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Typically, a urinalysis will measure the following values: pH, specific gravity, glucose, protein, blood, as well as other measurements. Each of these values offers the opportunity to pinpoint the cause of a condition or identify one in which the patient is not yet experiencing outward symptoms. A urinalysis requires about 1 to 2 ounces of urine.
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Diagnosing Health Conditions
Urinalysis normal lab values may include the detection of elements or compounds which should not be found in the urine normally. For example, glucose, protein, bilirubin, or blood are not normally present in a urine sample and may indicate an underlying health condition. An urinalysis is one tool in which your doctor can use to get an accurate picture of how your internal organs function. However, the presence of certain materials can lead to a more definitive diagnosis.
If glucose is found, this can indicate diabetes, while the presence of protein may point to a kidney issue. Gallbladder or liver disease may be indicated by the presence of bilirubin. Bilirubin is a pigment that comes from the breakdown of hemoglobin in the liver. Red blood cells can also be indicative of a kidney condition or stones in the urinary tract. White blood cells appear in the presence of an infection.
Normally, some sediment will be found in a urine sample perhaps from sloughed off cells or mucous. However, the detection of crystals or casts may mean that the patient has a kidney stone.
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What Are Normal Values?
Many factors influence the results of a urinalysis including diet, health conditions, and menstruation. Your state of hydration may also affect characteristics such as urine color and specific gravity.
Usually, the pH value will range between 4.6 and 8.0. Diet plays a role in how acidic or alkaline a sample will be with vegetarians more likely to be alkaline and more acidic in those individuals who include meat in their diet. Specific gravity will range between 1.001 to 1.035, depending upon diet and the stage of hydration. This figure represents the kidney's ability to concentrate urine.
Another influence of diet is in the presence of ketones. Popular low carb diets encourage the body to undergo ketosis or the breakdown of fat in order to lose weight. Ketones will then be present in the urine as a result. If the patient is pregnant or has Type 1 diabetes mellitus, ketones may also be present in the sample.
Your doctor can learn a great deal about your body and your lifestyle through a urinalysis. While you may not feel ill, comparing your results with that of urinalysis normal lab values can be all the information your doctor needs to make a diagnosis and begin a course of treatment.
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Encyclopedia of Surgery: Urinalysis – www.surgeryencyclopedia.com
Tortora, G. and Reynolds Grabowski, S. Principles of Anatomy and Physiology. 1996