Home Urinalysis Test Strip Color Chart and Explanations

Ian C. Langtree Content Writer/Editor for Disabled World
Published: 2018/08/06 - Updated: 2024/04/29
Publication Type: Charts, Graphs, Tables
Contents: Summary - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: Urinalysis color chart with explanations, information, and instructions on how to interpret the color variations on home urine test strips. An urinalysis is a urine test best performed on a full bladder first thing in the morning. Home urine test strips are available without a prescription at your local pharmacy or online stores such as Amazon on the Internet.

Introduction

The elimination of urine is essential for different bodily functions. It regulates the balance of water in the body, for example, and also gets rid of substances that are produced during metabolic processes and are no longer needed by the body. Your urine can tell a lot about your current health, some of these tests are described below.

Main Digest

What is a Dipstick or Test Strip Urinalysis?

A urinalysis is a urine test best performed on a full bladder first thing in the morning. An urinalysis checks appearance, concentration, and content of urine and is used to detect and manage a wide range of medical disorders, such as urinary tract infections (UTI's), kidney disease and diabetes. A dipstick, usually a thin, plastic stick with strips of chemicals on it, is coated with urine, the chemical strips will change color if certain substances are present or if certain levels are above, or below, normal which can indicate the presence of compounds like proteins, ketones, hemoglobin, and nitrites, as well as harmful pathogens. Dipstick urinalysis is convenient, but false-positive and false-negative results can occur.

No preparation apart from cleansing the area around the urethra (urinary opening) is required for the automated dipstick urinalysis.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The test strips are available without a prescription at your local pharmacy or online stores such as Amazon on the Internet, however, home use urine test strips are NOT intended for self-diagnosis purposes, and should be used in consultation with your doctor. It is always preferable to consult a medical practitioner if you have any health concerns. A GP will conduct an appropriate assessment and will be able to discuss any concerns that you have and advise which further examinations, investigations or further assessments, if any, are appropriate. The U.K. NHS featured a warning article about self-test health kits, which reported they could do more harm than good. Home test kits, designed to detect ailments from high cholesterol to cancer, can often be misleading, offer false reassurance or trigger false alarms, and they can use language that is often confusing.

Continued below image.
Two pee test strips, or dipsticks, showing the colored test pad areas, resting on the lid of an open urine test strip container.
Two pee test strips, or dipsticks, showing the colored test pad areas, resting on the lid of an open urine test strip container.
Continued...

An Easier Way to Perform a Home Urine Test with Test Strips

Usually the instructions supplied with the urinalysis test strip product will suggest dipping the entire dipstick into the urine sample for 1 or 2 seconds and then comparing the results. However, because different pee tests require different times in which to compare the dipstick color to the corresponding color on the chart, you will find it much easier to use an eyedropper. Simply place a single drop of your urine sample onto a single dipstick chemical pad and wait for the required time to compare the sample against the chart. Then proceed to the next test on the strip, and so on. Just be sure the eyedropper, and any urine collection container used, is sterile.

Please Note:

Home Use Urinalysis Test Strip Color Charts

Jump to a specific home urine test:

Urine Leukocytes Home Test

Neg.

Trace

Small

Mod.

Large

Wait 2 Minutes - Expected result: Negative - Leukocytes: The detection of white blood cells (WBC's) in the urine suggests a possible Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) somewhere in the urinary tract, such as the bladder or the urethra. Leukocytes in the urine may also be a sign of a kidney infection. Kidney stones, pelvic area tumor, or a blockage in the urinary tract can also cause more leukocytes to appear. NOTE: The test for Leukocyte Esterase is purely indicative and should not be solely relied on for diagnosis, as it does not replace microscopic or urine culture examinations.

Home Urine Nitrites Test

Neg.

