Urination, being a natural process of our body, normally contains uric acid, urea, toxins from the body, wastes filtered by the kidneys, along with the water. Ideally, it should not contain blood. If you ever find some traces of blood in your urine, you must not take it lightly and consult your doctor.
The presence of blood in the urine may indicate that either your kidneys or the urinary tract have some kind of trouble, like an infection. The medical terminology for this disorder is hematuria. Note that it is not necessary that the blood in urine will always be seen and observed by you. It often happens that the quantity of blood in the urine is so less that you would not be able to notice it just by seeing the colour of your urine.
Once you would face any of the symptoms associated with it (to be discussed in the upcoming section), you are required to consult your doctor. Post examination of the symptoms, you would further be prescribed the tests for the identification of blood in the urine. Basically, hematuria or blood in the urine could be of two types:
- Gross Hematuria: This is the condition in which you will be able to see and observe the occurrence of red blood cells in your urine by your eyes. In case you see that the colour of your urine is light pink to dark red, it could be a case of gross hematuria. In this condition, you may also be able to observe discharge of blood clots at the time of urination.
- Microscopic Hematuria: This is the condition when you would report the symptoms to the physician or urologist, who would further recommend laboratory investigations for the confirmation of blood cells in the urine.
The distinction in the above cases depends on the quantity and type (RBC or WBC) of blood in the urine. In either of those, the symptoms and the cause of the disease may be similar and may need the similar kind of treatment. The individuals suffering from gross hematuria would visit their doctor with the primary complaint.
However, those suffering from microscopic hematuria normally visit the doctor with the complaint of some other symptoms. They may also be informed about this problem with some routine check-up or pathology investigation recommended for some other disorder.
Following are the various symptoms associated with blood in urine:
- Traces of blood in the urine of light pink to red colour
- Blood clots in urine
- Pain in abdomen
- Reduced urination force
- Incomplete urination
- Internal hesitancy in urination
- Discomfort feeling during urination
- Fever and shivering
- Pain during urination
- Frequent urination
- Pain in the sides of abdomen
- Urinary urgency or intolerance of urination
There are lots of causes of occurrence of blood in urine, the major of which are mentioned below:
- Stones in kidneys
- Obstructive uropathy in which the urine flows in the reverse direction because of some blockage in one of the ureters
- Enlarged prostate gland or swelling in it
- Infection in the urinary tract
- Urethritis, in which the urethra carrying out urine from bladder observes inflammation
- Pyelonephritis, which is a severe type of kidney infection
- Bladder cancer
- Bladder stones
- Severe dehydration
- Polycystic, which causes cysts in the kidneys
- Urethral stricture, which is the condition of narrowing of urethra causing restriction in the urination
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) caused by bacteria
- Acute unilateral obstructive uropathy, referring to the blockage of urine in one of the kidneys
- Cervical dysplasia, which refers to abnormal changes in the cervix
- Acute prostatitis, which is inflammation within the prostate
- ABO incompatibility reaction caused by transfusion of incompatible blood into the patient’s body
- Reactive arthritis caused by some infection in the body
- Lupus nephritis, which is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system of the patient harms the kidneys itself
- Goodpasture syndrome, another autoimmune disorder in which the immune system of the patient harms the walls of your lungs along with the kidney’s filtering units
- Rhabdomyolysis, which is malfunctioning of muscular fibres due to some muscle injury
- Cancer of ureter and renal pelvis, also called as transitional cell cancer
- Glomerulonephritis or misfunctioning of the kidneys
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Chronic prostatitis (nonbacterial)
- Thrombocytopenia or less platelets count, which may also cause severe bleeding
- Wilms' tumor, which impacts mainly the kids of three to six years of age
- Renal Cell Cancer (RCC) or hypernephroma
- Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH) causing early breakdown of the red blood cells
- Factor VIII deficiency or Hemophilia A, which is a disorder related to blood clotting
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), which also causes severe joint pain and fatigue along with blood in the urine
- Preeclampsia caused by high protein in urine and high blood pressure at the time of pregnancy
- Infective endocarditis, which is the infection of heart valves
- Endocarditis or infective endocarditis, which is the inflammation of inner lining of the heart
- Porphyrias, which is a blood disorder of deficit production of a haemoglobin’s component
- Leukemia or the cancer of blood cells
- Sickle Cell Anaemia, in which the shape of the red blood cells is distorted
- Necrotizing vasculitis or inflammation of blood vessels
- Von Willebrand caused by lack of the Von Willebrand factor in the body
- Acquired platelet function disorder caused by the misfunctioning of platelets in the patient’s body
- Factor IX Hemophilia or Hemophilia B (also known as Christmas Disease), which is the disorder related to blood clotting
- Aspergillosis, which is a fungal infection causing allergy in the body
- Polyarteritis Nodosa (PAN), which is an immune dysfunction condition of the body
- Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), which is the disorder related to blood clotting
- Hypercalcemia caused by excessive calcium in the blood
- Hypersensitivity Vasculitis caused by inflammation in blood vessels
- Acute cystitis, which is an unexpected inflammation of the bladder
- Chronic prostatitis, which is the inflammation in the prostate gland of males
- Menstruation cycle
- Intensified workout or sudden lifting of heavyweights
The various prevention measures that you can take in order to avoid blood in urine are mentioned below:
- Drink ample amount of water and fluid to avoid dehydration
- Drink cranberry juice, coconut water, and spinach juice
- Eat bitter gourd
- Drink pomegranate juice
- Eat food items rich in vitamin C like citrus fruits
- Maintain an active and healthy lifestyle
- Avoid junk food
- Eat fibre rich food items to avoid constipation
- Urinate immediately after intercourse to avoid bacterial infection
- Quit smoking, as it may cause bladder cancer
- Take care of your immune system
When you would see some traces of blood in your urine, or if any set of the symptoms mentioned above are seen, the physician or urologist would recommend a urine test along with enquiring about your medical history. In the microscopic examination of the urine, the urine’s culture is observed for the identification of bacteria in it.
