Blood in the urine, or hematuria, is a scary condition that may be due to a severe health problem. If you ever notice blood in your pee, you must seek help immediately, even if you don't have any other symptoms.
In most cases, blood in the urine isn't a life-threatening problem, but it does tell you something's going on in the urinary tract.
Many things can lead to bloody urine, including infections and kidney stones, so it's a good idea to speak to the team at Metro Renal Associates in Washington, DC, and Capitol Heights, Maryland.
Three amazing nephrologists lead our team; Dr. Kevin Griffiths, Dr. Cosette Jamieson, and Dr. Oyije Susannah Iheagwara, all of whom provide a quick diagnosis and treatment of blood in your urine.
The facts on hematuria
Hematuria is the medical term doctors use to describe blood in the urine. You can experience hematuria for many reasons, some of which aren't worrisome. In contrast, others are a genuine risk to your health.
Hematuria comes in many forms, including blood that you can see and urine that looks normal but contains red blood cells. Doctors describe hematuria in three distinct categories which include:
Gross hematuria is when you can see the blood in your urine in the toilet. The toilet water may become pink, dark red, or bright red.
You may have microscopic hematuria if you can't see blood in your urine but have other symptoms. The blood in the urine is too tiny to see with the naked eye but is visible under a microscope.
A urinalysis may result in dipstick hematuria when the urine test strip oxidizes, leading to a false positive result. This is, unfortunately, relatively common and isn't an accurate indicator of blood in the urine.
It's critical to seek treatment if you're having any symptoms of hematuria, especially with other related issues. It could indicate something is happening with your urinary system or other body areas.
Causes of hematuria
Many conditions and lifestyle habits lead to hematuria, and not all of them are causes for concern. For example, exercising too hard can lead to blood in the urine, which you can remedy by toning back your workouts.
However, other causes of hematuria indicate a problem within your body and urinary tract. Some of the reasons you could be experiencing bloody urine include:
- Kidney infection (pyelonephritis)
- Bladder inflammation (cystitis)
- Enlarged prostate
- Kidney or bladder stones
- Kidney disease
- Certain types of urinary cancers
Women may experience hematuria during their menstrual cycle, which is extremely common as the blood from the uterus mixes in with pee during urination. This form of hematuria isn't usually an issue unless there's abnormal menstrual bleeding involved.
Urinary tract infections are one of the most common causes of hematuria. The infection may be in the urethra, bladder, or kidneys, causing hematuria, burning with urination, and fever.
What are my treatment options?
You should never ignore hematuria, as it could indicate something is happening in your body. If you notice hematuria or are experiencing urinary symptoms, it's best to make an appointment with our team for an exam.
At your appointment, one of our providers examines your abdomen and discusses your symptoms. We also provide urinalysis and ultrasounds to determine the blood's root cause in your urine.
The treatment we provide depends on the cause behind your hematuria. For example, if you have a urinary tract infection caused by blood in the urine, we give antibiotics to eliminate the disease and clear up hematuria.
Kidney disease or kidney stones require more aggressive treatment, which we base on your health, the disease's state, and the stone's size. Sometimes, you may need a procedure to break the stone into smaller pieces, allowing it to pass through the urinary system.
Lifestyle changes can also help hematuria, especially related to exercise or recurrent urinary tract infections. If you’ve spotted blood in your urine, call Metro Renal Associates today to schedule an appointment or message the team using our convenient online tool.