Leukocytes in urine test – easy and inexpensive to do at home

Leukocytes in urine test

A leukocytes in urine test can indicate a urinary tract infection. In this article we explain how to conduct a leukocytes in urine test at home and what to do if you the result is positive.

Article summary

  • Leukocytes are white blood cells (WBC)
  • Leukocytes in urine can indicate a urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Testing for leukocytes in urine at home is easy and inexpensive
  • A clean urine sample must be collected for accurate results
  • The results of a leukocyte in urine test must be read after the minimum reaction time has passed
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Testing for leukocytes in urine at home is expensive and difficult?

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A positive test for leukocytes in urine may indicate a urinary tract infection?

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Leukocytes are white blood cells?

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A urine test result can be measured before the reaction time has passed?

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A clean urine sample is not important for home urine testing?

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Leukocytes in urine test

A leukocytes in urine test can indicate the presence of a urinary tract infection. Leukocytes are white blood cells (WBC)that appear to fight the bacteria that causes a urinary tract infection (UTI).

An uncontrolled UTI can painful, cause the feeling of needing to urinate and in very extreme cases permanently damage the kidney.

UTI’s are more prevalent in women than men due to their different physiology. A proportion of the population suffer from recurrent UTI throughout their lifetime.

A leukocytes in urine test can be done at home and is easy and inexpensive.

In this article we will show you how to test for leukocytes in urine at home. We will take you through the steps to conduct this home urine test and give you some good tips for understanding your results.

Leukocytes in urine test instructions

Step 1 - select a urine test strip

To conduct a leukocytes in urine test at home you need to purchase a urine test strip that tests for leukocytes. The following products include a leukocyte assay and can be bought inexpensively in a pharmacy or online: 

  • Roche Combur 5
  • Acon Mission 8N
  • All Test URS-10T
  • Siemens Multistix-10SG

Your local pharmacist or doctor can also recommend a urine test strip that tests for protein in urine or you can consult our guide on our website by clicking here or our article on how to select a urine test dipstick by clicking here.

Step 2 - Collect a urine sample

To collect a urine sample you will need a disposable urine collection cup.

Taking a sample from your first urination in the morning is recommended by many experts. Before collecting your sample men should make sure their penis is clean and women should ensure that the area between the labia are clean to ensure there is no contamination.

To collect your sample have your urine collection cup on hand and urinate a small amount into the toilet bowl then stop. Place the collection cup in the appropriate area and pee into the cup, stopping before it overflows. You are now ready to use your urine sample to do your urine test.

Step 3 - Conduct the test

Have your urine sample, your urine test strip and a stopwatch or the PURI urinalysis app ready and with the correct template open.

Dip your urine strip into the urine sample at the same time as you start the timer. Ensure all the reagent pads are submerged in the urine and are submerged for as long as your manufacturer recommends, usually 1 to 2 seconds.

On removing the strip wipe it on the side of the cup to remove any excess urine.

Wait until the correct reaction time has passed before reading your strip. PURI will indicate this by unlocking the template so you can enter results.

When the reaction time has passed follow the manufacturer’s instructions and compare the color of the reagent pads on the strip to the colored grid on the manufacturer’s packaging.

Step 4 - Record your leukocytes in urine test results

Once you have identified the test result, record the results in PURI or write them on a piece of paper or type them into an excel spreadsheet. If recording your results manually ensure you record the date and time as well as the result of your test.

If you use PURI you can save 2 photos with your test results. We recommend taking a photo of your urine sample and of the test result. This information can be useful when test results are reviewed by your doctor.

Step 5 - Review your results

If you had a negative result then you can either stop testing, or if you wish, continue testing at regular intervals to be 100% sure of the result. A series of results over time is much more reliable than a single result and we recommend you repeat the tests over a number of days to confirm the negative result.

If you received a positive result we recommend you visit your doctor for their opinion. Your doctor can carry repeat the test and also, if needed, order laboratory tests. They can diagnose your condition and prescribe a course of treatment. Until you doctors appointment we recommend you continue testing so you have more data to share with your doctor during your appointment.

For patients who suffer from recurrent UTI, regular testing may be able to identify a possible UIT before it gets to advanced. You can work with your medical carer to manage the underlying condition(s) that may cause leukocytes in urine to appear. 

For users of PURI you can share your results via email or with other users in the app at a touch of a button.

White blood cells in urine – why they appear and what they mean

White blood cells in Urine

White blood cells in urine is a common indication for UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). In this article we investigate why white blood cells in urine occur, their role in our body and how you can test for them with urine testing.

Summary of this article

    • The role of white blood cells in urine is to kill bacteria which may be present
    • Presence of white blood cells in urine may be an indication of a UTI
    • A home urine test can identify white blood cells in urine
    • Treatment should be sought for a suspected UTI

Test your knowledge on this topic:

White blood cells in urine

White blood cells in urine are often a sign of inflammation within the urinary tract infection.  The role of white blood cells in the immune system is to kill bacteria which may be present.

