveals early signs of various diseases including ailments like diabetes and kidney diseases. Further, if you are suffering from any infection, the urine analysis will be helpful in determining the type of infection. It also helps in determining pregnancy.

Process of filtration:

As you know, it is the kidneys, which throw out urine. Further, urine contains waste materials removed from the blood by a process of filtration performed by the kidney. In fact, even the health of the kidney can be assessed by a urine examination.

Some of the other salient features of urine analysis are briefly described here:

  1. In the case of patients suffering from chronic kidney ailment, periodical urine examination will help the physician ascertain the health of the kidney. For example, presence of protein beyond a certain level would be a pointer to evaluate the health of your kidney. Interestingly, in some cases, a few people may release excess protein only occasionally. Therefore, during the course of urine examination, they might not have released excess protein. It is for this reason that the doctor may suggest repeated urine analysis to evaluate the health of the kidney.
  2. The process of urine analysis is normally grouped into three, namely visual colour examination of the urine, dip stick examination and microscopic examination. The type of examination normally depends on the ailment suspected. Further, depending on the results of urine analysis, the physician may suggest you to undergo various other urine tests.
  3. Sometimes the accuracy of the results of urine analysis can be affected because of certain medicines that you may be taking or dehydration and for various other reasons. In such cases, the physician may suggest you to repeat the urine examination after a few days.

Summary:

In some cases, the pathologist may provide certain instructions before collecting your urine for a thorough examination. For example, you may be asked to go empty stomach or a few hours after the meals and so on. Follow these instructions scrupulously; after all, instructions are for the sake of your health and its benefits. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a nephrologist.

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