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Urinalysis: What Is Urine Test, And How Does It Work?

Atlanta urgent care doctor performing urinalysis

Urinalysis is crucial to detect different illnesses, conditions, and substances. By examining the content and color of urine, Atlanta urgent care doctors can determine if you're experiencing various ailments or infections. A fundamental way of diagnosing conditions via urinalysis is the urine dipstick test. But why do doctors test urine in the first place?

Why Do Doctors Test Urine?

Testing and analyzing urine, known as urinalysis, helps medical professionals spot potential irregularities in a patient's body. It's a routine, easy test in which patients provide a urine sample to their doctor or physician during a physical in Atlanta.

Here are the main reasons why your doctor may test your urine.

Helping Diagnose A Medical Condition

Are you experiencing abdominal pain? Are you having trouble urinating? A doctor can ask for a urine sample if urinary discomfort persists.

Urinalysis can help spot some severe medical conditions that need treating right away.

Once a primary care provider or urgent care doctor in Atlanta performs urinalysis and laboratory tests, they can diagnose an illness or condition. The quicker a doctor can spot a problem, the quicker patients can start treatment and recovery.

Urinalysis results can also help a woman determine if she's pregnant.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

UTIs are one of the most common causes of extreme urinary discomfort. These infections are usually found in three areas: your kidneys, bladder, or the urethra. Each brings with it specific urinary tract infection symptoms.

Common signs of a urinary tract infection are:

If you believe you have a urinary tract infection, you must request a urinalysis from your doctor as soon as possible.

Ensuring You're Healthy

Providing a urine sample is as routine as getting a quick urgent care x-ray in Atlanta to get a general grasp on how healthy a patient is. When examining the color and concentration of a urine sample, physicians can find the cause of blood in urine, abdominal pain, and more.

For example, if your doctor sees cloudy urine in the sample, it can likely be the presence of a UTI. However, for a more in-depth picture of one's health, doctors will send the sample to the lab for further tests and analysis.

Urine Drug Screenings

Drug screenings, usually using a mixture of blood testing, urinalysis, and more, detect illegal substances in the body. Drug screenings can determine if there are any illicit substances in the body in a few hours to a few days.

The most common uses for drug screening are for employment, sports, evidence for trials, or drug treatment programs monitoring participants.

Urine Testing In Atlanta: The Urine Dipstick Test

While there are several types of urine tests, the urine dipstick test is a reliable way to detect different medical conditions. This test can be a part of a patient's overall urinalysis or given separately, depending on the situation.

These in-depth urine tests help experts detect any blood cells, white blood cells, and the beginnings of kidney stones in the form of crystals. These microscopic tests and analyses help doctors detect abnormalities that aren't readily seen by the naked eye.

Urine dipstick tests are a staple of comprehensive urinalysis. Patients will likely have to provide urine samples for their primary care provider during their annual physical exam.

Urine dipstick tests monitor and detects the following:

The appearance of these can pinpoint specific diseases and chronic conditions.


Buildup of protein in urine signals the appearance of kidney problems like kidney stones or kidney disease. Since your kidneys should effectively flush waste out of your system, the kidneys aren't operating normally when protein appears.


When a patient has high sugar levels in urine, it's most likely because of diabetes.


High acidity in a urine sample points to infection and possible kidney stones.

White Blood Cells

When white blood cells are in the urine sample, it likely means the patient suffers from a urinary tract infection.

Blood In Urine

Hematuria, or blood in urine, is when the kidneys allow blood to seep into your urine. 

Sometimes you can see hematuria with the naked eye. Other times, you'll need an expert to analyze possible hematuria you can't readily observe, called microscopic hematuria.

Detecting microscopic hematuria is crucial to helping patients receive treatment.

A few conditions and activities cause hematuria.

Treatments for hematuria include taking an antibiotic regimen or certain medications to clear up any infections. If blood in urine is because of a kidney stone, shock wave therapy may help patients break them down.

Bilirubin Buildup

Bilirubin is a product of broken-down red blood cells in your body. Bilirubin is flushed out of your system thanks to your liver.

If there's bilirubin in the urine sample, it points to liver disease or disorder. The liver clears bilirubin, so if it appears in a sample, the liver isn't functioning properly. High bilirubin in your system can show up as jaundice, fever, chills, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Your doctor may have you take a bilirubin blood test if they believe it's warranted.

Preparing For A Urine Test

To prepare for a urine test, patients don't need to do anything out of the ordinary. Before providing a sample, ensure you wash your hands thoroughly.

Providing The Urine Sample

The objective when providing a sample is to catch the sample mid-stream.

'Mid-stream' means you submit the urine into the cup mid-stream, ignoring the first and last parts of urination regarding submitting your sample. Mid-stream assures the sample isn’t contaminated if you didn't wash your hands well enough. You can expose the sample to bacteria when neglecting to wash your hands adequately.

Urinalysis In Atlanta With WestsideMed

Atlanta urgent care providers at WestsideMed provide patients with urine dipstick tests and overall urinalysis. With comprehensive lab services, WestsideMed helps patients test for STIs, kidney disease, urinary tract infections, and HIV testing in Atlanta.

When submitting a urine sample to WestsideMed medical providers, patients will receive a detailed overview of possible conditions urinalysis points toward. Whether it's a drug test in Atlanta, diagnosing diabetes, or ensuring you're healthy, WestsideMed providers are here to help patients with results.

For more information on how WestsideMed urgent care doctors in Atlanta offer quick and easy medical solutions, call 217-269-8205 to make an appointment today!

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