White blood cells in urine are generally present when a person suffers from UTI (urinary tract infection). As we have discussed in another article, the most common cause of UTI is bacteria ascending through the urinary tract (a bacterial infection). White blood cells will also be present in an infection that is not caused by bacteria (abacterial infections and parasitic infections).

The test for white blood cells in urine is a leukocyte test. The reference range for white blood cells (leukocytes) in urine is as follows:

  • Normal 0 to 10 leukocytes/μL
  • Borderline 10 to 20 leukocytes/μL
  • Pathological greater than 20 leukocytes/μL

Detecting white blood cells in urine

White blood cells in urine are diagnosed with a urinalysis for leukocytes. At home and in some clinical settings a common test method is the use of a urine dipstick.

Leukocytes in urine
Leukocytes in urine results color scale

A urine dipstick is a piece of plastic or coated paper that contains reagent soaked pads. When the stick is dipped into a urine sample they will undergo a reaction. The content of the urine will determine the reaction.

Once the urine strip has fully reacted the, the color of the pads on the strip are compared to a color scale on the urine test strip’s label. This comparison determines the result.

The result will indicate:

  • Presence; and
  • Concentration

Treatment

If leukocytes in urine are found this can be an indication of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). To be certain it is recommended at this stage to visit your Doctor to confirm a diagnosis and receive treatment. An untreated UTI can be very painful and with very advanced infections cause permanent damage to the Kidney.

There are many methods advertised on the internet for curing a UTI, and many people have their own preferred method. A Doctor is likely to recommend a course of antibiotics to treat the infection that caused the leukocytes to be there in the first place.

Once the antibiotics take effect the concentration of white blood cells in urine will decrease to a normal level.

There are different classifications of UTI in men depending on which part of the male urinary tract if infected.

Summary

  • Leukocytes are white blood cells
  • The role of white blood cells is to kill bacteria which may be present in the urinary tract
  • Presence of white blood cells in urine may be an indication of a UTI.
  • A home urine test will be able to identify the presence and concentration of white blood cells in urine
  • If a UTI is suspected treatment should be sought as an uncontrolled urinary tract infection can have negative health consequences.

Test your knowledge

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White blood cells in urine quiz

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The role of white blood cells is to kill the bacteria that may be present in a urinary tract infection?

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A leukocyte is a white blood cell?

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A home urine test can detect the presence of white blood cells in urine?

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Is it recommended that if you suspect a UTI you should consult a medical professional?

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Leukocytes in Urine – why they appear and what they mean

Leukocytes in Urine

Leukocytes in urine is a common indication for UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). In this article we investigate why leukocytes occur, their role in our body and how you can test for them with urine testing.

Summary of this article

    • Leukocytes are white blood cells
    • Leukocytes role is to kill bacteria which may be present in the urinary tract
    • Presence of leukocytes in urine may be an indication of a UTI.
    • A home urine test can identify the leukocytes in urine
    • Treatment should be sought for a suspected UTI.

"Leukocytes are attracted to any area of inflammation and ... can penetrate the areas adjacent to the inflammatory site".

Graff's Textbook of Urinalysis and Body Fluids Tweet

Leukocytes in urine

Leukocytes in urine are often a sign of inflammation within the urinary tract infection.  Leukocytes are white blood cells and their role in the immune system is to kill bacteria which may be present.

Generally,  leukocytes in urine are present when a person suffers from UTI (urinary tract infection). As we have discussed in another article, the most common cause of UTI is bacteria ascending through the urinary tract (a bacterial infection). Infections that are not caused by bacteria (abacterial infections and parasitic infections) will also increase the presence of leukocytes in urine.

The reference ranges for leukocytes in urine are as follows:

    • Normal 0 to 10 leukocytes/μL
    • Borderline 10 to 20 leukocytes/μL
    • Pathological greater than 20 leukocytes/μL

Detecting leukocytes in urine

Leukocytes in urine are diagnosed with urinalysis. At home and in some clinical settings a common method is using a urine dipstick.

Leukocytes in urine
Leukocytes in urine results color scale

A urine dipstick is a piece of plastic or coated paper that contains reagent soaked pads. When the stick is dipped into a urine sample they will undergo a reaction. The content of the urine will determine the reaction.

Once the urine strip has fully reacted the, the color of the pads on the strip are compared to a color scale on the urine test strip’s label. This comparison determines the result.

The result will indicate:

    • Presence; and
    • Concentration

Treatment

If leukocytes in urine are found this can be an indication of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). To be certain it is recommended at this stage to visit your Doctor to confirm a diagnosis and receive treatment. An untreated UTI can be very painful and with very advanced infections cause permanent damage to the Kidney.

There are many methods advertised on the internet for curing a UTI, and many people have their own preferred method. A Doctor is likely to recommend a course of antibiotics to treat the infection that caused the leukocytes to be there in the first place.

Once the antibiotics take effect the concentration of leukocytes in urine will decrease to a normal level.

There are different classifications of UTI in men depending on which part of the male urinary tract if infected.

