When Would I Need a Blood Test Instead of a Urine Test?

Feb 14, 2024
When Would I Need a Blood Test Instead of a Urine Test?
Lab tests, such as blood and urine tests, are helpful tools used to diagnose, treat, and monitor several different health conditions. Find out when a blood test may be more useful than a urine test here.

Lab tests are a great way to get accurate readings of what’s going on in your body. It’s common for health care providers to collect blood or urine samples to take a look at your blood glucose levels, electrolytes, proteins, lipids, enzymes, and hormones among other things. 

These tests can help diagnose your symptoms and provide a clear treatment plan to get you on the road to feeling better. 

At San Feliz Urgent Care in Glendale, California, our urgent care team provides on-site lab services, meaning you can skip the emergency room and still have everything you need to be accurately diagnosed and treated. 

In this blog, we review what you need to know about blood tests and urine tests, including why one may be necessary over the other. 

Blood tests vs. urine tests

A blood test is one of the most commonly used diagnostic tools. There are a few different kinds of blood tests including a complete blood count (CBC), blood chemistry test, blood enzyme test, and heart disease blood test. 

Because blood plays such a huge role in your body, a blood test can reveal several things about your health, including:

  • The functionality of your kidneys, thyroid, liver, and heart 
  • The effectiveness of your chronic disease management
  • If you have a disease such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or HIV/AIDS
  • If you have a bleeding or clotting disorder
  • If you have anemia
  • If your body is having trouble fighting off an infection

Blood tests can even detect certain allergies or confirm pregnancy.

A urine test — or urinalysis — checks the appearance, concentration, and content of your urine. All of these test components can help in diagnosing different health conditions, including:  

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney stones
  • Blood disorder

In some cases, urinalysis can also detect a few kinds of cancer.

When is a blood test preferred?

In many cases, a blood test is going to be more accurate than a urine test, except when needing to diagnose things like a UTI or kidney stones. 

While urinalysis has long been praised for its ability to detect hidden kidney disease or diabetes, blood tests can detect these things sooner and more accurately. In addition, urinalysis can also give false positive results for many kinds of cancer.

So, in general, unless you’re experiencing clear signs of urinary tract, kidney, or bladder problems, a blood test is the way to go.

For expert lab testing, come in to see our San Feliz Urgent Care team. Schedule an appointment by calling or booking online today.