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International Cystinuria Foundation

Cystinuric patients know that maintaining alkaline urine is a fundamental step towards decreasing the occurrence and severity of cystine stones. Micro Essential Labs makes at home and on the go testing easy and accurate with urine specific pH test paper.

Urine pH, the measure of urine acidity, can influence the rate of cystine stone formation. Cystine is only slightly soluble at lower "acidic" pH values (below 7.0 on a scale of 1.0 to 14.0). As a result, stones are more likely to form and grow. However, as urinary pH increases above 7.0 ("alkaline" pH) the solubility of cystine increases dramatically, decreasing the rate of stone formation and potentially dissolving existing stones. By maintaining high urine pH consistently throughout the 24 hour day, some cystinuric individuals have been able to successfully manage their stone formation.

High (alkaline) urinary pH is achieved through proper dietary regulation and the use of alkalinizing medications or supplements. For alkalinization to be effective, the treatment must be administered over time to produce urine that is consistently alkaline. Regular monitoring of urine pH provides important feedback on the efficacy of therapy and daily pH consistency. Tracking and logging urine pH can help you and your doctor determine how your treatment schedule can be adjusted to provide alkaline urine throughout the 24 hour day. When combined with data from 24 hour urine collections including cystine excretion, capacity, and supersaturation values, detailed knowledge of urinary pH can help assess your risk of forming stones.

To measure urine pH, Micro Essential Laboratory, Inc. provides affordable materials for easy at-home urine pH testing. For cystinuric patients who wish to keep their urine alkaline (in the optimal pH range between 7.0 and 8.0), Micro Essentials Laboratory offers Hydrion pH paper with excellent fidelity and precision measurement in the 5.5 to 8.0 range (catalog #067). Clear color separation and small pH increments means less ambiguity and increased accuracy. The pH paper rolls are small and convenient to carry for consistent urine monitoring. Each roll will provide approximately 75 tests.

Urinary pH test paper can be ordered directly from the manufacturer at www.microessentiallab.com. The minimum order for catalog #067 is five rolls at $7.50 per roll. For more information regarding urinary alkalinization, please visit the International Cystinuria Foundation online at www.cystinuria.org.