What to do if you have Blood in your Urine?

Kidney Health Care - David Mangusan Jr, PTRP

What You Should do if You Notice That Your Urine Has Blood?

Having blood in the urine is termed as hematuria. In general, there are two types of hematuria. One type is, you have the problem but you do not notice it because there is very little blood and can be observed only under a microscope. This type is called microscopic hematuria. On the other hand, when it is obvious that your urine is red or you see that it is of tinge of red, the condition is called gross hematuria. This only means that you can see bloody urine with the naked eye.

Questions like, "What to do if you have blood in your urine? or Should I worry if I see blood in my urine?" are commonly asked questions. Having bloody urine makes people worry because, well, you don't normally see blood in your urine every time you urinate.

Hematuria is more of a sign of an underlying health problem than a disease in itself. It is important that you consult your doctor if you notice your urine has blood so that he or she can rule out other health conditions.

Causes

There are many causes of hematuria, some are not serious and usually goes away on its own while others require medical treatment.

  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). Urinary tract infections are more common in women, but men can develop it too. You may get UTI when microorganisms like bacteria enter your urethra where they begin to multiply causing inflammation of the urethra, called urethritis — a type of UTI. Sometimes the bacteria travel up to higher urinary organs including the bladder, ureter, or kidney causing infection, as well.
  • Kidney or bladder stone. Some substances in your urine, especially when concentrated, may combine to form small crystals. Sometimes, these crystals may become larger as time passes in your kidney or bladder. A stone that lodges in smaller urinary tract structure can cause pain and hematuria.

  • Cancer. Sometimes, having bloody urine may be a sign of advanced cancer in any of your urinary organs. However, your doctor will be the one to determine whether the cause of your hematuria is cancer or not.

  • Medications. Some medicines may cause hematuria to happen, such as aspirin, heparin and certain antibiotics.

  • Exercise. Sometimes, the condition may be caused by performing strenuous exercises. Experts are not really sure why exercise causes hematuria. Some believe that it may be due to trauma in the bladder, such as that occurs when the bladder is jarred during running.

In some cases, the actual cause cannot be found.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will likely ask about your symptoms and will conduct a thorough physical examination. Sometimes, your doctor will recommend tests and procedures to look for the cause of your problem and to rule out other health problems. Examples of tests that your doctor might suggest include urine sample analysis; imaging tests, such as computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); and cystoscopy.

Treatment

Treatment of hematuria depends on the actual cause of the condition. For example, if hematuria is caused by a urinary tract infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. If no serious health problem is found, no treatment may be necessary. However, your doctor may still recommend regular follow-up tests.

Related Articles:

Sources:
National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC). Hematuria (Blood in the Urine) . Accessed on September 28, 2010.

National Library of Medicine (NLM). Urine - Bloody . Accessed on September 28, 2010.

Page Last Updated: November 22, 2010

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