We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Urine Osmolarity?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Urine osmolarity is a measure of the concentration of solutes in a liter of urine. The measurement is done in liters for reasons of scientific standardization even in countries that do not use metric measurement. In a urinalysis, one of the tests a lab technician will run is an osmolarity test. The results can provide important information about the patient's health and will be recorded on the lab record along with other data from the sample.

In a urine osmolarity test, the technician looks at the concentration of particles like urea, sodium, and glucose in the urine. If the concentrations are higher or lower than they should be, this can indicate that the patient has a health problem. Average measurements can vary between patients, and laboratories and the lab will usually provide a reference value so doctors know whether the results are high or low.

When urine osmolarity is low, it suggests that the patient's kidneys are having trouble concentrating the urine, and she may be in a state of kidney failure. Very dilute urine can also be a warning sign of diabetes. Heavy dilution usually comes with excessive thirst. The patient drinks copious amounts of water and may feel a constant sense of thirst even after drinking. High urine osmolarity indicates that the patient's urine is too concentrated, possibly as a result of dehydration or shock.

Doctors typically order a urinalysis when a patient presents with any urinary tract symptoms such as bloody urine, frequent urination, or sudden incontinence. The test will also include an evaluation for specific compounds in the urine, like white blood cells indicative of infection. If a doctor wants to know more about how well the kidneys concentrate urine, she may request a urine osmolarity test early in the morning, when the patient has not had anything to drink for several hours, and again after drinking some fluids. The difference between the tests can show how well the kidneys are functioning.

Dilute urine is not necessarily an immediate cause for concern. The doctor will conduct a patient interview to list all the symptoms and may take note of any special circumstances that could have an impact on urine osmolarity. For example, if the patient is in treatment for a urinary tract infection, the doctor would expect the urine to be dilute because the patient is drinking a lot of fluid. A follow-up test after the infection is clear will help the doctor determine if the kidneys recovered successfully from the infection.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.