Hematuria means the presence of red blood cells in the urine. It is a common symptom and not a disease itself. It can have many different causes and its treatment depends on the cause. Although the causes of hematuria are seldom serious, patients with hematuria should contact their physician, because it can be a sign of an infection or other condition that must be treated.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Hematuria is a symptom in and of itself. Depending on the cause, people with hematuria may also experience symptoms such as:
CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS
- Pain or burning when urinating;
- Frequent urination;
- Pain in the back, abdomen, groin, or side;
- Fever; and
- Nausea and vomiting.
Hematuria has many different causes, including:
- Strenuous exercise;
- Traumatic injury to any part of the urinary tract;
- Urinary tract infection;
- Kidney stones;
- Prostate infection;
- Bleeding disorders such as hemophilia; and
- Tumors in the urinary tract.
In some cases, hematuria may have no known cause.
Hematuria caused by kidney stones and urinary tract infections are more common in people younger than age 40. In older adults, medications and cancerous tumors are more likely causes. Exercise hematuria is most common in men. Post-streptococcal glomerelonephritis, or kidney inflammation following strep throat, is a common cause of hematuria in children.
To confirm that discolored urine is actually blood, the physician will ask the patient about his or her medical history, the drugs or dietary supplements he or she takes, foods and beverages he or she has recently consumed, lifestyle and habits, and recent injuries and illnesses. Tests a physician may recommend include:
- Dipstick analysis;
- Blood tests;
- Voiding cystourethrogram;
- Computed tomography scan; and
- Intravenous pyelogram.
Treatment for hematuria depends on its cause. If a medication is causing hematuria, the physician may advise the patient to stop taking it or substitute another drug. Results of diagnostic tests will determine what other steps will be needed.