Up to 30% of adults in the United States have had red blood cells present in their urine. While many causes of hematuria are benign, if you notice blood when you use the bathroom, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. Call or make an appointment online with the doctors at Kidney Diseases, Hypertension, & Primary Care of Virginia, LLC in Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia.
Blood In Urine Q & A
What is hematuria?
You have two kidneys, one on each side of your spine, just below your rib cage. Your kidneys are bean-shaped organs designed to filter waste and extra fluid from your blood to produce urine that stays the same color unless you eat certain foods. These include beets, blackberries, and rhubarb, or foods with lots of dyes, as they tend to change the consistency of your urine.However, if you haven’t eaten any suspect foods and your urine changes color, it’s essential to determine if blood is present. If so, this is called hematuria and requires a visit with one of the doctors at Kidney Diseases, Hypertension, & Primary Care to rule out additional health concerns.There are two types of hematuria:
- Gross: Blood is visible to the naked eye
- Microscopic: Blood in your urine is only seen through a microscope
No other symptoms accompany blood in urine, whether it is visible or not.
How is hematuria diagnosed?
The first step in diagnosing blood in urine is for one of the doctors at Kidney Diseases, Hypertension, & Primary Care to review your medical history. For women, this includes discussing the date of your last menstrual period. For men, this involves discussing the date and results of your last prostate exam.
Additionally, the doctors at Kidney Diseases, Hypertension, & Primary Care collect a urine sample and examine it under a microscope or have it sent to a lab for further evaluation. Studying your urine sample in the office and a lab rules out any false positives.
The goal of your physical exam is to determine the underlying cause of the blood in your urine. Hematuria can result from:
- Infections or viruses in your urinary tract
- Trauma to your urinary tract from exercise or sex
- Endometriosis (a female issue where the uterus lining grows elsewhere)
- Enlarged prostate (a male issue where the urethra becomes compressed, partially blocking urine flow)
Other conditions associated with blood in urine include bladder and kidney cancer, as well as hemophilia, sickle cell disease, and polycystic kidney disease.
How is hematuria treated?
Medical professionals don’t treat hematuria on its own. Instead, they treat the underlying condition that resulted in blood appearing in your urine. Therefore, if after a thorough examination, no cause for your hematuria is found, the doctors at Kidney Diseases, Hypertension, & Primary Care carefully monitor your condition.
If you notice blood when you urinate, call or make an appointment online today at Kidney Diseases, Hypertension, & Primary Care in Arlington, Virginia.