Pos.
Any Pink

Pos.
Any Pink

Wait 60 Seconds - Expected result: Negative - Nitrite: Screening for possible asymptomatic infections caused by nitrate-reducing bacteria - Suggesting a possible Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Note: These two parameters (Leukocytes (above) and Nitrite) are commonly used to screen for possible UTI's. The test is a rapid screen for possible infections by enteric bacteria, but does not replace urinalysis tests, microscopic examination as diagnostic tools, or subsequent monitoring as other microorganisms that do not reduce nitrate can also cause urinary infections. Studies have shown urinalysis test strips are unreliable at accurately determining UTI's, and should not be the sole test used to rule out UTI infection.

Urine Home Urobilinogen Test

Norm.
0.2

Norm.
1

2

4

8

Wait 60 Seconds - Expected result: less than 17 ┬Ámol/l (< 1 mg/dl) - mg/dL Urine (1 mg = approx. 1 EU) - Urobilinogen: Urine Urobilinogen Test: A urobilinogen in urine test measures the amount of urobilinogen in a pee sample. The test should be carried out at room temperature, as the reaction's sensitivity increases with temperature. Urobilinogen is the breakdown product of bilirubin and is formed from the reduction of bilirubin, and is a yellowish substance found in your liver that helps break down your red blood cells. It is normal for your urine to contain some urobilinogen. If there is little or no urobilinogen in your urine, it can mean your liver is not working correctly. The presence of excreted urobilinogen suggests a possible deterioration of liver functions. Positive test results can indicate liver diseases such as cirrhosis, viral hepatitis, liver damage due to drugs or toxic substances, or conditions associated with increased RBC destruction (hemolytic anemia). This test is only one measure of your liver function. If your health care provider thinks you might have a liver disease, additional urine and blood tests should be ordered.

Home Urine Protein Test

Neg.

Trace

30
+

100
++

300
+++

2000+
++++

Wait 60 Seconds - Expected result: Negative - Protein mg/dL : This test is usually run to screen for kidney disease. Avoid strenuous exercise before taking the urine protein (albumin) test, as this can also affect the amount of protein in your urine. Protein may be excreted in the urine when the kidneys are not working properly, or when high levels of certain proteins are present in the bloodstream. Protein in the urine is called Proteinuria, or Albuminuria. Low levels of protein in urine are normal. Small increases in protein in urine typically are not a cause for concern, but larger amounts may indicate a kidney problem. In the majority of healthy people, your kidneys prevent significant amounts of protein from entering the urine, so the protein pee test is commonly used to screen for kidney disease. It's also used to monitor kidney function in those already diagnosed with kidney disease, or those who may be taking certain medications that can impact the kidneys. Proteinuria (Albuminuria) is often associated with early renal disease, making the urinary protein test an important part of any physical examination.

Home Urine pH Level Test

5

6

6.5

7

7.5

8

8.5

Wait 60 Seconds - Expected result: Low - The pH level indicates the amount of acid in urine. Abnormal pH levels may indicate a kidney or urinary tract disorder. Acidity in your urine may also be a sign of kidney stones. Regulating diet mainly controls urinary pH, although using medication can also control it. Diets rich in animal proteins tend to produce acidic urine, while diets mainly composed of vegetables tend to produce alkali urine. Some substances dissolved in your urine can form crystals when the pee is acidic - others can form crystals when the urine is basic. If crystals form while the urine is being produced in the kidneys, a kidney stone can develop. By modifying your urine pH through diet or medications, the formation of these crystals can be reduced or eliminated. Your body's pH level varies during the day, going from more acid in the morning, to more alkaline in the afternoon/evening.

Blood in Urine Home Test

Neg.

Few
Dark Flecks

Many
Dark Flecks

Trace

Small
+

Mod.
++

Large
+++

Wait - 60 Seconds - Expected result: Negative - Blood in the urine is called hematuria. Blood present in urine in large quantities can be detected visually. Several things can cause hematuria including Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), Kidney infection, medication, strenuous exercise. Generally, early stages of bladder cancer cause bleeding - but little to no pain, or other symptoms. Blood in the urine does NOT always mean you have bladder cancer. More often it is caused by things like infection, benign (non-cancerous) tumors, kidney or bladder stones, or other benign kidney diseases. False-positive reactions due to menstrual contamination may be seen.

