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How to prepare for a urine test and interpret the results

The urine test, also known as urinalysis type 1 or EAS (Abnormal Elements of Sediment), is an examination normally requested by physicians to identify changes in the urinary and renal systems, which must be done by analyzing the first urine of the day, since it is more concentrated.

Urine collection for the test can be done at home and does not require fasting, but it should be taken to the laboratory within 2 hours for testing. Urinalysis type 1 is one of the tests most requested by the doctor, as it informs several aspects of your health, besides being quite simple and painless.

In addition to EAS, there are other tests that evaluate the urine, such as the 24-hour urine test and the urine culture, in which pee is analyzed to identify the presence of bacteria or fungi.

How to prepare for a urine test and interpret the results

What does the EAS indicate?

The EAS test is requested by your doctor to assess the urinary and renal system, and is useful for identifying urinary tract infections and kidney problems, such as kidney stones and kidney failure, for example. Therefore, the EAS test can help to analyze some physical, chemical and the presence of abnormal elements in the urine, such as:

  • Physical aspects: color, density and appearance;
  • Chemical aspects: pH, nitrites, glucose, proteins, ketones, bilirubins and urobilinogen;
  • Abnormal elements: blood, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, spermatozoa, filaments of mucus, cylinders and crystals.

In addition, the presence and amount of leukocytes and epithelial cells in the urine are checked in the urine test.

The collection for urinalysis can be done in the laboratory or at home and the first urine of the morning should be collected, neglecting the first urine jet. Before collecting, it is important to sanitize your intimate region with soap and water to avoid contamination of the sample. After the urine collection, the container should be taken to the laboratory within 2 hours for analysis.

What does a 24 hour urine collection evaluate

A 24 hour urinalysis helps to identify small changes in the urine throughout the day and is done by accumulating in a large container all the urine eliminated during that day. This sample is then taken to the laboratory and analyzed, to verify its composition and quantity, helping to identify problems such as kidney filtration problems, protein loss, and preeclampsia in pregnant women. See more about the 24 hour urine test.

Reference range for urine tests type I

The reference range of type 1 urine tests should be:

  • pH: 5,5 e 7,5;
  • Density: de 1,005 a 1,030
  • Characteristics: Absence of glucose, proteins, ketones, bilirubin, urobilinogen, blood and nitrites, some (few) leukocytes and rare epithelial cells.

If the urine test is positive for nitrite, presence of blood and numerous leukocytes, for example it may be indicate a urinary tract infection, but only a urine culture test confirms the presence of the infection. However, urinalysis type 1 should not be used alone to diagnose any urinary problems. See what is a urine culture and how to interpret the results.

Ascorbic acid in urine

Usually the amount of ascorbic acid in your urine (vitamin C) is also dosed to see whether or not there was interference in the result of hemoglobin, glucose, nitrite, bilirubin and ketone, for example.

An Increase in the amount of ascorbic acid in your urine may be due to the use of vitamin C drugs or supplements or excessive consumption of vitamin C-rich foods.

How to prepare for a urine test

Generally, no special care is needed before doing a urine test, but some doctors may ask you to avoid using vitamin C supplements, laxatives with anthraquinones, or antibiotics, such as metronidazole, a few days before, because they can change the results.

It is also important to correctly perform the collection of the urine, because if you collect the first jet of urine or the are is lacking correct hygiene it can lead to results that do not reflect your true health condition.

It is also important to correctly perform urine collection, because if you collect the first jet of urine or lack proper hygiene it may lead to results that do not reflect your true health condition. In addition, women are not recommended to have a urine test during their period as the results may have alterations.

Urine test to detect pregnancy

There is a urine test that detects pregnancy through the amount of the hCG hormone in the urine. This test is reliable, however when the test is done too early or incorrectly the result can go wrong. Ideally this type of test should be done 1 day after the day on which your menstruation should have appeared, and should be done using the first morning urine, as this hormone is more concentrated in the first urine.

Even when the test is performed at the right time, the result may be false negative because the body may still not have produced the hCG hormone in sufficient amounts to be detected. In this case, a new test should be done after 1 week. This urine test is specific for detecting pregnancy, so other urine tests such as a urine test type I or a urine culture, for example, do not detect pregnancy.

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