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Why the test is performed

This test measures how acidic your urine is. Your doctor may order this test to check for changes in your body’s acid levels.

It may be done to see if you are at risk for kidney stones. Acidic urine is associated with xanthine, cystine, uric acid, and calcium oxalate stones. Alkaline urine is associated with calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, and magnesium phosphate stones.

Your doctor may also order this test if you need to take certain medications. Some medications are more effective in acidic or alkaline environments. For example, streptomycin, neomycin, and kanamycin are more effective in treating urinary tract infections when the urine is alkaline.

Normal results

  • The normal values range from 4.6 to 8.0
  • Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

What abnormal results mean

  • A high urine pH may be due to:
    • Gastric suction
    • Kidney failure
    • Kidney tubular acidosis
    • Urinary tract infection
    • Vomiting
  • A low urine pH may be due to:
    • Diabetic ketoacidosis
    • Diarrhea
    • Starvation
  • The test may also be performed to investigate:
    • Alkalosis
    • Interstitial nephritis
    • Acidosis
    • Sepsis

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Source: National Institutes of Health