Presence of blood in the urine is termed as hematuria. There are two types of hematuria – gross hematuria and microscopic hematuria. When there is enough blood in the urine that is visible to the naked eye, the condition is termed as visible or gross hematuria. When the blood in urine cannot be seen with naked eye and becomes visible only under a microscope, the condition is termed as microscopic hematuria.
There are numerous causes for blood in urine or hematuria. Some of the conditions that causes hematuria are:
- Urinary infections
- Kidney stones
- Kidney disease
- Kidney cancer
- Injury to the urinary tract
- Cancer in urinary tract
- Enlarged prostate
- Periods in women
- Prostate infection
- Certain medications
- Heavy workouts
Hematuria may not be significant always. It can be harmless but there are instances where it can be a warning sign for other serious conditions. Hematuria often occurs without any other symptoms. Seek medical help immediately if you experience the following along with hematuria:
- Frequent urination
- Pain in the abdomen
- Painful urination
The cause of blood in urine can be identified by the following procedures:
- Physical exam
- Medical history
- CT – computerized tomography scan
- MRI- magnetic resonance imaging
Prevention involves preventing the conditions that may cause hematuria like urinary tract infections, kidney stones and bladder cancers. Preventive measures include:
- Drink plenty of water
- Stay away from infections
- Avoid smoking and alcohol
- Avoid use of medications that causes hematuria
- Avoid strenuous exercise
- Avoid exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation.
Treatment for hematuria depends on the cause of the condition. Some cases, treatment may not be necessary. If blood is present in urine as a result of urinary tract infection, then medications like antibiotics is the treatment. If it is caused by kidney stones then drinking plenty of water or extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy can be the method used for treating in which shock waves are used to break down the kidney stones. Similarly treatment methods differ depending on the cause of hematuria.
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