Summary

    • Leukocytes are white blood cells
    • Leukocytes role is to kill bacteria which may be present in the urinary tract
    • Presence of leukocytes in urine may be an indication of a UTI.
    • A home urine test will be able to identify the presence and concentration of leukocytes in urine
    • If a UTI is suspected treatment should be sought as an uncontrolled urinary tract infection can have negative health consequences.

UTI Symptoms Men – how men can identify and manage their UTI

UTI in men
UTI symptoms in men appear at a lesser rate than women, however, when they do happen it is important to recognise them and treat them effectively. In this article we look at the statistics behind UTI in men, what some of the causes are and how to recognise and gain treatment.

"About 60% of women and 12% of men will have at least one UTI during their lifetime".

UTI in men

UTI in men is most commonly caused by bacteria entering the urine and making its way into the urinary tract. Bacteria can be present in the urine without an infection being present, however, depending on the type and concentration of bacteria an infection may occur.

When bacteria causes an infection the bladder and urethra become red and infected. This is very similar to what happens to your throat when you have a cold. The infection can cause pain in the abdomen and sometimes the lower back, as well as make you feel like urinating more.

UTI in men can be a painful experience and result in burning sensation when peeing.

Incidence of UTI in men

About 12% of men will have at least one UTI during their lifetime. The statistic for women is about 60%.

Ascending infections are the most common cause of UTI. As the female urethra is short and intestinal bacteria tend to colonize the perineum (The section between the anus and the vulva), and the vulva itself, women tend to have more urinary tract infections that men.

Men can thank their biology for less UTI’s.

Types of UTI in men

There are diffrerent classifications of UTI in men depending on which part of the male urinary tract if infected. 

The diagram below shoes the male urinary system. Urine is formed in the kidneys and travels down the ureters into the bladder. The urine is stored in the bladder until urination occurs. The urine then travels down the urethra and exits the body.

The bacteria causing a UTI in men will travel in the opposite direction. The bacteria enters the urinary tract via the penis and the infection will start in the Urethra, travel up to the bladder and in extreme cases up into the kidney.

The following examples are categorised dependent on how much of the urinary tract is infected:

    • Urethritis: bacterial infection of the urethra
    • Cystitis: infection of the bladder
    • Pyelonephritis: bacterial infection of the kidney

A kidney infection can be extremely serious and extremely painful. You can see our article on kidney pain here which covers some of the symptoms of kidney infection.

Male Urinary Tract

UTI symptoms in men

As as already mentioned the main physical symptoms of UTI are:

    • feeling the need to urinate more
    • pain when urinating
    • pain in the abdomen or lower back

UTI can also be detected via the presence of leukocytes and/or nitrites in the urine.

Detecting UTI symptoms in men with a urine strip

The presence of leukocytes, nitrites and/or blood may be an indication of a UTI in men. The picture blow shows the important factors for a UTI in men urine test.

UTI home test strip
A urine test strip with the three measures relevant for UTI
A urine test for UTI in men can be done cheaply and easily at home. You can find more information in our article by clicking here. To do a home UTI test you need a urine test strip. The most important criteria for selecting a UTI home test is to find a urine strip which measure levels of Leukocytes, Nitrites and Blood in the urine. Below are a few popular examples to help you find what you need in your pharmacy or online:
    • DSI Dus 10 parameter
    • Acon Mission 10U
    • Roche Combur 5
    • All Test URS-10T
    • Atlas Medical Urinary Tract Infection Test
You can also speak to your local pharmacist or doctor. You can also consult our guide on our website by clicking here or reading our article on how to select a urine test dipstick by clicking here. Armed with these strips you can very quickly identify if your urine contains signs of a UTI.

Summary

UTI symptoms in men can be painful and if not treated can be dangerous. A home urine test can identify a possible UTI in men before the painful symptoms begin.

UTI Home Test – can the pain and discomfort of UTI be avoided?

UTI Home Test
UTI home test… is it possible? The short answer is yes! If we told you it was possible to identify a Urinary Tract Infection before the uncomfortable physical symptoms begin, would you be interested? Lets find out…

"Nearly 20% of women who have a UTI will have another, and 30% of those will have yet another. Of the last group, 80% will have recurrences".

National Kidney and Urologic Disease Information (2009). Urinary Tract Infections in Adults. Tweet

UTI home test

A UTI can be painful and be a distraction from every day life. The incidence rate of UTI is very high in women and women are more likely to have recurrent UTI.

In speaking to women about their UTI allot have told me that they have a “feeling” when it is coming. With this suspicion maybe lots of water is drunk, or certain types of herbal remedies are taken in the hope of stopping the UTI. Finally, a doctors visit may be needed to get the infection under control.

A UTI home test is very valuable because it converts the “feeling” into a clear indication if a UTI might be present and if the treatment is working.

A UTI home test may be able to stop the uncomfortable burning symptoms and in the most extreme cases permanent damage to the kidneys through uncontrolled infection.

UTI home test strips

A UTI home test urine strip allows you to test for UTI at home cheaply and effectively. These urine strips have been around for a long time and can be found in your local pharmacy or purchased on line inexpensively.

