Using Urine Testing To Predict Future Health Risks

2012-11-01 | |
Last updated: 2014-12-10

Urine_SampleAs a medical tool, urine testing offers physicians important insights to unobtrusively identify what is happening in the body. In fact, the combination of blood tests and urine tests form the backbone for much of the medical testing that doctors routinely use to diagnose disease. As such, urine testing serves a crucial role in ensuring that patients can receive prompt treatment for their medical conditions.

However, there is more to urine testing than simply diagnosing disease. In recent years, researchers have begun to discover that urine testing also has predictive powers. That is, some urine tests can identify medical problems that a person does not yet have but is at risk to develop in the future. If we consider just how difficult it is to treat some medical conditions, the prospect of predicting and potentially preventing disease becomes very intriguing.

What Information Can Be Obtained From the Contents Of Urine?

As one of the forms of waste produced by the body, urine contains many different types of materials. Anything that can dissolve in the blood will show up to some degree in the urine. Some examples of the simpler contents of urine include many minerals in differing concentrations such as sodium, potassium, iron and magnesium. Urine also contains dissolved chlorine and chemicals based on nitrogen. Urine sometimes contain sugar, especially in the case of untreated diabetics. The variations in the concentrations of these materials provide considerable useful information for diagnosing illness.

Testing For Hormones In The Urine

Additionally, urine also contains hormones. The well-known “pee on a stick” pregnancy tests are based on the existence of specific types of hormones within the urine. The level of these hormones help to identify both that a women is pregnant and roughly how far along she is. This is the most well recognized example, but dozens of hormone tests can be performed on urine to test for various conditions.

Checking For Protein In The Urine

One last material to mention that is found in urine is protein. The levels of different types of protein found in the urine are normally low but can increase when a patient has specific medical conditions. To date, the ability to predict future disease risk has also come from the analysis of these protein levels in the urine.

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Category: Disease Prevention, General Health, Medical Research

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