Hematuria Causes and Treatment Questions and Answers
If you are showing symptoms of hematuria, don’t delay it and get a thorough checkup from Columbia Clinic Urgent Care today. For more information, call us or book an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in Portland OR, Clackamas OR, and Tigard OR.
Table of Contents:
Hematuria is blood in the urine. It is sometimes obvious when the urine is colored pink or red, and this is referred to as “gross” or “visible” hematuria. In other cases, it can only be confirmed by microscopic analysis, and thus is called “microscopic” hematuria.
What Causes Hematuria?
Blood in the urine can have several causes, such as:
- Urinary infection – one of the most common causes. The infection could be somewhere in the kidneys, bladder, or urinary tract and is caused by bacteria traveling up the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body from the bladder), into the bladder, and sometimes into the kidneys.
- Enlarged prostate – a fairly common cause of hematuria in middle-aged and older men. When the prostate gets bigger it compresses the urethra, causing problems with urinating and possibly preventing the bladder from emptying completely. This can result in a urinary tract infection (UTI) with hematuria.
- Kidney or bladder stones – another common cause of hematuria, these stones are crystals formed inside the kidneys or bladder from the minerals in the urine. If they get too large, they can cause a blockage often resulting in hematuria and intense pain.
- Menstruation in women
- Prostate infection
- Kidney disease – less common and caused by a diseased or inflamed kidney.
- Kidney trauma –injury caused by either a blunt or penetrating blow.
- Cancer – hematuria may be the first signs of advanced cancers of the kidney, prostate, or bladder.
- Certain medications can cause hematuria, such as:
- blood thinners like Heparin and Warfarin (Coumadin)
- Cyclophosphamide, a drug used to treat certain types of cancer
Hematuria can be a sign of a serious medical issue such as a tumor in the kidney, urinary tract, or bladder and should not be ignored. Cancers can grow and spread, and untreated infections can lead to kidney failure. Even if blood is not obviously present in the urine medical attention should be sought right away if the following are present:
– Frequent, difficult, or painful urination,
– Abdominal pain,
– Or kidney pain.
Emergency help will be needed if a person is unable to urinate, or has blood or blood clots in their urine, together with one or more of the following:
– Pain in the side, back, or abdomen
Tests are done to check the bladder and upper urinary tract (bladder, kidneys, and ureters, which are the tubes that carry urine to the bladder), and are performed based on the assessed risk of the patient developing cancer or another serious medical condition:
Low risk – urine tests, often repeated within 6 months. A cystoscopy (a procedure using a fiber-optic camera called a cystoscope) and renal ultrasound may be performed if the patient wants to be tested right away.
Intermediate risk – a cystoscopy to look at the bladder and renal ultrasound to check the kidneys.
High risk – a cystoscopy to check the bladder and a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis to look at the lining of the urinary tract.
As with most, if not all, medical conditions, early intervention, and treatment are crucial, and for those with more serious conditions, it can be lifesaving.
Treatment of hematuria will depend on its cause. If due to an infection, such as a UTI, antibiotics will be prescribed. Large kidney or bladder stones can be treated with prescription medications or with procedures such as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) which uses sound waves to break up the stones into fragments small enough to be passed in the urine; in some cases, the stones can be removed using a scope called a ureteroscope. If an enlarged prostate is the culprit medications such as alpha-blockers or 5-alpha reductase inhibitors may be prescribed, and in some cases, surgery may be considered.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding hematuria, its causes, or treatment, contact Columbia Clinic Urgent Care today! We serve patients from Portland OR, PDX, Happy Valley OR, Tigard OR, Milwaukie OR, Cedar Hills OR, Cedar Mill OR, Lake Oswego OR, Oak Grove OR, Vancouver WA, Aloha OR, Minnehaha WA, Gladstone OR, Tualatin OR, West Linn OR, Fairview OR, Oregon City OR.