Your urinary system helps to remove waste from your body through urine. Problems with this system can lead to illnesses and other complications that can affect your long-term health, and one of the symptoms indicating other problems is hematuria, or blood in your urine. Up to 30 percent of the adult population experiences hematuria, and it is more common in older adults and smokers.
Hematuria can be a temporary problem, or it can be a symptom of other problems that, left undiagnosed, can lead to long-term harm. To explore the issues surrounding blood in your urine, let’s look at what causes hematuria, where this symptom can lead, and how it may be treated.
Residents of the Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, and Greater South Florida areas experiencing hematuria or other urological problems can find help with Drs. Craig Herman, Steven Kester, and the skilled medical team at the Urology Center of Florida.
What causes hematuria?
Hematuria can present in one of two ways: microscopic or gross. You wouldn’t notice microscopic hematuria, because the traces of blood would be too small for you to see, but gross hematuria can result in either pink, red, or cola-colored urine. Infections, injuries and other illnesses in any part of your urinary tract can lead to either type of blood in your urine. This means that bleeding can be the result of many factors, including urinary tract infections, kidney infections, kidney stones, enlarged prostate, kidney disease, cancer, inherited disorders like sickle cell anemia, and some medications.
Strenuous exercise, recent infections, age, (this is more common in men over 50), and a family history of kidney disease or kidney stones all increase the risk of hematuria. Aside from blood in your urine, other symptoms that may occur include nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, or pains in your side, back, or abdomen. If any of these happen in addition to hematuria, seek immediate medical attention.
What conditions could it lead to?
Any of the factors that cause hematuria can worsen if not treated, and can lead to further problems with your urinary tract. The two worst outcomes of hematuria are kidney failure, which can result from untreated infections, and tumors developing from cancer, which can occur in your prostate, bladder, or kidneys. These conditions are harder to detect in their early stages, so if there is any evidence of blood in your urine, determining the cause as soon as possible can help you get ahead of complications or worsening conditions.
What treatments are available?
The cause of your hematuria will determine the course of treatment, but the options available include:
Antibiotics are often used to treat the various infections you can get in your urinary tract, and other medications like alpha blockers or 5-alpha reductase inhibitors are used to help reduce the size of your bladder if it is enlarged.
Treatments like extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) can be used for treating kidney stones, and a ureteroscope can remove them from your bladder.
Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a surgical method of resecting your prostate to reduce its size and relieve urinary issues. The most recent and less invasive version of this procedure is called button TURP, which is mainly an option for men with especially large prostates, diabetes, a pacemaker, or risk of either anemia or using blood thinners.
Hematuria is quite treatable, especially if caught in its early stages. As it becomes more common as you reach your 50s, getting screened for conditions like prostate cancer is more important. So, if you haven’t gotten a screening, or you're seeing blood in your urine, make an appointment with Drs. Herman, Kester, and the Urology Center of Florida today for diagnosis and treatment. You can call us or book an appointment online.