When fat is broken down for energy, the body makes substances called ketones (or ketone bodies). These are passed in the urine. Large amounts of ketones in the urine may mean a very serious condition, diabetic ketoacidosis, is present. A diet low in sugars and starches (carbohydrates), starvation, or severe vomiting may also cause ketones to be in the urine. A ketone test checks for ketones in your blood or urine. Ketones are substances that are made when the body breaks down fat for energy. Normally, your body gets the energy it needs from carbohydrate in your diet. But stored fat is broken down and ketones are made if your diet does not contain enough carbohydrate to supply the body with sugar (glucose) for energy or if your body can't use blood sugar (glucose) properly.
Specific Gravity checks the amount of substances in the urine. It also shows how well the kidneys balance the amount of water in urine. The higher the specific gravity, the more solid material is in the urine. When you drink a lot of fluid, your kidneys make urine with a high amount of water in it, which has a low specific gravity. When you do not drink fluids, your kidneys make urine with a small amount of water in it, which has a high specific gravity.
The pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline (basic) the urine is. A urine pH of 4 is strongly acidic, 7 is neutral (neither acidic nor alkaline), and 9 is strongly alkaline. Sometimes the pH of urine is affected by certain treatments. For example, your doctor may instruct you how to keep your urine either acidic or alkaline to prevent some types of kidney stones from forming.
Leukocyte esterase shows leukocytes (white blood cells [WBCs]) in the urine. WBCs in the urine may mean a UTI is present.
Bacteria that cause a urinary tract infection (UTI) make an enzyme that changes urinary nitrates to nitrites. Nitrites in urine show a UTI is present.
Abnormal results in leukocytes and/or nitrites may indicate a urinary tract infection (UTI). The urinary tract consists of the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. Urine in the bladder normally is sterile—it does not contain any bacteria or other organisms (such as fungi). But bacteria can enter the urinary tract through the urethra.
Urinary tract infections are more common in women and girls than in men. This may be partly because the female urethra is shorter and closer to the anus, which allows bacteria from the intestines to come into contact more easily with the urethra. Men also have an antibacterial substance in their prostate gland that reduces their risk.
The dipstick test kit contains specially treated plastic strips (dipsticks) that you dip into a sample of your urine. The strips test for a substance (called nitrite) produced by most urinary tract infections. Pinnacle 10 SG also tests for white blood cells (leukocytes). An area on the end of the strip changes color if you have an infection.
Most urinary tract infections can be easily cured with antibiotics. But an untreated infection may spread to the kidneys and cause a more serious problem. If you use a home test kit, make sure that your doctor knows about any abnormal test results, so that a serious problem is not missed.
Protein normally isn't found in the urine. Fever, hard exercise, pregnancy, and some diseases, especially kidney disease, may cause protein to be in the urine.
Glucose is the type of sugar found in blood. Normally there is very little or no glucose in urine. When the blood sugar level is very high, as in uncontrolled diabetes, the sugar spills over into the urine. Glucose can also be found in urine when the kidneys are damaged or diseased.
Bilirubin is a substance formed by the breakdown of red blood cells. It is passed from the body in stool. Bilirubin is not found in urine. If it is present, it often means that the liver is damaged or that the flow of bile from the gallbladder is blocked.
Urobilinogen formed by the breakdown of bilirubin. It is also passed from the body in stool. Only small amounts of urobilinogen are found in urine. Urobilinogen in urine can be a sign of liver disease (cirrhosis, hepatitis) or that the flow of bile from the gallbladder is blocked.