It’s rarely good news whenever blood makes an appearance. So, when you spot blood in your urine, it can be easy to feel panic creeping in. Although the cause may be harmless, in some instances, it can indicate a serious condition. We spoke with James Wolach, MD, a urologist at Banner Health in Northern Colorado, to offer some insight and guidance on getting prompt and adequate care.
“Hematuria (blood in the urine) can indicate a number of underlying conditions, many of which have their own treatments and risks,” said Dr. Wolach. “A prompt diagnosis will help to address the issue quickly and minimize adverse effects.”
If you don’t have any other serious symptoms, your first sign of hermaturia may be a discoloration in your urine when going to the bathroom. Pink, red or brown urine means that blood is leaking into your kidneys or at another point in your urinary tract. On the other hand, many patients will have other symptoms that bring them into the doctor for an evaluation. In these cases, the hematuria may be detected in a routine urine test.
Although microscopic hematuria can cause some discomfort when urinating, it is not easily seen and is much harder to detect at home. These cases will only be visible under a microscope.
From infection to impact injuries, there are a lot of reasons blood could be found in your urine. Dr. Wolach helped by listing a few common causes.
- Infection in the urinary tract, kidneys or bladder
- Bladder or kidney stones
- Enlarged prostate
- Kidney disease
- Injury to the kidneys
- Cancer treatments like radiation
- Kidney nephritis (failure)
In addition to the causes noted above, there are several other factors that could make you more prone to hematuria than others. In every case, you should meet with a doctor immediately if you find blood in your urine. These additional factors include:
- Males above 50 are more likely to experience hematuria due to enlarged prostates
- Certain medications such as aspirin and penicillin can increase your chances
- A family history of kidney disease or kidney stones will increase your chances of hematuria
- Vigorous exercise is a rare, but possible risk factor. This is most common among distance runners and other endurance sports. However, the vast majority of athletes will not have to deal with hematuria.
What to do
Painful urination and/or finding blood in your urine should always result in a visit with a doctor. After some investigation, a diagnosis will help to determine the proper diagnosis.
Dr. Wolach offered some reassuring advice. “Get help immediately, but don’t panic. The cause of your hematuria can range greatly, from severe to minor complications. The most important thing is to not delay.” With the help of doctors and experts, you will be able to diagnose the underlying issue and get right to work getting well.
Pay attention to your risk factors and live a healthy, active lifestyle. Find more answers to your questions about kidney and urinary tract health in these similar articles.