Your urinary system (kidneys, ureter, bladder and urethra) performs some very important functions in your body. It is both an essential part of digestion (helping to process the food and drink you ingest) and a filtration system. Your body removes toxins and waste from your body through your urinary system, which means any problems that occur there can mean problems for your ability to properly filter your body of dangerous substances.
Hematuria is the scientific term for blood in your urine, and it can either be a minor issue to be monitored over time or evidence of a serious underlying condition. Let’s look at what causes hematuria, how serious it might be, and what treatments are available.
Patients in the Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, and Greater South Florida areas who may be experiencing hematuria can find help with Drs. Craig Herman, Steven Kester, and the experienced staff at the Urology Center of Florida. For over 25 years, we have been offering the latest and greatest diagnostic technology, lab testing and treatment plans that are both affordable and convenient.
When referring to blood in your urine, there are two types: gross and microscopic. Gross hematuria changes the color of your urine (pink red or visible spots of either), and microscopic hematuria is imperceptible unless found through lab tests. Hematuria is also fairly common, seen in up to 30% of the adult U.S. population. It isn’t painful most of the time, but if your passing blood clots in your urine it may hurt.
Risks and causes
Hematuria may be asymptomatic, and many factors or conditions can lead to experiencing it. These include:
Any infection in your urinary tract, bladder or kidneys can cause hematuria, which can be caused by bacteria.
Whether it's a calcium, struvite, cystine, or uric acid stone that develops in your urinary system a hematuria can result if a stone is large enough. Large stones can also cause blockages and intense pain.
Middle aged and older men are at a higher risk of enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). A larger prostate can press down on the urethra, making urinating difficult and leading to blood showing up in your urine.
Diseased or inflamed kidneys are not as common but can result from conditions like diabetes and strep infections.
Aspirin, penicillin, blood thinners, and cyclophosphamide (a drug used in cancer treatment) can lead to blood in your urine.
Cancer of the bladder, kidney or prostate can cause hematuria, but is often a symptom of late stage cancer.
Other causes for blood in your urine include blood disorders like sickle cell anemia, Alport syndrome, and hemophilia, as well as family history, physical injuries to your kidneys and strenuous exercise.
Treatments will vary depending on the cause, but antibiotics for infections, medications for shrinking an enlarged prostate and shock wave therapy for large kidney stones are among the common methods of managing hematuria. It all depends on the underlying cause. Surgery may be necessary in severe cases and if cancer is involved radiation therapy is also a possibility.
Blood in your urine can be a scary thing to see, but there are plenty of treatments available to help you get better. If you have problems with hematuria, make an appointment with Drs. Herman, Kester, and the Urology Center of Florida today for help.