Blood in Your Urine

If you notice blood in your urine (which is called hematuria), you should consult your doctor.  Although in some cases blood in your urine is not serious, it can also be a sign of a medical problem.  It is difficult to tell if the blood in your urine is harmless or if it is a sign of a disease, but your doctor can order tests to figure out what is causing it.

If your doctor determines that the blood in your urine has been caused by a medical condition, you will likely be given a treatment to resolve the root cause of the problem.  Once the problem is gone, the blood in your urine should be, too.  There isn’t really a specific treatment for bloody urine itself.  It is usually treated as part of a wider problem.

There are several likely places where the blood in your urine may have come from.  The bladder, kidneys, ureters (which connect the kidneys and bladder) or the urethra (which carries urine out of the body from the bladder) are all possibilities.  It is also possible that the blood came from somewhere else entirely, such as a cut in the skin that is bleeding or the vagina.

What Conditions Are Associated with Blood in Urine?

You can sometimes see blood in your urine- this will turn it an abnormal color, such as red, brownish red, pink or the color of tea.  However, on some occasions the blood isn’t visible and you find out about it because it was found in a urine sample you gave. 

If you are female, it is possible that the blood in your urine is related to menstruation.  For a short period of time after a period, lab tests may find red blood cells in your urine sample. 
If you have blood in your urine in addition to other symptoms, the likelihood that a medical condition is causing it is higher.  The following are possible causes of blood in urine:
• Kidney or bladder stones (urinary stones). Other symptoms you may experience include severe pain in the pelvic area or abdominal pain.

• Kidney infection. This is also known as pyelonephritis. Symptoms include lower back pain, fever and chills.

• Bladder or urinary tract infections (UTI). Symptoms of UTIs vary, but commonly include frequent urge to urinate and pain during urination. Babies that have urinary tract infections may run a fever, lose interest in eating and display signs of irritability.

• Enlarged prostate or prostate cancer. Early stage prostate cancer may not have any symptoms. Later, symptoms such as difficulty urinating, swelling in the legs, discomfort in the pelvic area and bone pain may be present.

• Sickle cell anemia. This disease is present at birth, but symptoms may not show until a few months later. Symptoms can be extreme and life-threatening. They include restriction of blood flow to organs or extremities, pain and many other serious symptoms. 

• Cystic kidney diseases. There are dozens of different types of cystic kidney diseases. All involve cysts on the kidneys. Some become apparent early in life, while others show up after age 50.

• Glomerulonephritis.  This is an inflammation in the kidneys. 

• Tumors in the urinary tract or prostate.

• Injury to the kidneys.

• Extremely vigorous exercise.

•Some medications, such as penicillin, heparin, phenazopyridine, cyclophosphamide and aspirin.

Foods & Dyes Can Make Urine Look Like It Has Blood In It

Some food dyes can turn your urine red or orange, which might look like your urine has blood in it.  Sometimes people will not realize they have ingested food dyes.  This is often the case when they take a product like AZO, an over-the-counter medication for urinary pain.  The change in urine color caused by food dyes is harmless and will go away once you stop ingesting the dye.

If you eat a lot of beets, it can turn your urine red.

Reasons You May Have Blood in Your Urine

There are many medical conditions that can make your urine bloody, and you need to know what they are if you’re seeing red in the toilet:

• UTI Infection
• Kidney Stones
• Bladder Stones
• Trauma
• Clotting
• Medications
• Cancer

Blood in urine is related to all of these conditions. If you’re seeing red when you should be seeing yellow, call your physician and schedule an appointment.  Don’t assume hematuria will go away on its own, especially if you are a bit older.

To find out the cause of your bloody urine for sure, you’ll have to see your doctor. Without the appropriate tests, it is difficult to tell what might be causing the problem.

If you’ve recently experienced any type of trauma, perhaps from a car accident or sports injury, you may very well have bloody urine for that reason.

Seniors especially should pay attention to any blood in their urine.  Men who are over the age of 50 should always get regular prostate checks to ensure prostate health.

Related:

Urinary Tract Infections

Cloudy Urine

Red Urine

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Filed under Bladder & Liver Diseases, Colors of Urine, Infections, Kidney