Hematuria is a condition where blood or red blood cells are found in the urine, giving it a red-brown colorization. The certainty of blood in your urine can be concerning. While the reason is often harmless, blood in the urine (Hematuria) can signify a dangerous condition.
According to the AUA (American Urological Association), Hematuria is defined as the presence of three or more RBCs per high power field (HPF) study of two or three collected urine samples under a microscope.
If you observe any presence of blood in urine, seek an immediate visit to the best urology hospital in Hyderabad to ensure diagnosis and treatment.
The bloody appearance in urine to the naked eye is called Gross Hematuria. However, sometimes the urine appears normal until your doctor tests it under a microscope, and in this case, it is called Microscopic Hematuria.
Types of Hematuria
Hematuria is a direct indicator of severe urological problems. This condition should never be ignored, and the treatment is planned by knowing the cause of blood in the urine. Hematuria is classified into two types based on the amount of blood present in the urine.
Microscopic Hematuria (2-3 RBCs per HPF of the urine sample) is typically detected with a microscope.
Macroscopic Hematuria (>10 RBCs per HPF of the urine sample) is evident with deep brown urine with occasional blood clots.
What are the Causes of Hematuria?
The leak of blood causes Hematuria in urine by any urinary tract organs. The blood in urine problems can be variable, some more severe than others. The reasons for blood in urine are:
1. Urinary Tract Infection
Infections to the parts of the urinary tract, most commonly the bladder (cystitis) or the kidney (pyelonephritis), can cause Hematuria. Microscopic blood in the urine may be the only indicator of infection for some people, especially the elderly.
2. Kidney Infections (Pyelonephritis)
Kidney infections occur when the bacteria enter the body through the bloodstream or the uterus to the kidney. The blood in urine can be caused by kidney stones while passing out through the urine.
3. Bladder/Kidney Tumors
Tumor outgrowths, inflammations, cysts, and stones in the bladder or kidney stones causes blood in urine. The bloody urine kidney stone in this condition is cloudy and has an unpleasant smell. This is more apparent in people above 40.
Visible urinary blood could signify advanced kidney, bladder, or prostate cancer. Unfortunately, you may not notice any signs or symptoms in the initial stages of these tumors when they are easier to cure.
5. Kidney disease (Glomerulonephritis)
Glomerulonephritis is an illness caused by inflammation of the Glomeruli, the kidney’s filtering units. Microscopic urinary bleeding is a symptom of Glomerulonephritis. It leads to inflammation of the kidney and kidney failure and may be accompanied by High Blood Pressure.
6. Sickle Cell Disease
Renal disorders are caused by the degradation of RBCs in the renal medulla. It is one of the hematuria causes. It is a hereditary condition that is more prevalent in certain ethnic groups.
7. Kidney injury
An injury or blow to the kidneys from an accident or contact sports can cause visible blood in your urine.
8. Enlarged Prostate
As men become older, the prostate gland enlarges. It is sited below the bladder and surrounds the top part of the urethra. The urethra is then compressed, partially halting urine flow, causing Hematuria.
The color of the urine can change depending on what you eat. Beets, blackberries, and other foods containing a lot of colors can cause your urine to turn a different hue. Other causes of Hematuria are Rigorous exercise, Excessive intake of tobacco or alcohol, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) in men, Menstrual cycle, and Surgical instrumentation.
Symptoms of Hematuria
Hematuria symptoms may not be evident in the initial stages, but they become prominent as the infection advances. One exception is when so much blood is in the bladder that clots form and the urine flow is obstructed. This can result in pain in the lower pelvis, where the blockage is located. The other related symptoms are:
- Reddish or brownish discoloration of urine
- Cloudy and unclear urine
- Strong urine odor
- Frequent need to urinate
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Mild fever and occasional chills
- Urine leakage
- Pain in the lower abdomen, pelvis, and lower back.
- Difficulty passing urine
- Nausea and vomiting
- Risk Factors
Anyone can be affected by blood in the urine. The various risk factors of Hematuria are:
- Infections: The common cause of visible urine blood in children is kidney inflammation after a viral or bacterial infection.
- Age: Men older than 50 have occasional Hematuria due to an enlarged prostate gland.
- Family history: One is prone to urinary bleeding if they have a family history of kidney disease or kidney stones.
- Strenuous Exercises: Exercise-induced urine bleeding is more common in long-distance runners. Jogger’s Hematuria is a common name for the condition.
- Medications: Urinary bleeding is elevated by aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications, and antibiotics like penicillin.
- Radiation exposure: Prolonged exposure to radiation causes Hematuria and other deadly health problems.
How Is Hematuria Diagnosed?
Your doctor asks for medical history and does a physical examination during your visit. This helps the doctor to understand the symptoms and plan treatment. The doctor may order other tests. These tests include:
- Physical Exam – This consists of a discussion of your medical history.
- Urine Tests – Urine Culture and Urinalysis are done to check for the infection and presence of blood in the urine.
- Imaging Tests – The Imaging test is required to find the cause of Hematuria. The doctor might recommend a CT or MRI scan or an ultrasound exam.
- Cystoscopy – A Cystoscope device is used to inspect the inside of the bladder and urethra to diagnose Hematuria.
- Urine Cytology – A urine test that checks for any abnormal cells, which helps determine the presence of blood in the urine.
To determine the cause of Hematuria, an abdominal X-ray is required. The bladders, ureters, and kidneys can be thoroughly examined with an MR or CT Urography. An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is recommended to investigate abnormal kidney function in a few circumstances.
How to Treat Hematuria?
The treatment of Hematuria depends on a particular cause. Several reasons could result in blood appearing in the urine. The most common ones include kidney stones, enlarged prostate, urinary tract infections, bladder stones, bladder cancer, lupus nephritis, high blood pressure, etc. The main treatment methods are:
Antibiotics are commonly used to treat Hematuria caused by a urinary tract infection (UTI). These medicines operate by killing bacteria and thus halting the blood from the urine.
Prescribed Drugs decrease an enlarged prostate
Shock Wave Therapy to break bladder or kidney stones.
When to See a Doctor?
The blood in the urine should always be taken seriously, and it cannot be ignored under any circumstances. You can explore the best urology hospital in Hyderabad and contact them if you have any other symptoms of Hematuria.
Some questions your doctor can ask,
- When was the first time you saw blood in your urine?
- Is the blood in urine frequent or occasional?
- Do you have bloody urine with no pain or pain when you urinate?
- Do you find blood clots during urination?
- Do you smoke?
- Any exposure to chemicals?
- Have you had radiation therapy?
The Final Word
Prevention is better than cure. The duration of infection depends on its cause, if it is a urinary tract infection, it will clear with the infection. If it is due to kidney stones, it will cure when the stones are removed. You can even prevent it by following a lifestyle that fosters a healthy urinary tract by staying hydrated and avoiding cigarettes. If your Hematuria condition results from strenuous exercise, switch to less intense workouts.