There’s nothing we love more than peeing into a cup. Just kidding – urine testing is never fun or completely comfortable. But your urine is one of the best indicators of your gynecological health out there. And, all things considered, the mild (and mostly psychological) discomfort of a urine test is nothing compared to the conditions it can help you prevent.
Here are some of the indicators your urine test will analyze – and what they mean.
Quality counts: looking at urine color, clarity, and odor
The quality of your urine – the way it looks and smells, mostly – says a lot about how hydrated you are, the quantity of toxic substances in your body, and the lack or presence of urinary system diseases. A urine test can even detect metabolic diseases like liver disease and diabetes.
Urine color and clarity indicates hydration, diet, and health
It’s okay to judge by appearances in this case. Here are some shades and qualities and what they might indicate.
- Red-tinted urine: blood in urine, which means you’ll need additional testing (unless, of course, you’re a woman on her menstrual cycle – in which case you get a pass)
- Bright pink, red, or red-brown: someone’s been chowing down on dark berries or beets. If the urine is clear, you’re good to go; if it’s cloudy, you might be seeing evidence of a health problem.
Urine color can tell us a lot about your health – but often, your doctor will use these indicators to conduct more specific medical tests and further diagnose any health problems.
Of course, it can be difficult to distinguish different hues of urine without some comparison – so we’ve designed this chart to make it easier for you to do at home.
What’s that smell? Urine odor
Changes in the odor of urine can also be indicators of health issues. An E. coli bacterial infection causes a (very) bad odor, while lack of food or fasting can cause a sweet or fruity odor. And we all know what asparagus can do for your eau de pee.
Urine indicators show deficiencies and excess nutrients
There’s more to urine testing than just looking at the stuff, of course. Lab techs will run chemical analyses on your urine as well – which will give you a more detailed picture of your overall health.
The following indicators are often tested in urine:
- pH value – can indicate kidney stones or infections
- Protein – can indicate a kidney infection
- Sugar – can indicate diabetes
- Nitrite – can indicate a bacterial infection
- Ketone – can indicate diabetes (or that your body is keto-adapted, a relatively new use)
- Bilirubin – can indicate liver damage or disease
- Urobilinogen – can indicate liver damage, hepatic infection, or obstruction of the bile passage (bad news for digestion)
- Red blood cells – can indicate bladder infection, kidney infection/stones/disease
- White blood cells – can indicate bacterial infection
A urinalysis, an in-depth analysis of the urine, assesses clarity, color and concentration, chemical composition and cellular composition. Indicators from this test are:
- Creatinine – measures kidney health
- Bacteria – can indicate a urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Urinary casts – measure kidney health
- Crystals – can indicate cholesterol health
- Epithelial cells – illustrate health of ureter, urethra and bladder
- Yeast – can indicate vaginal yeast infection
- Parasites – plain old bad news for the whole body
Pregnancy testing through urine samples
Over-the-counter pregnancy tests analyze urine for chorionic gonadoptropin (hCG), a substance produced by the placenta.
What’s your pee telling you?
It might not be a topic for dinner table/first date/small talk conversation, but your pee is more interesting than you might think.
If you notice any strange colors, odors, or pain when urinating, contact us to schedule an appointment with a physician.