Thanks to advanced technology, physicians can “see” what’s going on inside your body without wielding a scalpel. Diagnostic tests tell us a great deal about the state of your health.
At Woodstock Family Practice & Urgent Care in Woodstock, Georgia, Dr. James Lee and our team offer onsite diagnostic tests that reveal important information about your body’s processes, including vascular, respiratory, digestive, and endocrine systems.
One of the most common tests we administer is urine analysis (urinalysis). If you need to undergo this test, here’s what to expect and what we’re looking for in your sample.
What to expect during a urinalysis
You don’t need to do anything special to prepare for a urinalysis, but it helps to have a full bladder — or at least not an empty one.
We hand you a small cup with a lid on it as well as a cleansing wipe and show you to the restroom. In order to get an uncontaminated sample, we ask women to use the wipe to cleanse their labia from front to back, and men to clean the tip of their penis.
Once you begin to urinate, pass the cup into the stream to collect a sample. We don’t need much; a couple ounces will do. That’s it — we take it from there.
There are times when we may need to collect a sample from your very first urination in the morning, because it’s more concentrated. If this applies to you, we send you home with a cup and you can bring your sample to us.
Who needs a urinalysis?
You may need a urinalysis for any of the following reasons:
Routine physical exam
A urine analysis gives us essential basic information, so it may be a part of a routine physical examination, which may also include a blood test and other basic exams that check your weight, blood pressure, temperature, etc.
As part of our dedication to preventive care, we use the urinalysis to help us detect early signs of problems such as diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease.
If you think you might be pregnant, a urinalysis gives us a definitive answer by measuring the level of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your system.
If you need to take a drug test for legal or employment reasons, a urinalysis can detect many substances or rule them out.
If you have symptoms such as back pain or abdominal pain, a urinalysis lets us know if you’re dealing with a kidney or liver problem. It may also provide clues about why it’s painful to urinate or why you have blood in your urine.
Monitoring medical conditions
Urinalysis allows us to keep tabs on your treatment progress, especially if you have a urinary tract infection or kidney disease.
What we’re looking for in your urine
When we examine your urine, we’re looking for anything out of the ordinary. Healthy urine contains water, salt, and waste that have been filtered through your kidneys.
The first thing we do is take a look. Healthy urine is clear, so if we see cloudiness or discoloration, we know we need to investigate further.
We also use our olfactory senses — a foul odor may indicate an infection.
The next step involves the paper test, where we dip a strip of treated paper into your urine. The reaction it causes lets us know what’s in your urine that shouldn’t be, or if you have too much or too little of certain elements.
A simple urinalysis can tell us if your urine has:
- Too much sugar or high ketones (possible diabetes)
- Abnormal pH (possible urinary tract or kidney disorder)
- High concentration (dehydration)
- White blood cells (possible infection)
- Blood (possible kidney damage, infection, or blood disorder)
We also check your urine under a microscope to gather even more information. Here, we check for abnormal cells, proteins, crystals, bacteria, yeast, and other pathogens.
Urine analysis tests are simple and painless, and they provide a wealth of health information.
If you’re due for an annual physical exam, you’re having pain in your abdomen or back, your urine doesn’t look or smell right, or you see blood, come see Dr. Lee right away. A quick urinalysis here in our office provides answers and peace of mind.
Schedule an appointment by calling our friendly staff, or book your visit online today.