Hematuria: Symptoms, Treatment

Overview

Hematuria simply means blood in urine,
indicating red blood cells in the urine. Normally, urine does not contain red
blood cells. The filters in the kidney prevent blood from entering the urine. When
you have hematuria, however, the filters in the kidneys or other parts of the
urinary tract allow blood to leak into the urine. Usually, hematuria is not a
serious problem.

There are two types of hematuria: microscopic
and gross hematuria. Microscopic hematuria means that the blood can only be
seen with a microscope. Gross hematuria means the urine appears red or the
color of tea or cola to the naked eye. There is no specific treatment for
hematuria, because it is a symptom rather than a disease. Treatment options are
based on its underlying cause.

Causes

Hematuria is common and can have many
different causes. These causes hiding behind may include:

  • Kidney or bladder infection
  • Kidney or bladder stones
  • Swollen prostate
  • Kidney disease
  • Abdomen or pelvic injury
  • Kidney, bladder, or prostate cancer
  • Intense exercise
  • Hereditary diseases such as sickle cell anemia and cystic kidney disease
  • Certain medications such as heparin and cyclophosphamide

Symptoms

Gross hematuria can produce pink, red,
brown or cola-colored urine due to the presence of red blood cells. Usually it
causes no pain. Other signs and symptoms that may accompany hematuria are:

  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain or bruising on your lower back or sides
  • More urination than usual, or the need to urinate immediately

Diagnosis

Medical history assessment and physical
examination are the first steps of diagnosing hematuria. Based on them, your
doctors would order some of these tests to help confirm the diagnosis:

  • Urinalysis to check for red blood cells, urinary tract infection or the presence of minerals that cause kidney stones
  • Cystoscopy, in which your doctor threads a narrow tube fitted with a tiny camera into your bladder to check for signs of disease
  • Imaging tests, such as CT, MRI scan or ultrasound of the kidney, to find the cause of hematuria
  • Blood tests to check how well your kidneys are working

Treatment

In some cases, hematuria can go away without any treatment. The underlying cause determines the treatment option. If your condition is caused by an infection, such as a urinary tract infection (UTI), you can choose antibiotics to treat it.

For other causes of hematuria, treatment may be more complex, including trying a prescription medication to shrink an enlarged prostate or having shock wave therapy to break up bladder or kidney stones.



Keywords: hematuria; blood in urine.

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