Hematuria, or blood in the urine, is a condition that can have many different causes. From too much exercise to kidney stones, the culprit behind your hematuria is vital to determining your treatment. No matter what the source is, it’s scary to have bloody urine.
At Metro Renal Associates in Washington, DC, we are experts in conditions affecting your genitourinary tract, including hematuria. Our team is led by three board-certified nephrologists: Dr. Kevin Griffiths, Dr. Cosette Jamieson, and Dr. Oyije Susannah Iheagwara. If you’re experiencing blood in your urine, our team quickly assesses the problem to get you feeling better fast.
Common causes of hematuria
Blood in your urine isn’t something you want to ever see. However, it happens from time to time and can result from various conditions.
Doctors describe two types of blood in your urine: gross blood or microscopic blood. Gross blood is that which you can see, whereas microscopic is only detected in a urinalysis.
But what causes hematuria? Many conditions and factors contribute to this condition, including:
- Urinary tract infections
- Kidney stones
- Bladder stones
- Kidney infection
- Prostate enlargement
- Certain blood clotting conditions
- Trauma to your kidneys
There are also less serious things that lead to blood in your urine. For example, it’s not uncommon to see this after sexual intercourse. Vigorous exercise may also cause you to see a bit of red in your urine.
Female conditions like endometriosis and your menstrual cycle also involve blood that may end up in your urine. Viral illnesses that affect your abdominal organs can also lead to this condition.
Risk factors for hematuria
Several things increase your risk of developing hematuria. Some of these factors are unfortunately out of your control, while others can be managed effectively. A few of the risk factors for blood in your urine include:
If you’re over the age of 50 and a man, you’re more at risk for hematuria. As you get older, your prostate enlarges, which often leads to a small amount of blood in your urine.
The inflammation that happens after a recent kidney infection may lead to visible blood in your urine. This frequently happens in children after a viral or bacterial infection.
Exercise, especially the vigorous kind, sometimes causes blood in your urine. This is especially true if you’re a long-distance runner. The stress on your body sometimes leads to bleeding in your urinary tract.
Certain medications also increase your risk for hematuria. These medications include aspirin, penicillin, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
How is hematuria diagnosed?
When you have blood in your urine, you shouldn’t delay treatment. Even if it turns out the cause is not serious, you won’t know for sure until our team examines you and your urine.
At your appointment, our team of nephrologists asks you about your medical history to get a clear picture of your health. This includes any medical problems and medications that you’re currently taking.
The next step is a physical exam. Our team checks your abdomen to determine if you have any issues with your kidneys. A manual prostate exam is often performed if you’re a man with hematuria.
The real key to figuring out what’s going on with your urine is through a urinalysis. The team asks you to urinate in a cup for this test. They then test your urine for blood, along with other things like infection and protein.
After a urinalysis, you may also need additional testing to determine the true cause of your hematuria. This includes blood tests, a CT scan or MRI, or a cystoscopy to evaluate your bladder and urethra.
Once the team figures out the cause of the blood in your urine, they formulate a customized treatment plan designed to improve your symptoms and alleviate your hematuria.
Don’t hesitate to seek treatment when you have blood in your urine. You can call one of our offices in Washington, DC, or Capitol Heights, Maryland today, or request a consultation using our convenient online booking tool.