There's enough to worry about when you see a dark-coloured urine, let alone finding blood in it. It could be really disturbing if a person sees blood in his or her urine. Hematuria is a term given to bloody urine. In most of the cases, it is not considered very harmful, but it could also be very serious if not treated on time and properly.
When blood is spotted in urine, it should not be ignored. It is better to consult with a doctor and find out if it is actually a concern or not. There is not a specific treatment for hematuria because there is no specific cause for it.
Almost anyone can get hematuria, from a teen to someone who is 80.
So What Is Hematuria?
Hematuria is the presence of Red Blood Cells (RBCs) in the urine. Though RBCs are confined to veins and arteries, there are times when certain organs could leak these RBCs into the urine. When the urine is rose-coloured, red, brownish-red or tea-coloured, it means that the RBCs present are visible to the eye. This visible hematuria is called Gross Hematuria. This colouration of the urine could also be influenced by food or medications.
There are times though when the RBCs are not visible to the naked eye. The urine appears to be of a normal colour. This type of Hematuria is called Microscopic Hematuria. This can be found by a dipstick and then is confirmed by observing the sample of urine under the microscope.
Pain could be present throughout the body, but is severe in the abdominal region. This is because Hematuria is sometimes associated with urethral or kidney stones. Men might complain about pain in their penis and the women could experience pain in their labia.
When blood is passed at the beginning of the stream, it could mean that blood comes from the urethra. If blood is passed at the end of the stream, it means the blood was passed from the bladder or from the prostate (in men). Blood throughout urination is associated with the bladder, uterus or kidneys.
What Are The Causes Of Hematuria?
1. Kidney or urethral stones
2. Urinary tract infections
3. Pyelonephritis (infection in the kidneys)
4. Polycystic kidney disease
5. Bladder cancer
6. An overlarge prostate
7. Strenuous exercise
8. Urinary tract stones
9. Trauma that is due to catheter placement
10. Inherited disorders
11. Kidney injuries like sickle cell anaemia
12. Medication like cyclophosphamide, penicillin, aspirin, etc.
Alport Syndrome -
This syndrome is associated with frequent Hematuria, Gross and Microscopic Hematuria. It is followed by hearing loss and eyesight loss sometimes. It also leads to Proteinuria. Proteinuria is the leaking of Proteins into urine. Alport Syndrome is usually a genetic disorder and should be treated in the right way.
How To Treat Hematuria?
The right treatment begins with the right diagnosis. A full analysis of the bladder and kidneys is done by the x-rays. Hematuria is diagnosed by methods like Urinalysis, Cystoscopy, imaging tests like CT or MRI or Ultrasound Scans. Cystoscopy being the widely used diagnostic method, in this the doctor looks directly at the inside of the bladder and urethra to see for any visible anomalies. Sometimes, the cause is not known. It could be because of smoking or other everyday habits. In such cases, the doctor usually treats a patient by follow-up visits.
If the Hematuria is caused by Urinary Tract Infections, antibiotics are prescribed to clear the infection first. If it is caused by stones, shock-wave therapy is used to break up the stones. Certain medication is given to men who experience Hematuria due to an enlarged prostate to shrink it. In many cases, treatment is usually not required and can be treated at home itself.
But it is always better to consult with a professional when a situation of Hematuira arises. You never know when it might be severe and as similar to the Alport Syndrome.
Certain foods like beetroots and berries could also cause colouration of urine. Or medications like laxatives could do that too. This coloration could go away in a few days. Thus, at first, self-diagnosis should be done thoroughly.
Don't panic though, everything is treatable.
Just stay positive!