Blood in Urine: Causes, Treatment, Diagnosis & More
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The presence of blood in your urine is referred to as hematuria in the medical field.
Hematuria can be brought on by a wide variety of medical illnesses and disorders. Infections, renal diseases, cancer, and uncommon blood problems are some examples of these conditions. It’s possible that the blood is visible, but it could also be present in such trace amounts that it’s invisible to the naked sight.
Even if it just occurs once, the presence of blood in the urine might be indicative of serious health issues that require immediate medical attention. Because ignoring hematuria can result in the progression of serious illnesses such as cancer and kidney disease, you should make an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as you can.
Your physician can discover the origin of the hematuria and devise a treatment strategy by analysing your urine and ordering imaging tests to evaluate the condition.
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What different kinds of hematuria are there?
Gross hematuria and microscopic hematuria are the two primary classifications of hematuria, respectively.
Hematuria on a large scale
You are said to have “gross hematuria” if there is sufficient blood in your urine to cause it to appear pink or red, or if there are visible specks of blood in your pee.
“Microscopic hematuria” is the medical term for a condition in which the amount of blood present is so minute that it is not visible to the naked eye. Confirmation of microscopic hematuria requires either a laboratory test that specifically looks for blood or a microscopic examination of a urine sample.
What are the reasons for hematuria?
There is a wide variety of potential causes of hematuria. There are situations in which the blood could have come from a different donor.
It may look like blood is present in the urine, but the source of the blood may really be the vagina in women, the ejaculate in men, or a bowel movement in either men or women. If the blood you see in your urine is real, then there could be a number of reasons for it.
Hematuria can have a variety of causes, but infection is one of the most prevalent. It’s possible that the infection is located in one of three places: your kidneys, your bladder, or someplace in between.
An infection can develop if germs are able to travel through the urethra, which is the tube that conducts urine from the bladder out of the body. There is a risk that the infection will spread to the kidneys and potentially the bladder. It typically results in discomfort as well as an increased desire to urinate frequently. There is a possibility of hematuria, either gross or microscopic.
Stones One other typical reason for blood to be present in the urine is the presence of stones in either the kidney or the bladder. These are the crystals that develop when the minerals in your urine combine together. They are able to grow inside of your kidneys as well as your bladder.
The obstruction, which is frequently followed by hematuria and substantial pain, can be caused by large stones.
enlargement of the prostate
An enlarged prostate is a reasonably prevalent cause of hematuria in men who are middle-aged or older. This condition typically affects men. This gland is located close to the urethra and directly beneath the bladder.
The urethra can become compressed when the prostate grows larger, which is a common occurrence in men when they reach middle age. This makes it difficult to urinate and may also prevent the bladder from emptying all the way. This can lead to urinary tract infection (UTI), which is characterised by the presence of blood in the urine.
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Disorders of the kidneys
Kidney disease is another possible cause of blood in the urine, although it is much less prevalent. Hematuria is a possible complication of renal illness or inflammation. This illness can manifest on its own or as a complication of another condition, such as diabetes.
Hematuria is possible in children between the ages of 6 and 10 years old who have the kidney condition post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis. After an untreated strep infection has gone unchecked for one to two weeks, this condition may manifest itself. Strep throat infections were once rather frequent, but thanks to the development of antibiotics, they are now quite uncommon.
Blood in the urine is a symptom that can be caused by cancer of the prostate, bladder, or kidneys. This is a symptom that frequently manifests in patients whose cancer has progressed to an advanced stage. It’s possible that there weren’t any warning indications previously.
Hematuria is sometimes a side effect of taking certain drugs. These are the following:
penicillin aspirin blood thinners like heparin and warfarin (Coumadin) cyclophosphamide, which is a medicine used to treat certain types of cancer penicillin aspirin blood thinners like heparin and warfarin (Coumadin)
Less common causes
There are a few other, less prevalent causes of hematuria besides the ones listed above. Blood in the urine is a symptom that can be caused by a variety of uncommon blood illnesses, including sickle cell anaemia, Alport syndrome, and haemophilia.
