Hematuria is the presence of blood in urine. It usually occurs as a result of some abnormality or diseased condition of the kidneys or urinary tract/bladder. Blood in urine is not an alarming condition, but might be a sign of an underlying pathology. It should not be ignored and a physician must be consulted as soon as possible. It can either be gross hematuria where blood is visible in urine or microscopic hematuria where blood cannot be seen in urine, but a pathological examination confirms the presence of red blood cells in it.
Can Hematuria Be Reversed?
Hematuria when diagnosed on time can be successfully reversed and cured, especially if the underlying disease is not serious. Most of the time the causes are not serious and with effective treatment and a healthy lifestyle it can be reversed. The exercise related hematuria resolves on its own once the vigorous activity or strenuous exercise is stopped or modified. It should be replaced with a less intense workout program, so that body gets time to heal and repair the damage. With modification in lifestyle the symptoms go away within a span of some days. It is also beneficial to maintain a healthy weight by consuming foods rich in green leafy vegetables and omega 3 fatty acids. Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water or fluids will help in getting rid of stones and clearing any infection that might be present. Avoiding foods that are rich in calcium and oxalic acid will result in formation of kidney stones should be avoided. The foods to be avoided are spinach, rhubarb, tomatoes, peanuts, caffeinated beverages, grape fruit juice, processed meat and conventional dairy products that are high in oxalic acid lead to kidney stones. Restriction of alcohol and limiting caffeine will boost prostate health. Magnesium rich foods and supplements are also beneficial and help in controlling excretion of blood in urine.
Causes of Hematuria And Their Treatment
A few health conditions can lead to hematuria. They are urinary tract infections, kidney infections, kidney disease disease such as glomerulonephritis, bladder or kidney stones (they can lead to both gross and microscopic hematuria), kidney injury, an enlarged prostate gland; kidney, bladder or prostate cancer (will cause gross hematuria but in early stages there will be no symptoms), inherited disorders such as sickle cell anemia and Alport syndrome, certain medications such as cyclophosphamide, penicillin, anticoagulants/blood thinning drugs such as aspirin. The other causes that lead to excretion of blood in urine include intense workout/strenuous activity that most commonly affect athletes and runners. It is mostly believed that high intensity workout or lengthy aerobic activities lead to dehydration, bladder trauma or red blood cell breakdown. Infection can lead to sudden inflammation of the bladder (acute cystitis) caused by a bacterial UTI.
Certain people such as men over the age of 50 years are at a risk of developing an enlarged prostate; females are more likely to contract UTIs and hence development of hematuria. White men are also prone to kidney stones that lead to blood in urine. Family history of kidney disease or kidney stones, a recent infection of kidneys and consumption of certain medications such as antibiotics like penicillin and NSAIDs are all one of the top causes of blood in urine.
The treatment of hematuria is started on the basis of the underlying cause. In most cases it resolves on its own unless the underlying condition leading to hematuria is serious. Antibiotics will clear up infection related hematuria. Exercise related blood in urine will be resolved on its own once the strenuous activity is stopped or it is switched to a less intense workout program. Kidney stones will be managed by surgery or lithotripsy and small stones can be flushed out by having plenty of water. Tumors of bladder kidney and prostate can be treated by chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy. For blood related disorders infusion of clotting factors with fresh frozen plasma is helpful.