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Trying to do a urine test can be fiddly just trying to aim in a cup! But remember when you are doing this that it is part of a long and interesting history from when urinalysis was first recorded on stone tablets in 4000 BC by ancient physicians. Yes that’s right, that’s how old this tried and tested method for conditions of the body is! Hippocrates, in ancient Greek times, even wrote that "No other organ system or organ of the human body provides so much information by its excretion as does the urinary system," and the term Uroscopy, or the study of urine, was coined by medieval doctors. Shakespeare wrote about it, Henry IV commented on it and medical advancements would not be where they are today without the humble urine sample.

Urine tests are still one of the most relied upon tests today

Although urine can be evaluated by its physical appearance (color, cloudiness, odor, clarity) for common health problems, actual urine tests can provide an incredible amount of other information. A test can tell us what is happening in the body by examining what is coming out of it. So even if it is not directly related to our urinary tract, the condition can still be diagnosed. Urine tests tell give us so much information and there are urine tests for so many different things now. The following are just a few of the many urine tests available today to test pathological changes in a person’s urine:

  • Drug and alcohol detection
  • Glucose, ketones (Diabetes)
  • Cholesterol, lipids (heart disease)
  • STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia)
  • PSA (Prostate cancer)
  • Candida (yeast infection; thrush)
  • pH levels (alkaline and acidic)
  • UTIs (Urinary tract infection or kidney problems)
  • Pregnancy, ovulation These tests help to do the following:
  • Assessing certain symptoms such as pelvic pain, pain when urinating, pain in the abdomen, fever, blood in urine
  • Diagnosing various medical conditions: urinary tract infection, kidney stones, uncontrolled diabetes (high blood sugars), infection, kidney impairment, muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis), protein in urine, kidney inflammation (glomerulonephritis).
  • Monitoring how the disease progresses and responds to therapy: blood or protein in urine, bad kidney function or impairment, diabetes related kidney disease, lupus or blood pressure related kidney disease, kidney infection.

The different cells that can be seen in urine are epithelial (flat cells in the lining of the bladder or urethra), red and white blood cells. It is important to not contaminate a urine test as the flat cells can also come from the skin. Always wash your hands and touch only the instructed area when doing a urine test or producing a sample for your physician.

Urine tests are still one of the most relied upon tests today. Urine tests come in a variety of different formats including panel cassettes, dipsticks and the trusty old sample cup with test strips. Urine tests have become widely available to the home consumer via online and the demand for people to test themselves and be responsible for their own health is ever growing. If ordering online, make sure to always purchase a urine test from a reputable company as your health is truly in your hands.

Urine Test

A urine test or urinalysis, can be used for many different reasons such as drug testing, kidney problems and many conditions. Urinalysis has been used for centuries and is a trusted way to obtain information about the body. A routine urinalysis might be performed when a person is admitted to the hospital, as part of a wellness medical, a pregnancy test or preparation for surgery. Results for protein, glucose or red blood cells can be read from a urine test. Here is some more information and resources to help you understand urinalysis and what it is used for.

Urine Drug Screening: American family Physician: www.aafp.org

Is your body too acidic? www.bottomlinehealth.com

Home test for pH: www.hometests.com

Urine Test for Kidneys: National Kidney Foundation: www.kidney.org