We will get immediately worried and anxious as we see blood in urine. In most of such cases it is not a matter of much pain but then urine blood can be serious alert of something more serious going on inside the body.
The blood which we can see with our naked eyes in the urine is called gross hematuria. If the blood is not visible by eyes but only is visible only under any device then it is called as microscopic hematuria. This is only diagnosed by doctors during laboratory tests. Both these forms of urine blood calls for urgent diagnosis. Depending on the reason of the bleeding, the treatment is prescribed.
Causes of Urine Blood
In urine blood, both the kidneys and other parts of the urinary tract permit the blood cells to flow through urine. This leakage can be noticed due to any of the following causes:
- UTI's or Urinary Tract Infections: Certain bacteria enter the body through urethra and grow in the bladder which causes UTI (Urinary tract infections). Frequent urination urge, pain while urinating, and burning sensation while urine passing, pungent smell in urine can be the symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Microscopic blood cells flow with urine in older adults.
- Kidney Infections: Infections in kidney or pyelonephritis occur as bacteria enter any of the kidneys through ureters. Another way for kidney infection is through the blood. The symptoms of kidney infection could be accompanied with flank pain and fever.
- Stones in Kidney or Bladder: Stones in the bladder or any of the kidneys may cause bleeding during urination. This bleeding is often invisible and painless. Thus on less incidents the disease is detected at an early stage.
- Prostate Enlargement: The prostate gland just under the bladder has tendencies of growing in men as they grow older and reach towards the middle age. This gland enlargement cause's blockage in the flow of urine as it compresses the urethra which can also cause urinary bleeding in men.
- Kidney Illness: Microscopic urinary blood can be noticed in people affected with glomerulonephritis which leads to inflammation in the filtering system of kidneys.
- Cancer, Resulting in Urine Blood: Urinary bleeding is visible in advanced stages of bladder, kidney or prostate cancer.
- Inherited disorders: Certain disorders which people inherited like Sickle cell anemia which is a defect of hemoglobin in the RBC or red blood cells, or alport syndrome of the kidneys can also cause urinary bleeding.
- Injury to the kidney: Any sort of blow or any other form of injury to any of the kidneys during an accident causes bleeding while urine passing. Heavy physical combustion during any body contact sport can also lead to the same problem.
- Medicines: Certain anti cancer medicines such as Cytoxan or cyclophosphamide & penicillin will result in urine blood in the patients who are consuming it. Visible urine blood sometimes occurs if you take an anticoagulant like aspirin or blood thinners like heparin also causes visible blood in urine and makes the bladder bleed which flows out with urine.
- Rigorous Exercise: Although there is no definite reason for this but gross hematuria or urine blood is noticed in people who work out heavily. This could be due to poor intake of fluids, strenuous exercise which is stressful to the bladder etc. Runners are the one who are found to be affected with urinary bleeding more and this bleeding is more reported after a long run.
Irrespective of any cause, never waste time in taking medical consultation in case you find blood droplets coming out from your urine.
Signs and Symptoms of Urine Blood
The major symptoms which is clearly see during urine blood is that urine will turn pink, cola colored or red. This is due to the presence of blood cells in the blood. The blood flow can be very little and painless. However different people have different feeling of pain and some may experience severe pain due to blockage in urination.
In case of microscopic hematuria, the blood cells are diagnosed only under a microscope.
What is the Best Time to Visit the Doctor?
The moment you find a blood droplet in your toilet bowl, immediately make an appointment to see your doctor.
Do not get confused as medicines like laxative Ex-lax, and foods like berries, beets, and rhubarb also causes tints in urine.
Distinctively understand the actual presence of blood cells in the urine and visit the doctor accordingly. However some blood cells are not visible by naked eyes, but on the first sight of it you should not neglect it.
Urine Blood in Men
Unusual flow of blood during urination can be a serious cause of concern in men. The tiniest drop of blood in the toilet can turn the bowl red and tense the person.
Certain large droplets of blood coming out during urine passing can block the urine to flow smoothly in men. If the droplet is bigger than the tip of the little finger, it can form clot and block the passage of urination. It can be even painful to pass urine with such flow of blood droplets during the passage.
Do not waste any time to visit your medical consultant the moment you find large blood clots during urination. The symptom can be witnessed with severe pain in the groin, lower abdomen or back and sides. This is usually caused by:
- Stones in kidney
- Any sort of injury to the bladder or kidneys
- Urinary tract infections
- Tumors in kidney, prostate or bladder.
Risk Factors Involved in Urine Blood
People of any age can be affected with urine blood i.e., presence of red blood cells in urine. The risk factors of urine blood include:
- People over 50 years usually experience enlarged prostate which may cause urine blood.
- Sex. Women face more infections in the urinary tracts and it causes bleeding in them more frequent than men. A stone in kidney or alport syndrome which is a form of hereditary nephritis also causes blood cells to come out in the process of urine passing.
- Kidney inflammation due to bacterial or viral infection in the kidney, also known as the post-infectious glomerulonephritis causes of flow of blood cells in children during urination.
- People with a family history of kidney stones or other kidney diseases also have tendencies of urine bleeding.
- Medicines like aspirin, antibiotics like penicillin and non steroidal anti inflammatory pain relievers can also increase the risk of urine blood.
- Strenuous exercise in some people can cause bleeding in urine. Runners of long distance have tendencies of urinary bleeding. This condition is jogger's hematuria. People who work out rigorously usually develop such symptoms.
Tests to Diagnose Urine Blood
The following diagnosis is done to find the root of urine blood:
- Physical exam for urine blood: In the physical exam diagnosis the medical consultant discusses the medical history of the patient.
- Urine tests for urine blood: Urine tests are prescribed as the person finds tints in the blood. Any pinkish, cola colored or red colored urination is the cause of concern and should be immediately bought to the doctor's notice. Immediate care and medical help can avoid the growth of stones in kidney.
- Imaging tests for urine blood: Imaging test is needed to diagnose the root of urine blood. A computerized tomography or CT scan is also prescribed by medical consultants. This test makes use of radiation and a computer and creates a cross-sectional image of the internal body. The MRI or magnetic resonance imaging uses the magnetic field and radio waves and generates images. Ultrasound exam is also done that uses a mix of high-frequency sound waves and computer processing and generates imagery of bladder and kidney.
- Cystoscopy for urine blood: This procedure involves a narrow tube thread to be fitted with a very small camera in to the bladder to diagnose the bladders and urethra closely to determine the signs of the disease.
Excessive smoking and alcohol consumption may also lead to the bleeding in urine. These reasons can hardly be diagnosed and are often neglected for proper treatment. Environmental toxins also cause urine bleeding and increase the possibilities of bladder cancer due to radiation exposure in its treatment.
Treatment for Urine Blood
Urine blood does not have any specific treatment. The underlying conditions however could be treated. Doctors usually prescribe antibiotics to clear out the infection in the urinary tract, or reduce the size of enlarged prostate. Even shock wave therapy is suggested to break up the stones in the kidney.
However if the underlying illness are not much serious, then no medication is usually carried out on the person.
Prevention of Urine Blood
Urine blood is not a disease to be avoided or prevented but then you can always take the following steps to lessen its risk:
- Drink a lot of water if you are affected by an UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). For women it is a must to wipe their private part after urination and sex. Do not use toiletries in the private parts which cause irritation.
- For kidney stones also, drinking a lot of water can be a boon. Also oxalate containing foods, protein and salt have to be avoided.
- People affected with bladder cancer should immediately stop smoking, alcohol consuming and take care of the fluid intake of the body.
- The same is for kidney cancer as well. Get rid of any chemical or toxin intake and maintain body weight.