Urine Specific Gravity Test

What is Urine Specific Gravity?

Urine specific gravity is the measure of the density or weight of a liquid compared to its volume. A higher urine specific gravity means that the fluid contains less water than other liquids. For example, pure water has a specific gravity of 1.00 and weighs one gram per liter (g/L). Water with a specific gravity of 0.9 would weigh one gram per milliliter (mL) and have a volume of one litre (ml), while water with a specific gravity of 1.000 would weigh two grams per mL and have a volume of four litres (l).

The reason why urine has such low specific gravity is because there are many different types of salts present in the body that cause the urine to contain very little water. These salts include sodium chloride, potassium chloride, calcium chloride, magnesium sulfate and others.

Some of these salts are excreted into the urine along with normal waste products from the body. Other salts remain in the blood stream and must be removed before they can affect your health.

How Does High Urine Specific Gravity Affect Your Health?

High urine specific gravity is associated with certain diseases such as kidney stones, diabetes insipidus and some forms of cancer. Urine specific gravity is the main factor in measuring how dehydrated you are. A normal specific gravity is between 1.010 and 1.029. When the level of dehydration increases above 1.030 it can cause the heart to stop beating, coma and eventually death if left untreated.

What Does Low Urine Specific Gravity Mean?

Urine specific gravity less than 1.005 is considered to be a sign of dehydration. Dehydration is caused by the excessive loss of water from the body. This can occur when you do not drink enough liquids or if you have released too much water through sweating, vomiting, diarrhea or fever.

How to Raise Urine Specific Gravity?

There are many ways to increase the specific gravity of your urine. If you consider that there is too much water present in your urine, then drinking more liquids will solve this problem. You can also mix sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) with your water and drink it. This will help to increase your urine specific gravity.

If you are concerned that your body is not getting enough water because you are experiencing uncontrollable urination or diuresis, then you should see a doctor immediately. Dehydration can lead to many health problems in the long term, so it is important to take quick action if you are suffering from this condition.

Sources & references used in this article:

Comparison of 3 methods to assess urine specific gravity in collegiate wrestlers by KJ Stuempfle, DG Drury – Journal of athletic training, 2003 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Accuracy of urine specific gravity and osmolality as indicators of hydration status by RA Oppliger, SA Magnes… – … journal of sport …, 2005 – journals.humankinetics.com

Specific gravity test strips used in monitoring urine concentrations of urolithiasis patients by RE Cadoff, GW Drach, J LeBouton – The Journal of urology, 1988 – auajournals.org

Urine specific gravity and other urinary indices: inaccurate tests for dehydration by MJ Steiner, AL Nager, VJ Wang – Pediatric emergency care, 2007 – journals.lww.com

Use of urine specific gravity to improve screening for albuminuria by RR Moore Jr, CA Hirata-Dulas, BL Kasiske – Kidney international, 1997 – Elsevier

Screening for microalbuminuria simplified by urine specific gravity by CR Parikh, GG Gyamlani, CP Carvounis – American journal of …, 2002 – karger.com

Urine specific gravity in exercisers prior to physical training by EA Stover, HJ Petrie, D Passe… – Applied physiology …, 2006 – NRC Research Press