Haematuria- Blood in Urine

General Facts

Hematuria is the presence of blood in urine. The presence of blood in urine can turn the urine pink, red or even brown. The change in the colour of the urine can be visible with the naked eye, or microscopic, hence there are two types of hematuria (Blood in Urine): Gross & Microscopic. The quantity of blood in urine doesn’t necessarily correlate to the gravity of the affliction.

Symptoms and Causes

Hematuria (Blood in Urine) is not a disease on its own might, but is a symptom correlated with other conditions & diseases. It is commonly caused by infections, inflammations or traumas of the urinary tract – kidney, bladder or urethra. Some cases of hematuria are not critical, as even heavy physical exercises or movements can lead to blood in urine, which generally disappear in a day’s time. There are also cases that can be misinterpreted as hematuria, for example menstruation can be mistaken for hematuria. Also some laxatives and foods (for example beet root and certain bright coloured berries) can create discoloration of urine. If food or medication can be ruled out as the cause for modification in urine colour, the situation should be evaluated by a doctor. Hematuria can affect people of all ages and ethnicities, it can occur on its own or it can be accompanied by other symptoms such as:

  • Pain during urination
  • Interrupted urine flow
  • Frequent urination at night
  • Urgent need to urinate as soon as the sensation arises
  • Weight loss

Investigation and Diagnosis

In order to confirm a diagnosis, the doctor will take into consideration the medical history of the patient. A clinical exam and a series of tests will be performed to determine the underlying cause of hematuria (Blood in Urine).

Treatment and Prevention

To begin with since hematuria is not a disease in itself, it can only be cured by treating the cause or medical condition that caused it in the first place. With few to no exceptions to the rule, the treatment for hematuria shall not start until its cause has been identified and specified. The treatment will be prescribed for the condition that started hematuria (as a symptom), and not for hematuria per say. The treatment might vary from antibiotics to cure a urinary tract infection to medication for an enlarged prostate or even laser therapy on kidney stones.

  • Bladder cancer if correlated with weight loss and bad health
  • Bladder infections
  • Cystitis when associated with frequent urination and urgent need to urinate
  • Kidney stones if associated with lower back pain
  • Renal failure
  • Prostate cancer
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STD)

If any of the symptoms listed below should appear with hematuria, a visit to the doctor is mandatory as it might indicate a serious condition:

  • Blood clots in urine
  • Shiver and fever
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Pain in the sides of the abdomen or lower back
  • Inability to urinate
  • Nausea and eructation
  • Tachycardia
  • Cytology exam and intravenous urogram are likely to be considered if the doctor suspects a kidney or bladder cancer or a tumor or blockage
  • Cystoscopy recommended to determine if the hematuria is related to a case of prostate cancer or bladder cancer
  • Ultrasound to check the kidney, bladder and prostate
  • Urine culture especially requested when hematuria is associated with pyuria (the presence of matter in urine) that are possible signs of a urinary tract infection.