What do they test for, and what does it mean if they’re higher than normal?
- Protein – If elevated levels of protein are found in your urine, it could be a sign of a Urinary Tract Infection ( UTI ), Kidney Infection, or if later in pregnancy, it could be a sign of developing Pre-Eclampsia. If your blood pressure is normal when the elevated protein is noted, then your urine sample will be sent to the lab to test for a UTI.
- Sugar – If elevated levels of sugar are found in your urine, it usually means that you had a meal or drink prior to your appointment that contained a higher content of sugar. If elevated levels are found within several tests, it will be recommended to take a Glucose Tolerance Test ( GTT ), where they see how well your body is breaking down and processing sugars. This is the test that diagnosis Gestational Diabetes.
- Ketones – If elevated levels of ketones are found in your urine, it means that your body is beginning to break down stored or ingested fat for energy. This is usually a sign that you are not getting enough carbohydrates in your diet, and can also be a sign of dehydration. This is especially seen in women with severe morning sickness, or Hyperemesis.
- Blood Cells or Bacteria – If elevated levels of blood cells or bacteria is found in your urine, this can also be a sign of a UTI. If the dipstick shows that you have nitrites or enzymes that indicate bacteria or blood cells, a urine sample will be sent to the lab to test for a UTI.
24 Hour Protein Urine Test
If Pre-Eclampsia due to high or repeated levels of protein in the urine is suspected, a 24 hour urine sample may be ordered. The lab will send you home with “Clean Catch” instructions (making sure to wipe the vaginal area with cleansing cloths provided for each urination), and a container in which to urinate in, each time, for 24 hours. This means that every time you need to pee within that 24 hour period, it will have to ALL be in the container provided.
After the 24 hours is up, you will return the full container to the lab, where they will measure the amount of protein in the urine. If the protein content is over 500mg, it is considered indicative of Pre-Eclampsia.
What do I do if any of the urine tests come back elevated?
Urinary Tract Infection – Some simple things can be done at home to clear a UTI. One of the most important things is to stay very well hydrated. The more you drink, the more urine your body produces, and works to clear out the infection. Also:
- Cranberry Flush: Mix 1 Qt. Organic Cranberry Juice, 1 Qt. Organic Apple Juice with 1 Gallon water and drink over 24 hours.
- Cranberry concentrate capsules – While cranberry juice can help, it’s usually very hard to find it unsweetened, and unfiltered.
- Echinacea – It is recommended to take 2 capsules 3 times per day.
- Vitamin C – Helps boost the immune system.
- Cut out sugars – It feeds the infection, and depletes your immune system.
- Eat many raw and fresh fruits and veggies – blueberries are also great for a UTI. Blueberries contain antioxidants.
- Wear cotton underwear only, and loose fitting pants.
- Urinate before and after sex, and use plenty of lubrication during sex.
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