What is Hematuria?
Hematuria is when there is presence of blood in the urine, which in most cases is an indication of a serious disorder. The blood that can be seen by the naked eye in the urine is called gross hematuria and blood that is only visible under the microscope is called microscopic hematuria. Although gross hematuria can be seen, the visibility of it may be sometimes very light as the amount of blood passed in the urine will be different as per various cases and the underlying condition. However, even if the quantity of blood differs from case to case, the condition that is the reason of Hematuria will be the same and will require same evaluation.
What are the risk factors of Hematuria?
Hematuria is the type of condition that can happen to anyone whether it is children, adults or senior citizens. Some of the risk factors found of Hematuria are –
- Biological history and lifestyle –
Age being one of the factors, studies show men older than fifty have occasional hematuria because of swelling of the prostate gland. Another factor being the gender, hematuria among women is generally because of urinary tract infection which most women generally have at least once their life and this may cause some minor bleeding. In young men, Hematuria is most likely to be caused by kidney stones or a hereditary disease called Alport Syndrome which causes blood in urine.
If you have a family history of developing kidney stones, then you are more likely to have hematuria. Strenuous exercise can also serve as the risk factor when it comes to hematuria; this type of urinary bleeding is generally called jogger’s hematuria.
- Medicines or recent infection
Certain kinds of medication like aspirin, antibiotics like penicillin or anti-inflammatory pain relievers are likely to cause hematuria in certain cases are known to cause Hematuria. Any history of infections which have been cured recently can be a risk factor. Infections caused by bacterial infection and kidney inflammation after viral diseases are prone to cause Hematuria.
What are the causes of developing Hematuria?
In hematuria, some parts of your urinary area allow blood to pass by urine, and this can be caused by several reasons such as –
- Kidney stone or infection –
Kidney infections are caused by the bacteria when they enter the blood stream and deposit in the kidneys by moving up from the ureters. Bladder infections are similar in symptoms, although kidney symptoms are more likely to cause fever. On the other hand, kidney stones are also major cause of developing hematuria. The crystals or minerals of concentrated urine that are formed over time on the walls of the bladder are called kidney stones. Usually it takes time before they are noticed, as there is no pain unless there is a blockage. These can be the reason for both gross and microscopic bleeding.
- Swollen prostate
The prostate gland which is located under the bladder on top of the urethra often swells up in men as they become older, approaching middle age. When the prostate enlarges, the flow of the urine is blocked and causes bleeding.
- Infection in urinary tract
Infection in the urinary area due to bacteria entering the urethra affects the inner organs. This can cause burning sensation while urinating and a constant urge to urinate. There might be strong urine odor and in some cases of adults it may be the only sign of developing hematuria.
Diagnosis of hematuria is more complicated than it seems, as cause for urinary bleeding must needed to be identified, which are many. The diagnosis will typically start with a detailed discussion of your medical history and a physical exam.
- Imaging and urine tests
Even if your urine has visible signs of containing blood, a urine test will confirm if it still contains red blood cells and check for the presence of minerals which can cause kidney stone.
Other tests are the imaging tests which are done by CT scan, MRI scans or ultra sound exams. By such exams the specific cause for the reason for hematuria would be able to discover.
There is no specific type of a treatment for hematuria; the doctors will be focusing on the cause of the condition. As the reason for the condition is discovered, most likely it may be treated by antibiotics, so that the urinary tract is cleared of infection.
In the case of swelling of the prostate, the doctor will give the prescribed medicine to shrink the inflammation or may give a shock therapy to break the minerals in case of kidney stones.