Blood can also be seen in the urine if the individual has engaged in strenuous physical activity or has suffered a hit to the kidneys.
How is the underlying cause of hematuria identified and treated?
When you go to the doctor because you have hematuria, they will question you about the amount of blood that you see and when you see it while you are urinating. They will inquire as to how frequently you urinate, whether or not you are in pain, whether or not you observe any blood clots and the drugs that you are currently using.
After that, your medical provider will do a physical examination on you and take a sample of your urine for diagnostic purposes. An examination of your urine can determine whether or not there is blood present, as well as whether or not an infection is the root reason.
Imaging tests, such as a CT scan, which creates an image of your body by exposing it to radiation, may be prescribed to you by your doctor.
A cystoscopy is another test that your physician could wish to perform on you. This procedure includes inserting a camera into your bladder by way of your urethra through the use of a thin tube. Your doctor will be able to inspect the interior of your bladder as well as your urethra using the camera in order to determine the reason for your hematuria.
When should I seek the attention of a medical professional?
If you notice blood in your urine for the first time, you should get medical help right away since some of the conditions that can cause it are rather serious. Even a trace amount of blood in your pee is not something you should disregard.
Even if you don’t notice blood in your urine but have symptoms such as frequent, difficult, or painful urination, abdominal pain, or kidney pain, you should still make an appointment with your primary care physician. All of these symptoms might point to the presence of microscopic hematuria.
If you are unable to urinate, notice blood clots when you urinate, or have blood in your urine along with one or more of the following, you should call for immediate medical assistance.
gastrointestinal distress, headache, fever, chills, and pain in the side, back, or abdomen
How is a hematuria diagnosis made?
The treatment you receive for your hematuria will be determined by the underlying cause of your condition.
If your hematuria is caused by an infection, such as a urinary tract infection (UTI), your healthcare practitioner will likely prescribe antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria that are responsible for the infection.
In the absence of treatment, hematuria brought on by large kidney stones can be rather uncomfortable. You may be able to pass stones with the help of some therapies and drugs.
Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, often known as ESWL, is a technique that can be used to fragment stones and is likely to be recommended by your healthcare professional.
The kidney stones are broken apart using sound waves in the ESWL procedure, which allows the fragments to be passed through the urine. The treatment typically lasts for about an hour and may be carried out under local anaesthetic if necessary.
In addition, your healthcare practitioner might use a scope to extract the kidney stones you have. In order to accomplish this, they will insert a tiny tube known as a ureteroscope into your ureter after first passing it via your bladder and urethra. The camera that can locate the stones is included in the scope’s design.
Your medical professional will use specialised equipment to ensnare the stones and then remove them from your body. Before the stones are removed, any large ones will be fragmented into smaller bits first.
Your healthcare practitioner may recommend medication for you to take if they determine that an enlarged prostate is the root cause of your hematuria. These medications include alpha-blockers and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. Surgery is a possibility in some situations, but not always.
What are some of the issues that can arise from having hematuria?
If you detect this symptom, you should make an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible since some of the conditions that can cause blood in the urine are rather serious.
If the symptom is caused by cancer, ignoring it might lead to the progression of the tumours to the point where treatment is difficult. This can be avoided by not paying attention to the symptoms. Kidney failure is one of the potential outcomes of infections that go untreated.
If an enlarged prostate is the cause of hematuria, treatment may help alleviate the symptoms of the condition. Ignoring it could result in extreme pain, frequent trips to the bathroom, and possibly cancer in the long run.
What can I do to stop the bleeding in my urine?
Hematuria can be avoided by avoiding the underlying causes, which are as follows:
Consume a lot of water on a regular basis, urinate right after sexual activity, and maintain a high standard of personal hygiene to reduce your risk of contracting an infection.
Consume a lot of water, stay away from foods high in salt, and stay away from certain foods like rhubarb and spinach if you want to avoid getting kidney stones.
Stopping smoking, reducing the number of toxins you’re exposed to, and drinking lots of water are the best ways to prevent bladder cancer.