Sep 21, 2022
Bleeding in urine in most cases may not be an indicator of a serious condition, but at times, symptoms like blood in the urine, whether white or red blood cells may convey an individual having a medical condition that requires immediate treatment. Blood in urine means that one may have a condition in which the kidneys or other parts of the urinary tract are allowing blood to leak into the urine. This is referred to as haematuria, which is a urinary condition that is signified by the presence of red blood cells in the urine that may cause no pain or even severe pain, depending on the condition. However, sometimes the urine appears completely normal due to the red blood cells not being visible to the naked eyes. The condition is known as “microscopic” haematuria.
The urinary tract is the body’s drainage system that is responsible for flushing out extra fluid and waste. When the bladder empties, the urine flows out of the body through the urethra, which is present at the bottom of the bladder. Sometimes due to certain underlying health conditions, there may be a leakage of blood in the urine by any urinary tract organ. There may be several problems that may lead to urine having blood coming from the urinary tract, some more severe than others.
Haematuria is a direct indicator of severe urological problems which must not be ignored. There may be a number of reasons for blood in urine in a female or male, which include:
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is the most common cause of haematuria. It is a type of infection of the parts of the urinary tract which occurs when certain bacteria move up the urethra to the bladder and sometimes even up to the kidneys. UTIs can be very painful and feeling the need to urinate frequently is one of the most common symptoms of the condition.
Kidney stones are one of the most common causes of blood in the urine. The stones can develop inside an individual’s kidneys or bladder. Often, the larger kidney stones may shift, causing a blockage in the urethra, sometimes even tearing the urethra, which can lead to haematuria as well as significant pain during urination.
Kidney disease or renal disease is a chronic health condition that causes severe damage to the kidneys. An inflamed or diseased kidney can lead to haematuria when the kidneys are not functioning properly and allow leakage of traces of blood in the urine.
For a male, blood in the urine may also be caused by an enlarged prostate, which is a fairly common cause of haematuria and other problems with urinating. Peeing blood and the inability to empty the bladder completely are common symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
Cancer of the organs of the urinary tract, like the bladder, kidney, or prostate, can also cause blood in the urine. An individual may not necessarily experience early signs of urinary tract cancer until it reaches an advanced stage.
There are several other causes of urine in blood, like kidney injury, several anti-cancer medications, and strenuous medications that can cause blood in the urine.
A healthcare provider will ask about the medical history and may recommend a urinalysis test, which checks samples of the urine to see if there’s blood in the urine. In the test, a sample of urine will be collected and the individual’s general health, including the health of the urinary tract, kidney, and liver will be checked. In some cases, individuals may see red or reddish-brown blood while urinating, which is a condition known as gross haematuria.
But sometimes, there might be very small amounts of blood in the urine, which may not be visible through the naked eye, so getting tested is one of the most accurate ways to diagnose the underlying condition. Other lab tests that may be prescribed include:
To check for kidney stones, tumours, and other problems in the bladder, kidneys, and ureters.
A sample of kidney tissues is checked under a microscope to look for signs of kidney disease.
A healthcare professional threads a small tube with a camera into the bladder to look for unusual or cancerous cells.
The test uses sound waves to create pictures of the kidneys and look for problems that may cause infections.
There is not a specific treatment for blood in urine or haematuria, as the condition causing blood to appear in the urine may vary from person to person. A healthcare provider will be able to recommend a proper treatment plan after analysing the age, gender, severity, and symptoms of blood in the urine of an individual and diagnosing the condition based on their test results. Treatment through antibiotics is one of the most common ways of treating haematuria caused by a urinary tract infection. Treatment for a male with blood in the urine that is caused by an enlarged prostate also mostly involves medication. Another way of treating haematuria, if caused by kidney stones, is through shock wave therapy, which involves breaking the stones into smaller pieces, so that they can pass through the urinary tract easily. Kidney stones may also be removed using a ureteroscope, which is equipped with a camera at one end to locate the kidney stones.
An individual must seek help if they notice blood in the urine, experience pain while urinating, or develop symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, or unusual pain in the back or lower abdomen. It is always a good idea to go to a healthcare professional to seek medical advice and get a treatment plan in place as soon as possible.