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What causes nitrates in urine?

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Quick Answer

Urinary tract infections are the primary cause of nitrates in the urine, according to eMedicineHealth. Other indicators of an infection include the presence of blood or white blood cells, also called leukocytes, in the urine. Urinalysis is the central test when it comes to diagnosing a urinary infection.

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What causes nitrates in urine?
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Full Answer

Under normal circumstances, urine is a sterile substance, so the presence of any anomalous components is a potential sign of infection, according to eMedicineHealth. In some cases, the technicians perform a nitrite test in urine. The purpose of this is to detect whether bacteria are present, as they convert nitrate to nitrite in urine. This is why a positive nitrite test is a possible indicator of urinary tract infection, reports Lab Tests Online.

In order to determine the presence of any trouble in the kidneys, technicians carry out multiple tests on urine, explains Lab Tests Online. Protein tests measure albumin levels in the blood. In normal situations, no albumin should appear in test results. However, if albumin shows up or if urine proteins overall are high, the patient has proteinuria, which often serves as a warning of kidney disease. Because albumin forms smaller molecules than other proteins, it is generally the first to make it through the weakened filtration system in the embattled kidney.

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