Urinalysis refers to a series of tests that can be run to assess the chemical quality of urine. Typically, this is done by dipping a strip into the urine sample, and chemical reactions change the color of the pads. Urine specific gravity is a measure of urine concentration. Specific gravity measurements are a comparison of the amount of substances dissolved in urine compared to pure water. If there were no substances present, the specific gravity of the urine would be 1 (the same as pure water). Since all urine has some substance sin it, a urine SG of 1 is not possible. If a person drinks excessive quantities of water in a short period of time or gets an intravenous infusion of large volumes of fluid, then the urine specific gravity may be very close to that of water. The upper limit of the test pad, a specific gravity of 1.035 indicates concentrated urine, one with many substances in a limited amount of water. This can indicate that your kidneys aren’t functioning properly, or simply that you aren’t drinking enough water. Knowing the urine concentration helps your healthcare professional if they suspect any of the following:
-Dehydration / over hydration
-Kidney failure / infection
-Urinary tract infection
A low urine specific gravity test indicates that the concentration of your urine is close to that of water. This is usually not a cause for concern and likely indicates that you are very hydrated. It may also indicate diabetes or damage to the kidneys / kidney failure.
A high urine specific gravity can indicate that you have extra substances in your urine, such as:
-Red blood cells
-White blood cells
It may also be due to conditions such as:
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