Today there are many good products marketed as UTI strips. But be careful, we have found them to be more expensive than purchasing a standard package of all purpose urine strips as we recommend in this article. Same results, cheaper price.

A UTI home test urine strip is a strip of paper or plastic with reagent soaked pads on top. Each pad contains a different reagent that changes color when it comes into contact with urine.

To gain a test result the test strip is dipped into a urine sample and the chemical in the pads react with the urine sample. The pads will change color dependent on the presence of molecules that may indicated a UTI. 

To read the result, the reacted strip is compared to a colored reference grid on the manufacturer’s packaging. As a patient you match the color on your test strip to the color on the grid. Once the color has been identified the patient’s result is known.

UTI home test results

A UTI home test urine strip is a semi-quantitative test. This means that the results give you a value range not an exact value. This semi-quantitative method is generally enough to indicate if you have a problem or not.

For a UTI home test we are interested in three tests:

    • Leukocytes
    • Nitrites; and
    • Blood

Leukocytes and nitrites will indicate if there is a possible infection. A positive blood result may indicate an advanced infection which requires medical intervention.

The image below shows these three tests from the packaging of a DSI Dus 10 parameter test strip. You an see the different colours and the related values. For example a nitrite test that is pink to purple will indicate the presence of nitrites.

UTI home test strip
A urine test strip with the three measures relevant for UTI
We will now guide you through the steps required to carry out a UTI home test below. We will take you through these steps briefly here, but if you want to see a great guide you can visit this article or you can visit the instructions on our website.

Step 1 - select a UTI home test urine strip

The most important criteria for selecting a UTI home test is to find a urine strip which measure levels of Leukocytes, Nitrites and Blood in the urine. Below are a few popular examples to help you find what you need in your pharmacy or online:
    • DSI Dus 10 parameter
    • Acon Mission 10U
    • Rocher Combur 5
    • All Test URS-10T
    • Atlas Medical Urinary Tract Infection Test
You can also speak to your local pharmacist or doctor. You can also consult our guide on our website by clicking here or reading our article on how to select a urine test dipstick by clicking here. Armed with these strips you can very quickly identify if your urine contains signs of a UTI. 

Step 2 - Do your test

To do the test you will need a disposable urine sample collection cup, a stopwatch and your urine strips. For those people who want to save their results, they should have the PURI application installed and opened on their phone.

Taking a sample from the first urination in the morning is good. Before taking the sample men should make sure their penis is clean and women should ensure that the area between the labia are clean to ensure there is no contamination.

To collect the sample have your urine collection cup on hand and urinate a small amount into the toilet bowl then stop. Place the collection cup in the appropriate area and pee into the cup, stopping before it overflows. You are now ready to use your urine sample to do your urine pH test.

Start the timer and dip your urine pH test strip into the urine at the same time (see instructions for how to use PURI here). Allow your strip to remain in the urine for as long as your manufacturer recommends, usually 1 to 2 seconds, and on removing the strip, wipe it on the side of the cup to remove any excess urine.

Wait until the correct time has passed to read your strip and then compare to the coloured grid provided in the manufacturer’s packaging. 

Step 3 - Record your urine pH test result

Once you have identified the correct result, a simple way to record results is to write them on a piece of paper, or type them into an spreadsheet. When recording the result make sure you record the date and time and the result of your test.

A better way is to download for free the PURI Urinalysis App from the Google Play Store or the iTunes app store. PURI safely stores your data, has a simple input screen making it easy to save your results.

Step 4 - Record a photo of your results

Photos can be viewed at a later date to confirm certain aspects of your test. Particularly useful is taking a photo of your urine sample. Much can be interpreted from the colour and the physical properties. Your doctor may find these photos useful in reviewing your your test results.

So now you have your results stored in a safe place the next step is to understand your results.

Step 5 - Understand your results

If you had a negative result for leukocytes, nitrites and blood then you may wish to stop testing. If you wish to be sure, you can also continue testing at regular intervals to be 100% sure of the result. This is a good strategy for people who suffer from regular recurrences of UTI. A single result is a good indicator, but a series of results is much more reliable. You will have purchased more than 1 test strip so you might as well use them all.

If you received a positive result then it is time to understand your results better. Again, you might want to do a number of tests to double check your single result, for example, by repeating the test at the next urination. That way you can gain confidence in your result and have more data to share with your doctor.

Armed with your test results you can seek a clear diagnosis of your potential UTI. If you are positive for leukocytes, nitrites or blood the best and most accurate way is to book an appointment with your Doctor. Your Doctor is trained to interpret your results and can treat the infection or initiate more detailed tests to arrive at a conclusive diagnosis. If your diagnosis requires special treatment, your doctor can refer you to a specialist. The most important for you is that you gain treatment to stop the UTI.

If you have saved your results in PURI you can easily share your results with a Doctor or Pharmacist at the click of a button. In that way, if your health provider offers remote service, they can view your results and advise you via email or the phone. You can also share your result with the PURI Pharmacist free of charge for an initial opinion.

