Your urine has a lot of hidden information about your overall health, so you need to take a closer look to identify this. Basically, urine is the filtered residue of wastes, extra water, and excess substances from your blood. Your kidneys filter the excess material from your blood and that’s why you can see what is more or less than needed in your body from your urine analysis. Urine analysis provides you information on urinary tract infections, your hydration level, kidney health, liver health, your diet, exercise level, and much more. If you want to dive into the secrets of your urine, here are the topics we have prepared for you.
Urinary Tract Infection is the overall name for an infection in your kidneys, bladder, ureters, or urethra. The cause of UTIs is generally bacteria entering the urinary tract and multiplying in the bladder. If you have bacteria in your bladder and urine analysis, it means you have an infection.
The symptoms that you can notice are:
- Having the urge to urinate frequently
- Pain during urination
- Frequent and small amounts of urination
- Cloudy, red, bright pink, or dark-colored urine
- Strong urine odor
If you have these symptoms for a period of time you may consult your doctor for a suitable treatment.
Things to do to prevent UTIs
- Drink water: The more you drink, the more you will flush out bacteria through urine.
- Drink cranberry juice
- Wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from passing after a bowel movement
- Empty your bladder after intercourse
- Don’t use irritating feminine hygiene products
Urine analysis gives information on your hydration level and there are several indicators. Color, clarity, and specific gravity gives hints on your level of dehydration. If you don’t have a primary disease that affects your urine, urine color is also an indicator that can show your hydration.
- Yellow and light yellow are considered normal,
- Transparent is over hydrated
- Orange and darker colors are dehydrated.
If you are dehydrated or over hydrated your electrolyte balance in your body can’t be sustained. When you over hydrate, the electrolyte content of your body is diluted meaning sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, and calcium concentration drops in your body. On contrary, if you are dehydrated, your body lacks water and the concentration of electrolytes is higher than normal. Overall, this can lead to kidney and urinary problems.
The second step is the urine analysis test that checks your urine specific gravity. This test compares the density of your urine with the density of water. This way you can find out the dilution level of your urine and kidney function. If the concentration is too high, it means you are not hydrating well or your kidneys are not functioning properly.
Tips to hydrate:
- Carry a reusable bottle and add lemon to your water
- Increase fruit and vegetable intake
- Reduce salty and sugary food intake
3) Kidney Health
Kidneys are the organs that filter our blood and excrete excess materials via urine. They filter waste and impurities, regulate pH, salt, and potassium levels, and produce hormones. So maintaining kidney health is very important for overall well-being. Unfortunately, kidney diseases can remain hidden very well because there are no observed symptoms until at an advanced stage. However, urine analysis can provide insights into your kidney health. Albumin (protein) and creatinine ratio tests will be helpful in identifying and tracking kidney diseases.
Kidney diseases are not 100% preventable as genetic factors are dominant but you can reduce the chances:
- Manage conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, that may lead to kidney diseases
- Quit smoking
- A balanced diet contains, vegetables, fruits, grain, dairy, protein sources, and healthy fats.
- Reduce alcohol intake
- Exercise to lower your blood pressure and reduce the chances of kidney disease
- You may get regular check-ups if you are at risk of developing kidney disease
4) Liver Health
You can also learn more about your liver health from your urine analysis. The substance that will give you this information is bilirubin. Bilirubin is made while the body breaks down red blood cells, which is a normal process. A healthy liver can remove most of the bilirubin from your body, but if your liver isn’t functioning well, the bilirubin can leak into our blood and then to urine. So if you see bilirubin in your blood analysis, you might have a problem with your liver.
Another substance in urine analysis that you should check regarding liver health is urobilinogen. When the amount of bilirubin reduces, urobilinogen forms. Normally urine has some urobilinogen but if this amount goes beyond the normal range, your liver might not be working well.
Liver health and tracking an existing liver problem is very important for your health. Watch out for these symptoms of potential liver disease and consult your doctor before it reaches a life-threatening level:
- Skin and eyes become yellowish
- Swollen abdomen, legs, and ankles
- Abdominal pain
- Itchy skin
- Urine color becomes dark
- Pale stool
- Nausea and feeling tired
- Loss of appetite
Some advice to follow in order to reduce the risk of liver disease:
- Limit your alcohol consumption
- Use medication wisely
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Maintain a high level of hygiene
5) Diet Tips
You can change your lifestyle in order to enhance the excretory system and liver health. One major change would be reshaping your nutrition. There are some cases that you might need to change your diet a little bit different from generally recommended diets.
Ketone in Urine Analysis
If you see ketone in your urine this means that your body is burning fat for energy because you don’t have enough glucose. Normally the body uses carbohydrates for energy, but when your body lacks carbs, fats become the number one fuel. If you don’t follow a ketogenic diet and you have high ketone levels, this could be due to:
- Metabolic abnormalities like diabetes mellitus, renal glycosuria, or glycogen storage
- Skipping meals
- Starvation for long hours
You might consider to arrange your meal times or increase the carbohydrates in your diet
If the Ph of your urine is outside the normal range, you might consider changing your diet. The body excretes excess substances via urine. So if your urine is too acidic this means that you consume high amounts of acid and if your urine is too alkaline you consume high amounts of alkaline food. The optimal urine pH range is 4.5-8.0. If you are below this range, your urine is too acidic so you can switch to more alkaline foods. On the contrary if your urine is above this range, your urine is too alkaline and you need to consume more acidic foods.
- high-protein foods
- sugary foods
- most fruits
A balanced and healthy diet will help you to reach the average healthy urine pH of 6.0-7.0.