There is a wide variety of types of urine test strips available for different purposes. Doctors use test strips for urine to diagnose specific conditions, illnesses and diseases. Individuals test their urine to self-diagnose medical conditions and to monitor already diagnosed conditions. Additionally, test strips are available to detect the presence of foreign substances in the body such as illegal drugs and nicotine.
Doctors most often use urine test strips to identify urinary tract difficulties and kidney diseases. These test strips measure leukocytes, nitrites, proteins, blood and the pH, or acid level, of the urine. Results may indicate the presence of kidney stones, in addition to diseases and conditions such as chronic kidney disease, inflammation of the bladder and urinary tract infections.
Urine test strips are also available to test glucose and ketone levels in the urine. High glucose levels and the presence of ketones in the urine indicate diabetes mellitus, commonly known as type I and type II diabetes. Individuals diagnosed with diabetes must monitor their blood sugar, or glucose, levels. Although this may be done through blood tests, urine strips allow self-monitoring.
Other types of test strips measure urobilinogen and bilirubin levels. The presence of these substances aid doctors in diagnosing conditions and diseases in the liver. Some of these conditions and diseases include cirrhosis of the liver and hepatitis. Increased levels of bilirubin may also indicate drug use.
Test strips for urine are also available for diagnosing non-threatening medical conditions, especially in women. These types of tests measure hormones that reveal the presence of conditions such as ovulation, pregnancy and menopause. Ovulation test strips test for the luteinizing hormone, which is released immediately prior to ovulation. Pregnancy test strips test for Hcg (human chorionic gonadotropin), which is a hormone that can be detected in urine as early as one week after conception. The presence of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) in urine aids in predicting menopause and can be tested with a urine test strip.
Urine test strips are available to reveal the use of illegal drugs or cigarettes. In addition to detecting nicotine in the urine, test strips can detect the use of specific drugs, such as marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine and a variety of opiates, barbiturates and methamphetamines. These types of strips are often used by insurance companies or employers that suspect employee drug use or require random drug tests.