A good number of bacteria in the urine may indicate confirmation of the urinary tract infection. If the patient reports abdomen, genital, or side pain along with blood in the urine, the doctor may prescribe an ultrasound for the detection of kidney stones.
If the urine contains white blood cells, it indicates a urinary tract infection. The occurrence of glucose, protein, or sediment in the urine may indicate diseases associated with kidney. In some symptoms, the doctor may recommend a blood test to assess the renal functioning and identify clotting issues.
A male patient may also be suggested a digital rectal test for the occurrence of prostatitis, enlarged prostate, or BPH. In some complicated symptoms, the doctor may recommend a CT scan of the urinary tract, in which multiple X-ray pictures are captured in 30 minutes of time.
The report of the CT scan may identify various types of abnormalities in the patient’s body. At times it may happen that no reason is identified for the blood in urine. In such cases, the urine and blood tests are repeated periodically.
The treatment of blood in urine is carried out based on the cause and symptoms associated with it. For instance, if the reason for the bleeding is some infection, you may be prescribed an antibiotic course. If it is caused by kidney stones of bigger sizes, you may be advised for its removal through a surgery.
Note that it is very important to visit the doctor even after the symptoms of the disease are disappeared post the treatment. At times it happens that the symptoms may recur if the treatment course is not complete.
Since blood in urine may be the result of multiple problems, you may face multiple complications if it is not treated on time. The complication will depend on the root cause of the problem. For example, if the blood in urine is because of some kind of cancer, it may worsen if not treated on time.
Similarly, if it is caused by some urinary tract infection, its ignorance may cause severe infections, if left unattended. The kidney infections may cause damage to the kidneys at a late stage. Many patients become panic by seeing blood in their urine and may lose their confidence.
If the bleeding is severe, it may cause you anaemia in some days. The blood in urine due to high blood pressure may cause a heart attack at a late stage. The same due to incompetent blood transfusion for some other treatment is very critical and may also be fatal.
There are lots of complications associated with the underlying cause of this problem. So, it is always recommended to get an immediate medical consultation in case of any symptom of this disease.
Myth #1: Dark yellow coloured urine also confirms blood in it
If assisting with other symptoms, it may contain blood in the urine that could be confirmed by a urine test. But normally the dark yellow colour of urine indicates dehydration in the body or lesser consumption of water.
Myth #2: Blood in urine could be healed just by drinking lots of water for a few days
Drinking a good amount of water and other fluids may regulate the urinary process and eliminates toxins and bacteria causing UTIs to a good extent. However, there may be lots of other reasons associated with this symptom, which may not be healed just by drinking a good amount of water.
Myth #3: The only cause of blood in urine is urinary tract infection
It is true that urinary tract infection could be a cause of blood in urine. However, there may be lots of other reasons associated with this symptom that a doctor may confirm with the help of some investigations.
Myth #4: Only women may suffer blood in urine
Individuals of any gender are equally likely to suffer from blood in urine.
Myth #5: Blood in urine caused by urinary tract infections can be healed just by drinking the cranberry juice for few days
Drinking cranberry juice on regular basis minimizes the chances of occurrence of urinary tract infections. Even when you are suffering from it, consuming cranberry juice may result in a faster recovery. However, you must not rely completely on it and follow the medication prescribed by the doctor.
Myth #6: If the blood in urine is because of stones in the kidney, those must be surgically removed at the earliest
The medical consultant would assess the severity of symptoms and the size of kidney stones. If those are of smaller size, the patients are advised to drink lots of water and have medicines for the dissolution of those.
Myth #7: Kids may not experience blood in urine
Individuals of any age may suffer from blood in urine. It may be observed in the kids because of Wilms' tumour or many other reasons.
Blood in urine is a critical ailment that may be caused by multiple reasons. In any case, you must visit a urologist and get all the prescribed investigations done on time. If required, you would be prescribed a medication course. If it is not taken care of the time, it may cause severe and fatal complications. To avoid blood in the urine, you are required to follow a healthy lifestyle and adopt a healthy diet plan.
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