Hematuria is a medical term used to define the presence of blood in your urine. Most of the time the source of blood in urine comes from is non-serious and benign; however, it is always important to evaluate the exact cause as it can occur secondary to a number of serious disorders as well. Hematuria can be broadly classified into two types.
Gross Hematuria: It is when the urine either contains frank blood or secondary to the presence of blood in urine, it becomes smoky, cola or tea colored.
Microscopic Hematuria: In this case, blood in the urine is detected only microscopically. This is usually found incidentally during a routine medical exam.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
In addition to the presence of blood in urine, the patient may also have symptoms such as fever, flank pain, burning micturition, urinary urgency and frequency in case of a urinary tract infection.
Urinary Tract Stones
The mineral content of the concentrated urine can deposit in the walls of the kidneys and bladder leading to the formation of crystals, which over time can coalesce, leading to the formation of stones.
The kidney stones are usually asymptomatic until they cause a blockage to the urine outflow. The most common symptom, in that case, is an excoriating pain involving the lower back, flank, and groin as well. In addition, the patient may also have an increased frequency of micturition that is often painful.
Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy
In elderly males, BPH can cause symptoms such as problem starting urination, an increased urinary frequency, an urgent need to urinate, and dribbling at the end of urination. In addition, it may also lead to the presence of microscopic as well as frank blood in urine.
Urinary Tract Cancers
Kidneys, bladder as well as prostate cancer can cause either microscopic or frank hematuria, particularly in the late stages. In the settings of any of these cancers, hematuria is often accompanied by other non-specific symptoms such as lethargy, tiredness, loss of appetite and weight as well.
Glomerulonephritis is a kidney disease characterized by the inflammation of the glomeruli i.e. the capillary tufts aimed to filter blood in the kidneys. It can occur secondary to a number of conditions such as infections, immune-mediated diseases, and diabetes and may cause symptoms such as hematuria, foamy urine, and high blood pressure.
Cyclophosphamide, an anti-cancer medication, anti-coagulant drugs such as aspirin and blood thinners such as heparin can all cause hematuria.
Inherited Disorders of Blood
Sickle cell disease is an inherited disorder of the blood characterized by the presence of an abnormal form of hemoglobin. It can lead to the presence of microscopic as well as frank blood in the urine.
If you have blood in your urine, come speak to one of our urologists at Century Medical and Dental Center (Downtown Brooklyn, Gravesend, and Flatbush).