Some science behind the scenes


A urinalysis (UA), also known as routine and microscopy (R&M), is an array of tests performed on urine. 

There are a whole host of chemicals, minerals and pathogens that can be tested for using these test and they have the advantage that there are some that can be used at home using urine test strips [though they do not come cheap]. 

The test strips are relatively easy to use, being colour coded. Another method is light microscopy of urine samples and this needs to be done in a laboratory using a machine.


It is also possible to use the colour and appearance of urine as a simple diagnostic tool.  Dark urine may mean we are dehydrated.  The list below comes in part from Wikipedia and is quite helpful as a summary of [some of] the test substances that can be checked.

  • Nitrite
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Phosphate
  • Protein
  • Human chorionic gonadotropin [used in pregnancy testing]
  • Red blood cells
  • White blood cells
  • Glucose
  • Ketones
  • Bilirubin
  • Cortisol
  • Bacteria
  • Heavy metals
  • Leukocytes