There are many different causes behind blood in the urine (hematuria). Often, bladder or kidney disease is the cause of the discomfort. In men also come prostate disease as a cause in question. In some cases, however, traces of blood in the urine can also occur in healthy persons. If you notice a reddening of the urine, you should still go to the doctor for safety's sake. He can rule out that behind your complaints a serious illness hides.
Causes of blood in the urine
In many cases, urinary tract disease is responsible for the appearance of blood in the urine. These include diseases of the kidneys and renal pelvis, bladder, ureter and urethra. In addition, however, other triggers come into question. The most common causes include:
- bladder infection
- Renal and renal pelvic inflammation
- Bladder or kidney stones
- Injuries to the organs of the urinary system
- Autoimmune diseases
However, there is not always a disease behind blood in the urine. Thus, even in healthy people in certain situations - such as after a physical effort - traces of blood in the urine occur. Likewise, the discomfort can be caused by taking certain medications.
Blood in the urine is not always visible
Basically, a distinction is made between two different forms of blood in the urine: microhematuria and gross hematuria. In the former, the blood is not visible, it can only be detected by a urine test strip or a microscopic examination. In the latter, the urine, on the other hand, turns red and the blood is therefore recognizable at first glance. However, gross hematuria does not mean that large amounts of blood are lost: just half a milliliter of blood is enough to discolor the urine reddish.
By the way: A red-colored urine does not always have to be an indication of a bleeding. The urine can also be caused by the consumption of certain foods - such as beetroot. Therefore always remember what you have eaten.
Blood in the urine in women
The causes behind blood in the urine are also dependent on sex. For example, in women the symptom can be caused by the menstrual bleeding. Therefore, make sure that you also detect traces of blood in the urine, regardless of the menstrual period.
In addition to blood in the urine also more often between bleeding and abdominal pain, this may indicate an endometriosis. This refers to the growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterus. In women, hematuria is also significantly more likely to be the result of cystitis than in men.
If women notice blood in urine during pregnancy, they should always seek medical attention. Most of the problems behind the complaints, however, are a relatively harmless cause: In addition to cystitis, the symptoms can also be caused by excessive physical effort.
Blood in the urine in men
In men, blood in the urine often indicates a disease of the prostate. Possible causes include inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis), benign enlargement of the prostate (prostatic hyperplasia) and pathological enlargement of the veins in the prostate (prostate varices). In addition, a hematuria may also indicate a prostate cancer disease. Therefore, men and women should always clarify blood traces in the urine by a doctor.
Blood in the urine in children
Blood in the urine can have many different causes in children, just as in adults. In general, you should always see a doctor if you spot traces of blood in your child. Often there is inflammation behind the symptoms - such should always be taken more seriously in children than in adults.
Other causes include cystic kidney disease - a group of congenital kidney diseases. Although they occur more often in adults, but can be noticeable in childhood. In smaller children - especially between two and four years - can also be the Wilms tumor, a malignant tumor of the kidney, the trigger.
For safety to the doctor
If you discover blood in the urine, you should always consult a doctor for safety's sake. Because behind a red coloration of urine can also be serious illnesses. The doctor can determine what causes the blood traces are responsible and may initiate appropriate treatment.
First, the doctor will try to narrow the trigger of the complaints by a specific questioning. He will ask you questions like the following:
- When did you first notice that your urine is reddish? How often do the symptoms occur? How strongly is the urine discolored?
- Do you have a previous illness regarding the urinary system?
- Do you take certain medications that affect blood clotting?
- Did you have an accident or were you injured?
- Do you have pain when urinating or do you feel a burning sensation while urinating?
Afterwards, the doctor can examine the bladder, ureter and kidneys more thoroughly using an ultrasound. He'll probably ask you for a urine sample as well. This can then be examined for red and white blood cells and proteins. An increased level of white blood cells (leukocytes), for example, indicates a urinary tract infection - but can also occur in a serious kidney disease.
Depending on the results of the survey, ultrasound and urine sample further examinations may be necessary. These include an X-ray examination, a magnetic resonance tomography, a computed tomography, a bladder mirror and a biopsy of the kidney.
Which treatments for blood in the urine come into question, always depends on the cause behind the complaints:
- Cystitis: Cystitis and other bacterial infections of the urinary tract can be treated by administering antibiotics.
- Renal inflammation: In case of nephritis, the symptoms can be alleviated by the administration of cortisone or azathioprine medicines, as these have an immunosuppressive effect.
- Pyelonephritis: Similar to cystitis, antibiotics are also used in pyelonephritis. Depending on the severity of the illness, treatment may need to be done in the hospital.
- Kidney or bladder stones: If the stones do not go away by themselves, a treatment is necessary. In addition to the use of alkalizing drugs shock wave therapy or surgery in question.
- Tumors: Depending on the type, stage and size of the tumor, various treatments are conceivable. Often, surgery with subsequent radiation or chemotherapy is necessary.