VNH

Blood in urine

Understanding about Hematuria (Blood in Urine)

Overview:

Blood in your urine, known as hematuria, is an important symptom to report to your doctor. Ignoring it can lead to serious medical consequences. Your doctor can perform various tests to determine the root cause of this symptom and provide appropriate treatment to address the underlying condition. Hematuria is just an indication of a problem, and treatment should be directed toward resolving the underlying issue.

 

The source of blood in your urine can be traced to different parts of your urinary system. It may originate from your kidneys, which produce urine, or other parts such as the ureters, bladder, or urethra. The ureters are the tubes that transport urine from your kidneys to your bladder; the bladder stores urine and the urethra is the tube that carries urine from your bladder to the outside of your body. Understanding the source of hematuria is important in diagnosing and treating the underlying medical condition.

 

Hematuria-Related Symptoms

Hematuria can cause a noticeable change in the color of your urine, which may appear pink, red, brownish-red, or tea-colored. This is known as gross hematuria and is easily visible. In some cases, blood in urine may only be detected through laboratory tests and is referred to as microscopic hematuria.

 

While hematuria may not present with any other symptoms, the underlying causes may cause additional symptoms. For example, bladder infections can cause: 

  • Burning or pain when urinating in adults.
  • Fever.
  • Fussiness.
  • Feeding issues in infants.
  • Pain and burning while urinating.
  • A strong urge to pee.
  • Lower belly pain in older children.

 

Kidney infections may lead to symptoms such as: 

  • Fever.
  • Chills.
  • Flank pain. 

 

Kidney stones can cause severe abdominal or pelvic pain. Kidney cancer may present with symptoms such as weight loss, loss of appetite, fatigue, or side pain. Kidney diseases can cause weakness, high blood pressure, and body swelling, including puffiness around the eyes. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms along with blood in urine.

 

Hematuria Causes and Risk Factors

Hematuria can be caused by several factors, including:

  • Urinary tract or kidney infections
  • Bladder or kidney stones
  • Inflammation in the filtering system (glomerulonephritis) and other kidney diseases
  • Enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) or prostate cancer
  • Inherited diseases such as sickle cell anemia and cystic kidney disease
  • Certain medications such as aspirin, cyclophosphamide, heparin, and penicillin
  • Cancer in the bladder or kidney
  • Kidney injury from an accident or sports
  • Vigorous exercise

It is also possible that the discoloration of urine is not due to blood, but is instead caused by red pigments from food dyes, medications, or the consumption of large amounts of beets. This is sometimes referred to as “beeturia”. Additionally, muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis) or red blood cell breakdown (hemolysis) can also cause urine discoloration. It is important to seek medical attention to determine the true cause of hematuria.

 

Diagnosing Hematuria

During the diagnostic process, your doctor will ask about your medical history and perform various tests to determine the cause of your blood in the urine. A sample of your urine will be sent for laboratory analysis, known as urinalysis, which can detect abnormal cells through cytology.

 

Additionally, blood tests may be conducted to check for waste products that should have been filtered out by the kidneys, which could indicate kidney disease. Depending on the suspected cause of hematuria, additional tests may be conducted, so it is important to note that the specific diagnostic approach may vary depending on the individual’s symptoms, medical history, and the healthcare provider’s judgement. If you suspect you have hematuria, it is best to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

 

Treating Hematuria

The treatment of hematuria focuses on addressing the underlying cause of the blood in the urine. Your doctor will perform follow-up tests to determine if the blood has cleared, and if not, additional testing or referral to a urologist or nephrologist may be necessary.

 

In cases where the cause is not immediately determined, your doctor may advise regular monitoring through follow-up urine testing and monitoring of blood pressure, particularly if you are at increased risk for bladder cancer such as being over the age of 50, being a smoker, or having exposure to certain industrial chemicals. These check-ups may be scheduled every 3 to 6 months.

 

Conclusion

To conclude, proactive and informed healthcare-seeking behavior is essential when hematuria is detected. It is not merely a symptom to be dismissed but a vital signal urging individuals to prioritize their health. With proper medical attention, accurate diagnosis, and targeted treatment, individuals can navigate the complexities of hematuria and work towards maintaining optimal urinary and overall health. If you suspect hematuria, consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance and care.

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *