If you are feeling sick, your doctor might ask you to give a urine test. A urine drug test is often used to check if there are any bacteria, virus, prescription drugs, or metabolites which are simply the byproducts formed by the body, in your urine. You might have to pee in a small cup and send it to the laboratory for testing.

However, more often than not, people experience diluted urine, which is the presence of too much water in the urine and that is considered to be abnormal. The presence of too much water can render inaccurate results. This is because the presence of water is more than the presence of urine and it can make things difficult for the tester to detect the problem.

What are the possible causes of diluted drug urine test?

There are a plethora of reasons as to why you might be experiencing diluted urine. From an excessive consumption of fluids to the absence of certain other health problems, you might experience diluted urine

These are some of the accidental causes which can result in a diluted urine drug test, but there are situations where people intentionally try to consume excessive fluids to hide or cheat their drug usage.

Here are some of the causes which can result from your urine tests into diluted ones:

  1. Excessive consumption of fluids for health purposes:

It is healthy to stay hydrated and consume a significant proportion of water throughout the day. Therefore, many people who drink excessive water and are staying hydrated might experience diluted urine.

  1. Consuming excessive water before the urine test:

Sometimes, while giving the urine test, the person might not be able to successfully give the urine that is needed for the test. Therefore, he or she might have to drink excessive water before the test to give the urine.

This excessive consumption might result in your urine being diluted than usual and might make it difficult for the tester for proper drug detection.

  1. The effect of other medications:

When an individual is taking other medications such as diuretics, he or she might experience a spike in the production of urine which can result in the dilution of urine. Apart from that, diuretics are also present in coffee and tea.

So if your consumption of coffee and tea is high or you are addicted to them, your urine might turn out to be more diluted.

  1. Kidney problems:

Kidneys are the organs of your body that help in the removal of the wastage from your body through the production of urine. However, if your kidneys are not functioning well, there will be a spike in the concentration of water in comparison to the concentration of urine.

Apart from kidney problems and other situations, urine will be very dilute in the absence of Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH), also called arginine vasopressin. This hormone is stored in the pituitary gland and indicates your kidneys regarding the amount of water to be preserved.

How to prevent the dilution in the urine tests?

To prevent the dilution of urine, here are some of the steps you need to follow:

  1. Limit your fluid intake. This is one of the basic things to do if you want to prevent diluted urine while you are giving the drug tests.
  2. Limit your consumption of coffee, tea, or other diuretics.
  3. If possible, plan the drug testing on a random morning.

How to detect the presence of diluted urine in the drug tests?

If a person is experiencing diluted urine, it will be lighter than the normal yellow color of the urine. In addition to that, to check the presence of diluted urine in the drug tests, the doctor or the tester can use certain measurements called validity checks which measure the presence of creatinine and specific gravity.

  1. Specific gravity:

The specific gravity of urine refers to the concentration of urine in comparison to the concentration of the water. Under normal circumstances, the concentration of urine generally lies between 1.002 and 1.030. However, when it comes to dilute urine, the specific gravity lies between 1.001 and 1.003.

  1. Creatinine:

Creatinine is generally the substance that is excreted out of the muscles and then broken down into amino acids. Kidneys mainly function to remove the creatinine from the body in the form of urine. Under normal circumstances, the amount of creatinine has to be between 20 and 400 milligrams per deciliter. However, when it comes to dilute urine, the level is between 2 and 20 milligrams per deciliter.  

Different types of drug urine tests

  1. Immunoassay:

IA or an immunoassay is a urine drug test that helps in detecting the presence of drugs with the help of antibodies. So, what happens is, the doctor will add the drug and the antibodies to the urine. If there are any drugs present in the urine, they will combine with the antibodies and it will render the sample positive.

However, if there is no drug, the absence of any reaction will make the sample negative or insignificant. Judging from these simple steps, it can be deduced that an Immunoassay test is extremely simple, easy, and quick-to-do which can help to detect the drugs in the urine.  

  1. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry:

No matter how simple and easy IA sounds, it is still an initial test lacking concrete or substantial results. In this test, a gas is released into the urine sample. When the particles of the gas interact with the particles of the urine, the latter ones get separated from each other. This is done with the help of a mass spectrometer which helps in the separation of the particles.

These are some of the urine tests which help in detecting the presence of the drug in the urine. However, it can be difficult to get accurate and precise results even with the help of these tests when it comes to dilute urine. Therefore, it is necessary to follow the above-mentioned guidelines to prevent the dilution of urine and get the needed results.