Step 6 - Manage your condition

Hopefully you obtain a negative result in which case there may not be much more to do. A regime of ongoing screening can be helpful to pick up on symptoms early.

For patients whose test results have resulted in an abnormal result it is important that you follow your doctor’s advice. 

We hope you have found this article on how to test your urine pH at home useful. If you have any comments, feedback or questions then please let us know by filling out the contact form.

pH test strips – How to test for Urine pH at home

ph test strips

pH test strips can be a useful tool to gain insight into your health. Each month there are about twenty thousand searches for the term “Urine pH” in Google.  If you add other related search terms and other Search Engines, then the real figure is likely much higher. You might have found this article from a search engine result!

Urine pH is an important measure because it gives us insight into our body’s acid-base balance. The body needs to maintain our acid-base balance to ensure its healthy functioning. If our acid-base balance is abnormal it could be a sign of health issues. 

In this article we will show you how to test urine pH at home with urine pH test strips. We will take you through 5 steps to conducting the appropriate Home Urine Test and give you some good tips for understanding your results. These results can be used to track and manage conditions that effect your urine pH.

"An important kidney function is acid regulation. As cells metabolize, they continually produce acids. Foods that we eat can increase the acid in our body".

Mundt, Lillian; Shanahan, Kristy. Graff's Textbook of Urinalysis and Body Fluids (Page 12). LWW. Kindle Edition. Tweet

Test for urine pH at home

Acidosis (high blood acidity) or alkalosis (high blood alkalinity) can be a cause for concern and may indicate health problems. If you have reason to suspect you have abnormal acid-base balance it is important you understand what this means for your health.

You can test your urine pH in a doctor’s office or at home. The most common method of testing urine pH is with a urine pH test strip. 

Urine pH test strips

A Urine pH Test Strip allows you to test your Urine pH at home cheaply and effectively. These strips have been around for a long time and can be found in your local pharmacy or purchased on line inexpensively.

A Urine pH Test Strip is a strip of paper or plastic with reagent soaked pads on top. Each pad contains a different reagent that changes color when it comes into contact with urine.

To gain a test result, the test strip is dipped into a urine sample and the chemical in the pads react with the urine sample. The pads will change color dependent on how acidic or basic your urine is. 

To read a result, the reacted strip is compared to the color of the chemical pads to a colored reference grid on the manufacturer’s packaging. As a patient you need to match the color on your test strip to the color on the grid. Once the color has been identified the patient’s result is known.

Urine pH test strip results

A urine test strip is a semi-quantitative test which means that the results give you a range of values for your urine pH is not an exact value. This semi-quantitative method is generally enough to indicate if you have a problem or not.

A urine pH result will be a single number representing the pH of the urine. The scale for urine pH will start at about 4.5 and could go up to as high as 9. A range of about 5 to 8.5 is common. 

urine ph test strip
A urine test strip with a pH measure from 4.5 to 9.0

Step 1 - Select a urine pH test strip

There are many urine test strips to choose from and the first time purchasing your test strip can be a confusing experience.

The simplest way to measure your urine pH is to purchase a urine test strip which measures urine pH such as the Siemens Multistix 10 or he Roche Combur 10. There are also very specific tests available which measure only urine pH and they have a much more refined scale such as the one in the photo above. 

With these strips you can very quickly learn your urine pH and if you are in the normal range. 

Your local pharmacist or doctor can also recommend for a Urine Test Strip that tests urine pH or you can consult this guide on our website by clicking here. You can also consult our article on how to select a urine test dipstick by clicking here.

Step 2 - Do your urine pH test

To do the test you will need a disposable urine sample collection cup, a stopwatch and your urine strips. For those people who want to save their results, they should have the PURI application installed and opened on their phone.

Taking a sample from the first urination in the morning is good. Before taking the sample men should make sure their penis is clean and women should ensure that the area between the labia are clean to ensure there is no contamination.

To collect the sample have your urine collection cup on hand and urinate a small amount into the toilet bowl then stop. Place the collection cup in the appropriate area and pee into the cup, stopping before it overflows. You are now ready to use your urine sample to do your urine pH test.

Start the timer and dip your urine pH test strip into the urine at the same time (see instructions for how to use PURI here). Allow your strip to remain in the urine for as long as your manufacturer recommends, usually 1 to 2 seconds, and on removing the strip, wipe it on the side of the cup to remove any excess urine.

Wait until the correct time has passed to read your strip and then compare to the coloured grid provided in the manufacturer’s packaging.

We will take you through these steps briefly here, but if you want to see a great guide you can visit this article or you can visit the instructions on our website.

You have now completed your urine pH test.

Step 3 - Record your urine pH test result

Many urine test results end up in the rubbish bin. By saving your urine test results you are saving an important part of your health record. You can also provide to your doctor good information about your results that will give them more information when assessing your health.

A simple way to record results is to write them on a piece of paper, or type them into an excel spreadsheet, recording the date and time and the result of your test.