Home Urine-Specific Gravity Test

1.0

1.005

1.010

1.015

1.020

1.025

1.030

Wait 45 Seconds - Expected Results: low at 1.000 but normal ranges from 1.020 to 1.030 - Specific Gravity: Urine-Specific Gravity tests are widely used by medics, nurses, and other health professionals to screen for water-loss dehydration and measures of the concentration, or specific gravity, of concentrated particles are in your urine. A higher than normal concentration is often a result of not drinking enough fluids - water-loss dehydration happens when people do not drink enough fluid. Specific Gravity evaluates the body's water balance (hydration) and urine concentration and helps evaluate kidney functions and possible kidney diseases. However, according to recent research from the University of East Anglia (UEA), urine tests should not be the only test used to measure dehydration among the elderly.

Home Urine Ketone Test

Neg.

Trace
5

Small
15

Mod.
40

Large
80

Large
160

Wait 40 Seconds - Expected result: Negative - Ketone: This urine test measures ketone levels in your pee. Normally, your body burns glucose (sugar) for energy. If your cells don't get enough glucose, your body burns fat for energy instead. This produces a substance called ketones, which can show up in your blood and urine. As with sugar, any amount of ketones detected in your urine could be a sign of diabetes and requires follow-up testing. Ketonuria is a medical condition in which ketone bodies are present in the urine. Production of ketone bodies is a normal response to a shortage of glucose, meant to provide an alternate source of fuel from fatty acids. In healthy individuals, ketones are formed in the liver and are completely metabolized so that only negligible amounts appear in the urine. Higher levels of ketones in the urine indicate that the body is using fat as the major source of energy. The control of urinary ketone is useful in managing and monitoring type 1 diabetes.

Home Urine Bilirubin Test

Neg.

Small
+

Mod.
++

Large
+++

Wait 30 Seconds - Expected result: Negative - Bilirubin is a highly pigmented compound that is a by-product of hemoglobin degradation. If your liver is damaged, bilirubin can leak into the blood and urine. The detection of Bilirubin in the urine is an early indication of liver disease such as hepatitis, a blockage in the structures that carry bile from your liver, or a problem with your general liver function. Normally, bilirubin is carried in the blood and passes into your liver, where it's removed and becomes part of bile. Note: These two parameters, Urobilinogen, a colorless by-product of bilirubin reduction formed in the intestines by bacterial action on bilirubin, and Bilirubin are commonly used to screen for possible liver disease. NOTE: Urine-bilirubin measurement is common in urinalysis dipsticks, and are known to yield a high rate of false positive results. When bilirubin is found during a urine test, further investigation is required to ascertain your true health status.

Home Urine Glucose Test

Neg.

1/10 (ir.)
100

1/4
250

1/2
500

1
1,000

2+
2,000+

Wait 30 Seconds - g/dL (%) - Expected result: Negative

  • Top numbers = Grams per deciliter (g/dL) - A gram is equal to the weight of one milliliter or 16 drops of water.
  • Bottom numbers = Milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) - A milligram is one-thousandth of a gram.

To measure the amount of sugar in your urine, you need a urine test strip (dipstick) and a container for collecting urine. It is important to speak with your doctor about the best time of day to perform the urine glucose test, and whether to do it before or after eating. Glucose in the urine could indicate diabetes or renal glycosuria. Having sugar in your urine is usually a sign of very high blood sugar levels. The extra sugar in the bloodstream is typically only removed via the kidneys and detectable in urine at blood sugar concentrations of 10 mmol/L (180 mg/dL) and above. Normally, the amount of sugar (glucose) in urine is too low to be detected. Any detection of sugar on this test often calls for follow-up testing for diabetes. Blood sugar levels can be measured a lot more accurately by taking a blood sample and having it tested in a laboratory. NOTE: These last two parameters are commonly used to screen for possible metabolic disorders.

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Cite This Page (APA): Langtree, I. C. (2018, August 6 - Last revised: 2024, April 29). Home Urinalysis Test Strip Color Chart and Explanations. Disabled World. Retrieved June 14, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/calculators-charts/urinalysis.php

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