Urine Test Simplified

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 04/30/2024

When starting out on the keto diet, most people are anxious to reach a state of ketosis. Once the body has entered ketosis, it is common to be able to test for ketones in your urine.

Learn about ketosis, using urine analysis for ketones and other bodily components, and how to interpret your results.

Interpreting Protein Levels in Urine

Protein isn't typically present in urine. Protein in urine can indicate various medical conditions, from lack of hydration to strenuous physical activity and even kidney problems or stones. These range from dehydration and intense exercise to kidney disease or stones.

Urine test strips are valuable tools for detecting protein levels at home. The color change on the strip gives you an idea about your body's condition.

See medical advice immediately if you notice consistent changes on your test strips. Remember, early detection helps manage potential health problems effectively.

Decoding the Presence of Leukocytes in Urine

If you've ever had a urine test, leukocytes were likely mentioned. But what exactly are they? Well, leukocytes are white blood cells. They play a crucial role in your body's defense system against infections.

Leukocytes and Infections

Finding leukocytes in your urine might sound alarming, but it's not always cause for concern. Inflammation may be the culprit, but more severe conditions such as UTI or kidney stones should not be discounted.

The presence of leukocytes can signal an infection such as a UTI. So, if that dipstick turns purple instead of its usual yellow, get further medical help.

Ketone blood test vial

Ketones in Urine - What Does It Mean?

Discovering ketones in your urine can be exciting when starting out on the keto diet. Ketones are by-products produced when your body starts burning fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.

This is common among individuals who consume a diet low in carbs or following the keto regimen. Ketones in your urine mean that your body is adapting to burning fat.

Ketones and Diabetes

If you're not on a low-carb diet, high levels of ketones could point towards diabetes. Your body might be unable to use glucose effectively due to insufficient insulin production, leading it to burn fat instead.

Type 1 diabetes is primarily known for this characteristic trait. If not treated promptly, ketoacidosis can develop and become a severe health risk.

Understanding Glucose Levels in Urine

Urine test strips can monitor glucose levels in urine, which may provide insight into one's health. They help detect glucose levels in urine, which might indicate something about your overall well-being.

Glucose usually isn't found in the urine. But if it's there, this could mean blood sugar levels are above 180 milliliters per deciliter. This high level is often seen in diabetes patients.

The Link Between Glucose and Diabetes

Our bodies typically absorb glucose back into the bloodstream during kidney filtration. However, when blood sugar levels spike too high - as they do with diabetes - kidneys may not keep up.

This leads to glucose spilling into the urine, hence those higher readings on your test strip.

Nitrites in Urine

Ever wondered why your doctor asks for a urine sample when you're feeling under the weather? Well, it's not just to ensure you drink enough water. Urine samples can be used to detect nitrites, which may indicate the presence of bacterial infections.

Nitrites and Bacterial Infections

Certain bacteria, such as E. coli or gonorrhea, can convert nitrates into nitrites. This is where urine test strips come in handy. They can detect potential infections by looking for traces of nitrites.

This doesn't mean panic if your test strip is positive, though. There could be other factors here, too, like how long the urine was stored before testing or even what foods you've eaten recently.

Blood in Urine - Causes and Concerns

Spotting blood in your urine can be alarming. But don't panic just yet. While it might indicate a serious issue, it's often due to less severe causes.

Exercise and Blood in Urine

The presence of blood after intense exercise is not uncommon. A heavy workout can cause the breakdown of red blood cells, leading to hematuria or bloody urine.

In certain situations, you may have a fundamental medical issue such as a UTI or kidney stones that could cause noticeable blood in the urine. Remember that these are common conditions and are usually treatable with prompt medical attention.

Urobilinogen and Your Liver

If you're curious about the health of your liver, a simple urine test might provide some insights, including urobilinogen levels, which can indicate potential damage to this vital organ. Specifically, the presence of urobilinogen in your urine can indicate potential liver damage.

This substance is typically processed by our livers and excreted via feces. However, when liver function declines due to cirrhosis or inflammation, more urobilinogen escapes into the bloodstream and ends up in our urine.

It's not a definitive diagnosis but an essential signal for further investigation.

Ketone test kit

The Importance of pH Levels in Urine

Understanding the significance of pH levels in your urine is like reading a hidden health message. This measurement spans a range between acidity and alkalinity from 0 (extremely acidic) to 14 (highly basic), with an optimal value of around neutral at 7.

Your pH levels can give clues about your overall health condition. An excessively high or low urinary pH may suggest certain medical conditions, such as kidney stones or infections.

Regular checks using urine test strips are advised to keep things under control.


Interpreting the results of urine analysis can provide valuable insights into various aspects of your health. From protein levels indicating hydration status or kidney function to the presence of leukocytes suggesting potential infections, urine tests offer a window into your well-being.

For those on the keto diet, detecting ketones in urine signifies the body's transition to burning fat for energy. Monitoring glucose levels in urine can also be indicative of diabetes or blood sugar control issues.

Nitrites may signal bacterial infections, while blood in urine might result from exercise or indicate more serious conditions like UTIs or kidney stones.

Urobilinogen levels can hint at liver health, and pH levels provide insights into acid-base balance and potential medical conditions.

Regular urine analysis can help track changes in health status and prompt timely medical intervention when needed, contributing to overall wellness and preventive care.

Healthy Keto Guide for Beginner

FREE Keto Diet Plan