A better way is to download for free the PURI Urinalysis App from the Google Play Store or the iTunes app store. PURI safely stores your data, has a simple input screen making it easy to save your results.

PURI has other features such as a built in timer (as discussed above)  and the ability to store two photos of your results.

Step 4 - Record a photo of your results

Photos are can be viewed at a later date to confirm certain aspects of your test. Particularly useful is taking a photo of your urine sample. Much can be interpreted from the colour and the physical properties. Your doctor may find these photos useful in reviewing your your test results.

The other advantage of saving your test results in PURI is that you can share your results at a touch of a button. By clicking the share icon on your test results you can share your results with a contact within the app or send to anyone via email. The share function will share your test results and also the photos you have added to this test.

Another benefit of recording your results in PURI is that you can view graphs of the result which will allow you see trends. Is your urine pH stable? in the normal range? changing? etc. Storing your data electronically and having it on hand makes this type of analysis easier.

So now you have your results stored in a safe place the next step is to understand your results.

Step 5 - Understand your results

If you had a negative result then you can either stop testing, or if you wish, continue testing at regular intervals to be 100% sure of the result. A single result is a good indicator, but a series of results is much more reliable. You will have purchased more than 1 test strip so you might as well use them all.

If you received a positive result then it is time to understand your results better. Again, you might want to do a number of tests to double check your single result, for example, by testing every day for at least 3 days. That way you can gain confidence in your result and have more data to share with your doctor.

Armed with your test results you can seek a clear diagnosis of why you have abnormal pH. Some online research is always good as it will prepare you to understand the possible causes. That said, the best and most accurate way is to book an appointment with your Doctor. Your Doctor is trained to interpret your results and can initiate more detailed tests to arrive at a conclusive diagnosis. If your diagnosis requires special treatment, your doctor can refer you to a specialist. The most important for you is that you understand what is causing abnormal pH in your urine and begin a treatment program.

If you have saved your results in PURI you can easily share your results with a Doctor or Pharmacist at the click of a button. In that way, if your health provider offers remote service, they can view your results and advise you via email or the phone. You can also share your result with the PURI Pharmacist free of charge for an initial opinion.

Step 6 - Manage your condition

Hopefully you obtain a normal pH result in which case there may not be much more to do. A regime of ongoing screening can be helpful to pick up on symptoms early.

For patients whose test results have resulted in an abnormal result it is important that you follow your doctor’s advice. 

We hope you have found this article on how to test your urine pH at home useful. If you have any comments, feedback or questions then please let us know by filling out the contact form.

Urologist – what do they do and when should you go

Urologist

A urologist is a specialist in urology and they can help you with conditions effecting the urinary tract. In this article we explore what a urologist does and why you may need one.

Intro

Urologists have a wide remit. They deal with the urinary tract which contains the kidney and the bladder and the connecting tubes (ureters and urethra). In addition a urologist deal with the male organs including the penis, testes, scrotum, prostate etc.

In this article we explain what a urologist does, the types of conditions they treat and how home based urinalysis testing may help you gain insight and manage various conditions.

"Urology is a part of health care that deals with diseases of the male and female urinary tract (kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra). It also deals with the male organs that are able to make babies (penis, testes, scrotum, prostate, etc.). Since health problems in these body parts can happen to everyone, urologic health is important.".

The urinary tract

The urinary tract is an important system within out body.  We are all aware that the urinary tract produces urine, an important waste product of the body, however it does much more. The urinary tract is responsible for:

    • eliminating waste from the body
    • regulating blood volume and blood pressure
    • controlling levels of electrolytes and metabolites
    • and it regulates blood pH

The urinary tract is in fact much more than a drainage system for our body.

Allot of the magic happens in our kidneys which filters our blood and regulates blood pressure and regulates necessary blood factors. When our kidney’s are healthy we can lead normal and healthy lives. There is a branch of medicine which deals directly with the kidney called Nephrology. We will discuss that in a different article. 

Male Urinary Tract

Male Urinary Tract

Female Urinary Tract

Female Urinary Tract

Conditions of the urinary tract

There are a number of issues that can occur within the urinary tract. The key ones include:

    • Bladder issues, like overactive bladder (OAB) or incontinence
    • Infections
    • Cancers and tumors that occur in the urinary tract such as bladder or kidney cancer
    • Birth defects
    • Kidney stones
    • Bleeding in the urinary tract which could have a number of different sources 

And within these key groups there are many different diseases and conditions.

Urologists are also equipped to deal with male fertility and other diseases with male reproduction such as prostate issues.

A specialist urologist is equipped to diagnose and treat these conditions.

What is a urologist

Know we know what the urinary tract is and some of the diseases that effect it, we can ask what Urology is.

The Urology Care Foundation defines urology as “a branch of medicine that deals with health problems of the male and female urinary systems, and the male reproductive system”. And put simply, a doctor who specializes in these body parts is called a urologist.

Urologists are highly skilled doctors. They are both a doctor and a surgeon. Within Urology there are various sub-specialisations, for example, a urologist may specialise in children, or cancer amongst other areas.

