Noticing blood in urine could be intimidating. Clinically, this condition is known as hematuria. Fortunately, it is not always a severe health concern. This article discusses what does blood in urine mean.
Hematuria is not a disease; however, it is a symptom of an underlying medical condition. The presence of red blood cells in urine is not always associated with something very serious. However, in some cases, the condition may be an indication of a serious disorder. Therefore, it is important to know the actual cause of the occurrence of blood in urine. Once the underlying medical condition is determined, the appropriate treatment can be administered.
Infected Urinary Tract
The most common reason behind the presence of blood in urine is urinary tract infection (UTI). It may occur when bacteria enter your body through the urethra and begin to multiply in your bladder. It is more prevalent in women, than in men. Apart from hematuria, other symptoms of this infection include burning sensation while urinating, frequent urge to urinate, and foul-smelling urine.
Hematuria could also mean that the affected person may have developed kidney stones. The stones are formed due to the crystallization of the minerals in the urine. The symptoms which are observed include nausea, vomiting, painful urination, and severe pain in the abdominal region, groin, below the ribs, etc.
Kidney infection could also be indicated by blood in urine. The infection is caused by the invasion of bacteria which initially infect the ureters. Fever and flank pain are the main symptoms.
Glomerulonephritis is a common disease of the kidneys which may be indicated by the leakage of blood in the urine.
If someone incurs any kind of injury to the kidneys, as a result of some accident, contact sports, etc., he/she might get to notice blood in the urine.
Enlarged Prostate Gland
In men, the enlarged prostate gland could have hematuria as one of its symptoms. Other symptoms may include difficulty in urination, urgent, frequent, and strong urge to urinate, feeling of incomplete evacuation, and nocturia.
Sickle cell anemia is a hereditary condition, which affects the hemoglobin. It is also listed as one of the conditions which might lead to hematuria.
Alport syndrome, is a genetic condition which affects the filtering membranes in the glomeruli of the kidneys. People with Alport syndrome have blood in their urine, which indicates abnormal functioning of the kidneys.
Severe causes of bloody urine could include cancer of the bladder, kidneys, or prostate gland. These diseases remain asymptomatic in their early stages in which it is possible to treat them completely.
Drugs like aspirin, penicillin, blood-thinning medicines, drugs for the treatment of cancer, etc., may have hematuria as one of their noticeable side effects.
Although hematuria cannot be avoided, the following steps may help minimize the risk of the underlying disorders that it may cause:
- Drink plenty of water and avoid the consumption of foods that are most likely to develop kidney stones.
- Quit smoking, maintain a healthy lifestyle including healthy diet and regular exercise, avoid exposure to toxic chemicals, etc., to minimize the risk of kidney and bladder cancer.
- Urinate after sexual intercourse, wipe out the urinary organs after urination, and avoid hygiene products that may cause irritation to minimize the risk of developing a urinary tract infection.
In some cases, strenuous exercise may also lead to hematuria. Experts are not sure as to why it occurs. However, assumptions are that certain aerobic exercises may cause damage to the bladder, dehydration, and breakdown of red blood cells, and cause blood to leak into the urine.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.