Having blood in your urine — which is a condition called hematuria — isn’t uncommon. In fact, in adult patients, up to 30% of urine tests come back with some traces of blood. But even though it’s relatively common, it’s never normal. And sometimes, it can be a sign of a very serious problem.
Sometimes, there’s enough blood in the urine to turn it light pink or brown. But often, the amount is so small, it can only be seen under a microscope as part of a urinalysis.
The team at Houston Kidney Specialists Center uses an array of tests and evaluations to diagnose the causes of hematuria, so they can provide the most effective and most appropriate treatment. If you have blood in your urine, here’s a quick review of some of the most common causes.
Urinary tract infections
Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, can affect any part of your urinary tract. When one or more parts become inflamed and irritated, you can wind up with blood in your urine. The amount of blood can depend, in part, on the extent of the infection.
Your kidneys filter waste from your blood before excreting that waste in your urine. It makes sense that if something’s wrong with your kidneys, you might have blood in your urine. Kidney infections (pyelonephritis), kidney stones, and kidney disease are all possible kidney-related causes of hematuria.
Your kidneys produce urine, and your bladder serves as a sort of “holding tank” until the urine is excreted. If you have a bladder issue, such as cystitis (infection) or bladder stones, hematuria can happen if the lining of the bladder is irritated or “scratched.”
Prostate issues become increasingly common with age. Several prostate issues can cause hematuria, including prostate infections (prostatitis), benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), and prostate cancer.
Some medicines, including blood thinners, can increase the risk of bleeding. If you’re taking one of these medications and you have blood in your urine, you might need to have your dose adjusted.
Underlying disease or injury
Some systemic or urinary tract diseases can cause hematuria. That includes cancers of the urinary tract as well as sickle cell anemia. Traumatic injury to any part of the urinary tract is another possible cause of hematuria.
Certainly, if your urine is tinged red, pink, or brown, you should call the office right away to schedule an evaluation. But what if the blood only shows up under the microscope? In that case, you need to pay attention to your symptoms.
Generally speaking, even if you can’t see blood in your urine, you should call the office if you have certain symptoms, such as the following:
- Difficulty urinating
- Problems emptying your bladder
- Pain or burning when urinating
If you have these symptoms along with fever or pain in your lower back or belly — common signs of infection — getting treatment right away can help prevent an infection from spreading. When you call the office, our team can determine if you need a urinalysis to check for hematuria.
With four locations in Houston and Cypress, Texas, Houston Kidney Specialists Center is the leader in urinary health care, providing state-of-the-art treatments for men and women. If you have blood in your urine or other kidney or urinary symptoms, book an appointment online or over the phone with our team today.