A urologist is supported by various highly trained professionals such as a urology nurse.

The Urologist has a number of techniques they use to diagnose and treat conditions of the urinary tract.

When to see a urologist

Now the question becomes when you need to see a urologist. The Urology Care Foundation recommends to see a urologist when:

    • Pain when passing urine (peeing)
    • Problems with urine leaks
    • Peeing too much or problems with urine flow
    • Kidney stones
    • Blood in urine; among others
    • Kidney pain
    • Abnormal result from home urine testing
 Often a GP will make a referral to a urologist so your local GP can be a good place to start.

Conclusion

A urologist is a highly skilled professional that can treat problems in the urinary tract. There are a number of conditions that they can help with. If you suffer any abnormalities from your urinary tract you can consult them to get treated.

Kidney location – lets find out where these important organs are

Kidney location

Kidney location is something we may not have been aware about. These two fist sized organs play a very important part in cleaning our blood and maintaining the balance of various compounds in our body. In this article we show you where kidneys are located and a few more interesting facts.

"The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs on either side of your spine, below your ribs and behind your belly. Each kidney is about 4 or 5 inches long, roughly the size of a large fist".

Kidney location

kidney location
Kidney location from webmd website

Kidney location is not a hard puzzle to solve. As webmd says “The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs on either side of your spine, below your ribs and behind your belly. Each kidney is about 4 or 5 inches long, roughly the size of a large fist”.

The foto on the left shows you the kidneys location in our body as well as an internal view.

Apart from the kidney location in our body we can think about its relation to other systems. Kidneys sit at the intersection of the cardiovascular system and the urinary tract.

Depending on how you think about it, the kidneys produce either waste, in the form of urine, or clean blood. Lets have a closer look at this.

Connection to the cardiovascular system

Given that the kidneys filter our blood they must be connected to the cardio vascular system. The kidney plays a very important role in our cardio vascular system. The kidneys help to regulated blood pressure, removes waste and excess water as well as manage the pH balance in the body.

The kidneys receive a continuous flow of blood. In fact, from 20 to 25 percent of the blood leaving the left ventricle of the heart enters the kidneys. This amounts to 1.2 litres of blood processed by the kidneys per minute! Per kidney that is 600ml each! Each kidney processes the volume of a modern bottle of soda per minute.

The kidney is connected to cardio vascular system by the renal arteries and renal veins. The renal artery carries blood away from the heart and into the kidney. This is the blood that will be processed by the kidney. The renal vein carries blood to the heart and away from the kidney. This is the blood that has been cleaned by the kidney.

Connection to the urinary tract

The kidney connections to the urinary tract is done via the Ureter. The Ureter runs from the center of the kidney, where the waste urine collects, and runs to the bladder. The urinary tract then leaves the bladder via the Urethra.

The extraction of waste water and other compounds to form Urine is carried out by the Nephron. The nephron is the functional unit of the kidney. In the kidney there are approximately 1 million nephrons! In very simple terms, nephrons filter the blood via a series of chemical and physical filtration steps. A nephron will remove all molecules from the blood that need balancing and then allow them to reenter the blood further on along the nephron. Then the blood re-enters the cardio vascular system and the urine heads along the urinary tract.

The processes by which the kidney does this is fascinating. The kidneys location at the intersection of the cardiovascular and urinary tract system can be understood by understanding what happens in the nephron.

Kidney development

Finally in this article we will look at how the kidneys develop when we are in the womb. Did you know as we develop in the womb we develop three different kidneys?

The first two kidneys are absorbed before arriving at the final one. Below you can see an animation of the development of these kidney in-utero. This video shows the development of the male kidneys and you can see the kidneys location.

Kidney pain

The kidneys location can be felt when you have Kidney pain. Kidney pain is generally due to kidney stones or infection. If you feel a sharp pain or an ache in the lower back between the buttocks and ribs this could be kidney pain. The kidneys location are why you feel pain in this area. Kidney pain should be taken very seriously. Kidney pain will not go away by itself and you should seek medical attention. You can read our article on kidney pain here.

Urine pH – what it tells us, how to measure and what it means

urine ph

Urine pH can tell us various things about our health. In this article we explore how to measure your urine pH and how you can use it to manage your health.

Intro

One of the main roles of the kidney is acid regulation. Urine pH is one of the ways to measure our body’s acid-base balance.

"An important kidney function is acid regulation. As cells metabolize, they continually produce acids. Foods that we eat can increase the acid in our body".

Mundt, Lillian; Shanahan, Kristy. Graff's Textbook of Urinalysis and Body Fluids (Page 12). LWW. Kindle Edition. Tweet

What is pH?

pH is a measure of how acid or basic a liquid is. Technically it is a measure of how many hydrogen ions are in a solution. It is a relative measure and the pH scale is used to measure how acidic or basic a solution is. 

The scale starts at 0 and goes to 14. From 0 to 6 is acidic, 7 is neutral and from 8 to 14 is basic.

