An Overview Of Hematuria
It is natural to get scared at the sight of blood in urine, the medical term for which is “hematuria.” In most cases, there is no reason to panic as it can easily be treated effectively. However, one should never ignore blood in urine because it could be a symptom of a serious medical problem. It is always advisable to see an experienced healthcare provider as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis.
The Two Types
When blood in urine is visible to the naked eye, it is known as “gross hematuria.” Blood in the urine may appear as pink, brown like tea, or more typically red. In some cases, the blood is not visible to the naked eye. This is known as “microscopic hematuria” and is revealed through microscopic lab analysis.
With either type of hematuria, the patient should undergo a full examination of the urinary tract. A thorough physical exam, a study of the patient’s history, and a urinalysis are all essential for arriving at an accurate diagnosis.
Causes of Blood in Urine
Typical causes are infections or tumors in the urinary tract. A person suffering from kidney stones, diabetes or hypertension can also experience this problem. Consumption of red foods, such as beets or berries, in large quantities can result in what appears to be blood in the urine but is not. A person with a low platelet count is also vulnerable to this condition. Strenuous exercises such as long distance jogging or running may trigger “joggers’ hematuria” due to the repeated jerking of the bladder while running. At times, medications such as analgesics, antibiotics or anticoagulants can also cause blood in the urine. Trauma is another known cause. Sometimes hematuria can signal cancer in the kidney, bladder or prostate gland.
Check the symptoms
Patients should seek immediate medical attention for this symptom. The first and most obvious indication is the visibility of a reddish hue or a foul smell in the urine. Anyone who is experiencing chills or high fever at the same time should see a doctor right away. Other symptoms include pain located in the back, flank, abdomen or groin. In fact, any discomfort, pain in urination, or a sudden urge to urinate calls for immediate medical attention. Women should be extra cautious as they might confuse Willebrand’s disease, a bleeding disorder, with hematuria.
The obvious question: Is it serious?
There is no need to panic at the sight of blood in urine. Patients can relax knowing that the most likely causes are easily treatable. However, one should definitely consult with a doctor for an evaluation to rule out the possibility of a serious medical condition. In addition to taking any prescribed medications, a patient should also drink plenty of water. Follow up urine analysis in two weeks is essential.
Hematuria is a medical problem that is best handled with expert medical care and guidance. Do not try any home remedies. Seek medical attention immediately and know that effective treatments are available whatever the cause may be.