A urine test is a painless way for your doctor to check your health and test for abnormalities. One thing your doctor may check for in your urine sample test, or urinalysis, is specific gravity. A urine specific gravity test compares the density of urine to the density of water. This quick test can help determine how well one’s kidneys are diluting one’s urine. Urine that’s too concentrated could mean one’s kidneys aren’t functioning properly, or that one isn’t drinking enough water.
Testing urine specific gravity is the quickest way to determine if your kidneys are compensating for some sort of problem. It can be useful for doctors who are trying to figure out if you are suffering from certain conditions. Some of those possible conditions are:
- Heart failure
- Diabetes insipidus
- Kidney failure
- Kidney infection
- Urinary tract infection
- Hyponatremia or low sodium
- Hypernatremia or high sodium
In some situations, urine density will be tested several times in one day. This can give doctors a good idea of how well the kidneys are compensating.
A urine sample of yours is taken and tested in the laboratory.
If your kidneys are functioning normally the urine specific gravity results would fall between 1.002 and 1.030. Specific gravity results above 1.010 can indicate mild dehydration. The higher the number, the more dehydrated you may be.
Abnormal specific gravity results could indicate:
- Excess substances in the blood
- Kidney disease
- Infection, such as a urinary tract infection