Blood In Urine [Hematuria] : Causes And Symptoms
If you notice blood in your urine, this is all you need to know about this symptom and what you can do to manage it.
Spotting blood in your urine can be worrying, even though it is harmless sometimes. Conditions that cause blood in your urine vary. The phenomenon is medically known as hematuria. Not always noticeable with the eyes, it can only be seen under a microscope in some cases, which is known as microscopic hematuria.
The condition which is known as Hematuria may be linked with abdominal or pelvic pain, pushing in the urine, painful urination, and many other symptoms. Tests like cystoscopy, imaging tests, blood tests, urinalysis can be used to diagnose the underlying causes of hematuria.
The following are the two kinds of hematuria:
- Gross hematuria
If the colour of your urine changes so much that it appears red or pink or has spots of blood, then you may have gross hematuria. This is termed gross because it is so visible that you can pick up the change in colour with your eyes.
- Microscopic hematuria
Microscopic hematuria can not be picked up with naked eyes. The change in colouring is so minute that only a microscope can pick up the change. It is often spotted during urine tests.
A lot of conditions can cause blood in your urine. Below are some of the prominent causes.
An infection might be in your urinary tract, your bladder, or in your kidneys. And infection is one of the most widespread conditions that can cause blood in your urine. The urethra is the tube responsible for carrying urine out of the body from the bladder. And there will be an infection when bacteria move up the urethra. From there the infection can move further, into the bladder or the kidneys. The infection will not be without pain when you urinate.
Stones can develop either in your kidneys or bladder. They are crystals that develop from the minerals in your urine. If the stones are large they cause a blockage that results in pain when you urinate. And this is another widespread reason for having blood in your urine.
This is not prevalent but it can still be the cause of urine in your blood. The kidney can have a disease either on its own or by diabetes. Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis can be the cause of hematuria for children aged 6 to 10. This is caused by a strep infection, which has become rare in recent times because of antibiotics.
An enlarged prostate is the leading cause of hematuria in most middle-aged men. Because this gland is situated beneath the bladder and close to the urethra, it compresses the urethra when it grows bigger. Consequently, it may stop the bladder from completely emptying, leading to a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Advanced cases of cancer can cause problems in the kidney, bladder, and prostate. This can bring about hematuria.
The exact cause of this is not clear but strenuous exercise can cause hematuria. The phenomenon might be associated with too much strain on the bladder, dehydration, or the kind of aerobic exercise that causes a breakdown of red blood cells.
Runners are the demographic most affected by this. It could also happen to anyone after an intense exercise session.
Some medications can cause blood in the urine. Medications like penicillin, aspirin. Blood thinners like heparin and warfarin can be a cause. And then certain cancer medications like cyclophosphamide.
Hematuria can happen to adults and children. Risk factors that make this likely include:
Middle-aged men are likely to have hematuria due to Enlarged Prostate. It is prevalent within the 50 years and above demographic.
If kidney disease or kidney stones run in your family, you are more susceptible to hematuria.
- Recent infection
Coming out of a viral or bacterial infection (post-infectious glomerulonephritis) you are likely to get hematuria. Recent infection is one of the leading causes of gross hematuria.
Most serious cases of hematuria are caused by an underlying health problem. Here are some preventive measures to prevent these health problems.
- Drink a lot of water. Stop smoking to prevent cancer of the bladder. And limit your exposure to harmful chemicals.
- Practice cleanliness and good hygiene. And urinate immediately after sexual intercourse.
- Avoid too much salt and drink plenty of water daily. Also, foods like spinach aren't very good for you.
Many cases of hematuria are not serious and can, therefore, go away on their own. But, this doesn't mean you should relax when you notice a change in the colour of your urine. See your doctor immediately for tests.