Some examples of what this means in real life are:

    • a car battery has a pH of 0 and is very dangerous if touched or ingested
    • water has a pH of 7 and is neutral and will not harm us
    •  bleaches and drain cleaners have a pH of 14 and, again, are very dangerous to humans

Urine pH

Urine pH can give us great insights into our health.

The body has two organs that balance acid in our body. Both the lungs and the kidneys play a role in maintaining blood pH.

Urine pH is effected by the kidney’s role in maintaining the acid-base balance in the body. The kidney works to maintain blood pH at about 7.4. This means that as the blood flows through the kidney the pH of the urine changes depending on what is required to maintain blood pH.

Human urine can range from a low of 4.6 to a high 8.0. The average urine pH is about 6. This means that our urine is slightly acidic.

We will look into what causes acidity.

Blood pH

While in this article we are discussing urine pH it is important to note that in a clinical setting blood pH will generally be tested and used.

Maintaining acid-base balance

The body needs to maintain the acid-base balance for the proper functioning of our body. 

When the levels of acid in our blood are too high it is called acidosis. When blood is too alkaline, it is called alkalosis. Both conditions can cause serious issues. 

Causes of acidosis and alkalosis

Some of the causes of metabolic acidosis include:

    • Lactic acidosis from shock, infection, hypoxia.
    • Renal (kidney) failure
    • Ketones due to diabetes mellitus or alcohol
    • Drugs or toxins.
    • Renal tubular acidosis
    • Diarrhoea
    • Addison’s disease.

Causes of metabolic alkalosis include:

    • Vomiting
    • diuretics
    • Excessive alkali drugs, such as for acid dyspepsia
    • Burns

Treatment for acidosis or alkalosis is the treatment of the underlying causes.

How to measure urine pH?

Measuring urine pH is very simple. We have written a full article which you can access here.

Uric acid stones – causes and what you can do

Uric Acid Stone

Uric acid stones can be painful. These stones are related to the ability of our body to process uric acid. In this article we learn why they form, what treatments are available and what you can do.

Uric acid stones

A kidney stone is a hard mass of crystallized minerals that form in the kidneys or urinary tract. There are four major types kidney stones. They include cacium stones, struvie stones, cystine stones and uric acid stones.

"Uric acid stones occur in 10% of all kidney stones and are the second most-common cause of urinary stones"

Department of Nephrology, Fremantle Hospital Tweet

Formation of uric acid stones

Uric acid is a byproduct of the breakdown of compounds in our body called “purines”. Purines exist in our bodies and in our food. Purines help us to produce our bodily energy and protein needs.

Our kidneys process the majority of the uric acid in our body. This uric acid is then expelled in our urine. Some uric acid is expelled via our intestinal track.

Sometimes our kidneys cannot process all the uric acid in our body. This can be because we have too much uric acid, or our kidneys are damaged.

Too much uric acid can result in crystals forming in joints. This condition is called gout. It can also result in kidney stones in our kidney or urinary tract.

Kidney stones form when urate crystals can appear in the kidneys and urinary tract and clog together to form kidney stones. 

Risk factors

There are a number of identified risk factors which include:

    •  Diet
    • Obesity
    • Medical conditions
    • Medications
    • Age and sex

Lets explores these in more detail.

Diet

Uric acid results from purines in our diet. Purines are found in animal proteins such as beef, poultry, pork, eggs, and fish. The highest levels of purines are found in organ meats, such as liver, and fish. 

When our diets contains large amounts of animal proteins this can cause uric acid to build up in our urine. The uric acid can then settle and form a stone by itself or in combination with calcium.

Reducing animal proteins in our diet may be one way of reducing uric acid in our urine and reducing our chances of kidney stones.

Obesity

There is an increased risk of uric acid stones in those who are obese. It has been reported that this increase is due to diet and/or metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is often associated with diabetes. Metabolic syndrome leads to a change in the acid/base balance of the body. This change can lead to overly acidic urine and thus leading to uric acid stones.

Medical conditions

    • Certain medical conditions lead to an increased risk of uric acid stones such as:
    • Type 2 diabetes can make urine more acidic, which encourages stones
    • Uric acid stones occur in people with bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
    • Gout is a condition when uric acid builds up in the blood and form crystals in the joints and the kidneys.

Medicine

Patients on chemotherapy are prone to developing uric acid stones.

Age and sex

Men have higher uric acid levels than women. Therefore men generally have a higher incidence of uric acid stones than women.

After menopause women’s uric acid levels increase. Therefore, with increasing age the incidence of uric acid stones in women increase.

What you can do

As we have seen there are a number of reasons why uric acid stones occur. We now explore what you can do to manage these stones. Acid/base balance of the body is very important in relation to the formation of uric acid stones. One way of testing this is with a urine test. Many urine test strips measure urine pH. If you want to find out which tests measure pH you can use our test strip compatibility guide here. By measuring and tracking your urine pH you may be able to determine if you are at risk. Other reported measures of managing uric acid stones include diet, weight loss. If you are at risk, or have a history or uric acids stone you can speak to your physician. There are medical techniques for dissolving stones that avoid the need for surgical intervention.