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Blood Chemistry and Urinalysis

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: August 2014

As with all tests given to migraine sufferers, blood chemistry and urinalysis tests are conducted only to rule out other causes of the migraine symptoms. These tests do not confirm a migraine diagnosis.

Why have a Blood Chemistry test or Urinalysis?

  • Blood chemistry tests can detect:
  • Anemia
  • Infections
  • Blood clots or clotting problems
  • Immune system disorders
  • Arthritis
  • HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases
  • Diabetes (or other blood sugar issues)
  • Urinalysis can detect:
  • Infections
  • Thyroid problems
  • Kidney disease
  • Urinary tract infection, which causes frequent urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Liver damage

How do Blood Chemistry and Urinalysis tests work?

Some blood chemistry tests may require that you fast by not eating any foods for a certain amount of time before the test. Blood chemistry tests require taking a sample of your blood. The blood may be taken by pricking your finger or using a needle to take, draw blood from your vein. There may be a slight pricking sensation when the needle is inserted, but most people don’t experience much pain from the procedure. The blood is then sent to a laboratory to be analyzed. Some researchers predict that in the future many blood tests will be replaced by saliva tests, which cause less discomfort for patients.

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Urinalysis involves the collection and testing of your urine. You may be allowed to collect your urine in a cup or container at home or may be asked to provide a sample at a doctor’s office or laboratory. Sometimes people are asked to provide their first urine of the morning, since it contains the most concentrated sample of your urine. Urinalysis typically includes looking at the physical appearance of the urine, including its color. The urine also may be examined under a microscope to look at the cells, crystals, mucus, other contents and identify any bacteria or organisms. A stick coated with blocks of different chemicals, sometimes called a dipstick, can be used to identify different characteristics of the urine. The dipstick’s chemical blocks will change color to identify the presence of certain substances.

In certain cases, a “clean catch” sample is requested. To provide one, you’ll be asked to:

  • Cleanse the urinary opening
  • Urinate a bit in the toilet
  • Stop the flow of urine
  • Then urinate in the container provided

Because there is no established test to diagnose migraines, the best way to confirm if you suffer from migraines is to keep a detailed record of all of your migraine symptoms in a migraine journal.