Blood in the Urine Overview
Blood in the urine is a common problem. The medical term for red blood cells in the urine is hematuria. Sometimes blood in the urine is a sign of a serious problem in the urinary tract, while other times it is not serious and requires no treatment. Only after a thorough evaluation by a health-care provider should blood in the urine be attributed to a non-serious cause.
The urinary tract consists of the following structures:
- Kidneys: You have two kidneys, located closer to your back than your front at about waist level. The kidneys filter the blood in your body and produce urine.
- Ureters: These narrow, hollow tubes carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
- Bladder: The bladder is a balloon-like organ that holds urine until it is convenient for you to empty your bladder (urinate).
- Urethra: This narrow, hollow tube carries urine from the bladder to the outside of your body. The flow of urine is controlled by internal and external sphincter muscles, which tighten or relax around the urethra, holding or releasing urine.
- In men, the genitals and prostate are considered part of the urinary system. The prostate surrounds the urethra in men. It is made up of glands that secrete a fluid that is part of semen. The prostate often becomes enlarged in older men.
What is hematuria ?
Hematuria is the presence of red blood cells (RBCs) in the urine. In microscopic hematuria, the urine appears normal to the naked eye, but examination with a microscope shows a high number of RBCs. Gross hematuria can be seen with the naked eye—the urine is red or the color of cola.
How is hematuria diagnosed ?
To find the cause of hematuria, or to rule out certain causes, the doctor may order a series of tests, including urinalysis, blood tests, kidney imaging studies, and cystoscopic examination.
- Urinalysis is the examination of urine for various cells and chemicals. In addition to finding RBCs, the doctor may find white blood cells that signal a urinary tract infection or casts, which are groups of cells molded together in the shape of the kidneys' tiny filtering tubes, that signal kidney disease. Excessive protein in the urine also signals kidney disease.
- Blood tests may reveal kidney disease if the blood contains high levels of wastes that the kidneys are supposed to remove.
- Kidney imaging studies include ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT) scan, or intravenous pyelogram (IVP). An IVP is an x ray of the urinary tract. Imaging studies may reveal a tumor, a kidney or bladder stone, an enlarged prostate, or other blockage to the normal flow of urine.
- A cystoscope can be used to take pictures of the inside of the bladder. It has a tiny camera at the end of a thin tube, which is inserted through the urethra. A cystoscope may provide a better view of a tumor or bladder stone than can be seen in an IVP.
What Causes Hematuria ?
Several conditions can cause hematuria. Most of the causes of hematuria are not serious, For example, exercise may cause hematuria that goes away in 24 hours. Many people have hematuria without any other related problems. Often no specific cause can be found. But because hematuria may be the result of a tumor or other serious problem, a doctor should be consulted.
To find the cause of hematuria, or to rule out certain causes, the doctor may order a series of tests, including urinalysis, blood tests, intravenous pyelogram, and cystoscopic examination.
Blood in the Urine Treatment
Self-Care at Home :-
If you have visible blood in your urine, do not attempt to treat yourself with home remedies. See a medical professional without delay.
If you have a urinary tract infection, you will take antibioticsfor three to 14 days, depending on what part of the urinary tract is infected. If you have kidney stones, be sure to drink plenty of liquids to help pass the stones and prevent other stones from forming. You may need to take pain reliever medications.
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