Urine Dipsticks

The picture shown here is a can of urine dipsticks. This is a simple tool that can tell you if you are moving into a zone with certain homeostatic controls that will require your attention.  

There are 100 thin strips in the can with reagent pads glued along the strip. Dip the strip completely into urine and pull it out then briefly rest the edge of the strip against a paper towel to wick away excess urine (so one pad does not contaminate the one next to it.)

In 30-60 seconds, align the strip along the color chart on the can and see if the colors of the reagent pads are moving beyond the neutral/negative range. If so, it is telling you some things (discussed below).  

When you align your strip (where your thumb rests on the bottom of the strip) with the color chart, the area you see here outlined in blue is essentially the neutral zone and where you want to see the colors on your strip.

You will note the pH area is a full point increment so ideally your color would fall somewhere around the 6. For more accurate measures you would want to use a pH meter. Similarly for specific gravity you would want to use a refractometer.



Color of urine should be light straw colored.

If very light to colorless might be excess water consumption, anabolic (with low specific gravity), consider diabetes, chronic interstitial nephritis, severe iron deficiency, alcohol ingestion, liver bile insufficiency, vitamin C insufficiency, intestinal flora.

If blue consider food dyes, certain medications, pseudomonas infection.

If orange could be concentrated urine from dehydration, fever, heatstroke, laxatives, bile, drugs, carrots, carotenes, riboflavin, food dyes.

If milky consider bacterial or urinary tract infection, vaginitis, some foods.

If green, consider food dyes, some medications, pseudomonas infection.

If brown consider acute hepatitis or cirrhosis, blood, bilirubin, urobilinogen, myloma, melanoma, Addison’s disease, sulfonamides.

If deep yellow consider high concentration of supplements, vitamins B & C, bile salts, dehydration, catabolic (with high specific gravity).

If red, consider consumption of beets and berries, blood from infection, menses, or lesion. Porphyria (port wine), cascara, senna, aniline dyes, dorbane.

If black consider liver kidney disease, tyrosine metabolic disorder, kidney damage from infection.

Color of urine should be clear with light particulate matter being ok. If perfectly clear with no particulate, consider an anabolic state, and if high turbidity consider a catabolic state, urinary tract infection, vaginitis, fat or sugar digestion problems.

Odor should be low. Sweet suggests presence of sugars. Ammonia smell could be bacterial growth or potassium deficiency alkalosis or cycled through that to worse stage of metabolic alkalosis. Offensive odor could be toxicity or possible inflammatory response. Medicinal odor could be medicine altering the urine chemistry.



Reading the Reagent Pads

When the colors move beyond the negative/neutral zone.





BLOOD—Non-Hemolyzed, consider kidney glomerular or urinary tract infection, hypertension, (in female double check for current menstrual cycle.) Hemolyzed, consider oxidative stress, allergy, liver inflammation. Lack of integrity or urinary tract epithelium from low vitamin A, C, bioflavenoids, calcium. In the presence of a positive reading for ASCORBIC ACID (which may increase in the urine from Vitamin C intake, fruit juice or antibiotics), lower level BLOOD readings may occur leading to false negative results.

UROBILINOGEN—When appearing with bilirubin, indicates compromised conjugation of bilirubin via the liver (conjugated bilirubin), consider biliary obstruction, catabolic, liver and liver bile insufficiency. Appearing without bilirubin can be anemia, protein deficiency, phosphorus deficiency, thymus stress, insufficiency of thymus, spleen, liver. May see possible greater hemolysis of red blood cells due to toxicity or infection, hepatitis.

BILIRUBIN—Result of hemoglobin destruction, biliary obstruction, phase II liver conjugation problems, liver or liver bile insufficiency. Look for jaundice. Consider hepatitis, , cirrhosis, congestive heart failure. Is a common finding in sugar burning tricarbs where protein and saturated fat consumption may be too low, or too high in starches. Catabolic, also seen in beta oxidizers.

PROTEIN—Consider kidney glomerular damage or inflammation, possible allergies, look for edema and hypertensive problems. Catabolic marker.

NITRITE—Indicates gram-negative bacterial proliferation in urinary tract (E Coli, Enterobacter, Pseudomonas).

KETONES—Indicates low carbohydrate diet or problem converting carbohydrate to energy as body is predominately burning fat through beta oxidation pathway, carbohydrate deprivation/high protein diet or fasting, consider diabetic acidosis, kidney disease or failure,  high alcohol use, dehydration, high cortisol. May also show in tricarbs if they have not eaten in many hours or have only eaten carbs which they quickly oxidize or store as fat.

ASCORBIC ACID—The GLUCOSE and BLOOD test must be repeated if the ascorbic acid reaction is positive. At the earliest, 10 hours after the last vitamin C intake. As little as 5mg/dl can disturb the glucose and blood assay in low concentrations.

GLUCOSE—Indicates glucose spill in urine. Check for diabetic tendencies or renal tubular disease. Insulin or glucagon stress. Adrenal, anterior pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, emotional stress. In the presence of a positive reading for ASCORBIC ACID (which may increase in the urine from Vitamin C intake, fruit juice or antibiotics), lower level BLOOD readings may occur leading to false negative results.

pH—Measure of acidity or alkalinity.

SPECIFIC GRAVITY—1.015 is healthy, lower indicates low minerals or high intake of water, but if that is not the case then possible kidney problem. Above 1.015 indicates dehydration, not drinking enough pure clean water, electrolyte stress, kidneys overworked. Higher is a potential marker for more catabolic cell states and lower a potential marker for more anabolic cell states. The urine strip pad will reflect specific gravity of elements in the urine which will ionize. The refractomer also will supply a specific gravity reading, but it will reflect other non-ionizable items as well. See further reference to this in the Resources section under Measuring Food, then Measuring Urine.

LEUKOCYTES—Signs of infection, could be urinary tract infection. (In females possible contamination of urine from vaginal contact.)

Note: Urinary tract infections will raise urine pH and the infection needs to be cleared up before you get an accurate pH reading reflecting body systems as opposed to the bacteria pushing it


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