The Many Uses Of Urinalysis Reagent Test Strips

By Essie Osborn

Changes in the urine of an individual can be an indicator of health problems. Using urinalysis reagent test strips is a simple and effective way of detecting these changes. Doctors will usually use these products when patients present with symptoms like lower abdominal pain, back pain, stomach ache, or frequent and painful urination. A strip has chemical reagents that react when dipped in urine. The color results are then compared with a color chart, indicating levels of various substances in the urine.

Apart from routine examinations, they can be used for monitoring treatment of chronic diseases. Patients with these diseases can test themselves at home and report to the healthcare professional if necessary. This can help to save costs. Individuals interested in preventative medicine also use these products to keep a check on their general health. Dieters also use them to check their ketone levels.

Routine testing may often pick up problems before they become serious. A simple urinary tract infection can be easily detected and treated. However, there are times when more serious problems are detected. If signs of liver, kidney disease or diabetes are suspected, the health care professional will proceed with further testing before making a definite diagnosis.

A strip consists of a ribbon of pads impregnated with chemical reagents. These strips are contained in vials. A single vial may contain up to a hundred tests. Some vials contain pads with chemical reagents that test for leucocytes or nitrites. Others detect one specific thing, such as the presence of ketones alone. Many products can reveal up to ten different markers.

These sticks provide an economical, effective means of detecting problems before they become serious. For example, two problems that develop during pregnancy are high blood pressure and high blood sugar. These can both be picked up in routine urine tests. Nutritional disorders can also be detected in urine by the presence of ketones.

The best urine sample is taken first thing in the morning. It should be collected in a clean container, preferably a glass one. When the strip is taken out of the vial, make sure to close the cap securely again to minimize exposure to light and air. When removing the strip, running it against the rim of the container can help to remove excess urine. Too much urine can affect the result by causing reagents to leak into one another.

A test like this is usually very quick to perform. Most results develop in one to two minutes, although there are certain products where results take longer to show. The colors shown on the strip are then measured against those found on the color chart included with the product. A range of concentration levels reveals whether a result is normal or abnormal.

The results of such tests should only be considered as initial indicators of health problems. If you are doing the tests at home and the results are abnormal, you should always consult your doctor. Urine tests are not always reliable and the doctor may suggest having more detailed tests done at a laboratory.

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