Urinalysis is the physical, chemical, and microscopic examination of urine. It involves a number of tests to detect and measure various compounds that pass through the urine.
Urine appearance and color; Routine urine test
A urine sample is needed. Your health care provider will tell you what type of urine sample is needed. For information on how to collect a urine sample, see:
There are three basic steps to a complete urinalysis:
Physical color and appearance:
The urine specific gravity test reveals how concentrated or dilute the urine is.
See also: Urine chemistry
Certain medicines change the color of urine, but this is not a sign of disease. Your doctor may tell you to stop taking any medicines that can affect test results.
Medicines that can change your urine color include:
The test involves only normal urination, and there is no discomfort.
A urinalysis may be done:
Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:
Normal urine may vary in color from almost colorless to dark yellow. Some foods (like beets and blackberries) may turn the urine a red color.
Usually, glucose, ketones, protein, and bilirubin are not detectable in urine. The following are not normally found in urine:
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
For specific results, see the individual test article:
There are no risks.
If a home test is used, the person reading the results must be able to distinguish between different colors, since the results are interpreted using a color chart.
McPherson RA, Ben-Ezra J, Zhao S. Basic examination of urine. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 21st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: W.B. Saunders Company; 2006:chap 27.