Most people would panic on seeing slightly red urine being passed. A common urologic condition, this happens because blood cells are leaking into the urine. There are multiple reasons which can cause it, and not all of them are major causes for concern.
Read on to know more about some common causes, and how to manage this.
- Urinary tract infections: There could be an infection of the entire urinary tract including the kidneys, the ureters, the bladder, and the urethra. In addition to blood in the urine, there could also be an urge to urinate, pain with urination, fever, and flank pain.
- Enlarged or infected prostate: The prostate naturally enlarges with age and can obstruct the urethra, causing pain and blood in the urine. There is a constant urge to urinate and difficulty initiating the stream. Infection of the prostate also produces similar symptoms along with fever and pain.
- Kidney diseases: In addition to infections, other kidney diseases including glomerulonephritis, which can also lead to hematuria. Kidney stones, which are quite common, are also another reason, and this will be characterised by the sudden sharp pain around the flank which is very diagnostic of kidney stones. Injury to the kidneys from trauma or sports is another reason for hematuria.
- Cancers/tumours: Cancers in the kidney, bladder, or prostate can cause blood to appear in the urine, but this would happen once cancer has reached some advanced stage, not very early in the process.
Listed below are some risk factors for hematuria.
- Age: Men older than 50 are more prone to hematuria
- Sex: While men are more likely to have stones or prostate infections, UTIs are quite common in women below 50s.
- Family history: though not hereditary, if kidney stones or cancers or infections are in the family, chances of developing hematuria also goes up.
- Medications: Aspirin, blood thinners, NSAIDs, and some antibiotics increase the chances of hematuria.
- Exercise: Long distance runners are shown to be more prone to developing hematuria.
Diagnosis: In addition to a physical exam, blood tests, imaging (CT scans and/or MRI) and cystoscopy might be required to confirm the diagnosis. Identifying the cause is extremely important as treatment would depend completely on the causative agent. Though hematuria is just one of the symptom, the underlying cause could have severe adverse effects on the whole body system.
Treatment: Whether it is an infection or enlarged prostate or kidney stone or tumour, once the cause is identified treatment is customised accordingly. Antibiotics for the infections, laser treatment for the stones, etc. are recommended.
If you see your urine turning slightly pink in colour, talk to your doctor immediately. Identifying the underlying cause and treating it will help solve the problem of hematuria.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!