Urine Analysis (Urinalysis) Test
On your first visit to the True Vitality clinic, you will be asked to bring a ‘first of the morning, mid-stream’ urine sample, provided in a specimen jar or any small glass container that has been rinsed with boiling water to kill off any contaminates.
Your urine specimen can help to detect irregularities in your body and much about your health and well-being.
I’ve outlined below what can be picked up by urine testing, but first here’s a Case Study where urinalysis played an important role.
Diabetes and kidney disease averted by a Urine Analysis Test
Apart from wanting to be very thorough when investigating my clients’ health concerns, urinalysis is a fast tool to screen many things. Most of the time, nothing shows up and that’s great, but often it uncovers clients with lingering background infections, including early signs of diabetes or other potential conditions.
I remember a Japanese client. Aged about 50, whose urine analysis indicated markers were present for diabetes and infection. She showed low and medium levels of protein, glucose, nitrates, leucocytes and an acid pH. She told me it had been picked up by doctors for many years, but they couldn’t find anything else of significance. Consequently, the rationale was ‘this was just how she was’, and ‘let’s keep an eye on it’. But nothing had changed for more than 10 years.
I then asked about her family illness history. She told me her brother, who lived in Japan, had severe diabetes, was nearly blind, one kidney failed, and a foot amputated due to complications. To make matters worse, he was threatened with the removal of one of his hands, all due to not being able to control his sugar levels, even with strong drugs.
Apparently, his diet had not been changed, and as a traditional eater, he consumed lots of rice, especially sushi (which is sweetened rice) plus ‘diet’ soft drinks (not good!).
With this in mind, and after checking her blood and eyes, I could see she had the potential to go down the same path as her brother. But unlike her brother she was dedicated to make changes to her diet. She was taken off rice (yes, I know, terrible for someone who had eaten rice as a staple for her whole life, but we had to try it) along with using certain nutritional and herbals.
Within a few months, those markers that had been there for over 10 years were gone and her blood and eyes looked clearer. She felt so much better with more energy – which was the reason why she came to me in the first place.
If I hadn’t organised the in-clinic urine test and didn’t ask about family, I may have missed the real cause of her fatigue.
Incidentally, urine is tested using a Test Strip, called a Combur 9 test by Roche.
What can be detected in the urine?
- Leukocytes: also known as white blood cells, pus or pyuria. Leucocytes in the urine are usually associated with a renal (kidney) problem or an infection in the bladder and or kidneys. It is not normal to see white blood cells in urine.
- Nitrates: not normally present in urine and indicate the presence of bacteria. In the presence of a UTI (urinary tract infection), you would normally see both nitrates and leucocytes and possibly other features.
- pH: the pH of your bodily fluids reflects how acidic or alkaline your body is. pH is affected by diet, supplements, medications and disorders of the body. Ideally, we want to have a urine pH of around 6.8 (close to neutral of 7).
- Protein: normally protein isn’t present in a healthy person’s urine as the protein molecules are too big to pass through the kidney’s filtration barrier called glomerular. Protein detected in the urine is termed Proteinuria and is related to such things as kidney damage, diabetes, hypertension and pre-eclampsia (in pregnancy).
- Glucose: not normally present in urine and is termed glycosuria. Can be present in urine of those with diabetes, gestational diabetes or other endocrine (hormonal) abnormalities.
- Ketones: you will see the presence of ketones in those who have been fasting or after prolonged periods of vomiting and/or diarrhea. High levels are dangerous and signify the abnormal breakdown of fat or a sign of poorly controlled diabetes. Some medications can give a false reading.
- Urobilinogen: elevated levels can indicate the breakdown of red blood cells, problems with the liver, drainage issues of bile into the gut or gall stones.
- Bilirubin: produced by the red blood cells and transported to the liver to be excreted by the liver into the gut. Bacteria in the gut normally converts bilirubin into urobilinogen. If found in the urine it signifies a poor functioning liver.
- Erytherocytes (red blood cells): blood should not be present in the urine. Termed haematuria, it can be indicative of kidney disease, infection, inflammation of the urinary tract, renal damage, kidney stones or cancer of the urinary tract.
With just a tiny sample of urine, we can discover a lot. Most samples are completely clear, but when they’re not, these simple tests can reveal unknown pathologies that are best sorted sooner rather than later.