Patient feedback can assist providers to identify possible hematuria causes.
When a person can visibly see blood in their urine it can immediately cause alarm. In reality, blood in the urine, or hematuria, is frequently seen by urologists and is most often treatable. Still, it is advisable to seek immediate medical attention for an evaluation and diagnosis in order for the urologist to either identify or rule out a more complex medical condition. When discovering blood in the urine, it will help your provider to have as much information as possible to assist them in narrowing down possible hematuria causes. By answering the following questions, the patient will be able to help guide the urologist in making a more accurate and timely diagnosis.
What color is the blood?
Hematuria can appear as a range of colors. It is common for patients to describe their urine as reddish pink in color, to a darker cola shade, or even a vivid red. It does not take a large quantity of blood to affect the shade of urine. Even a small amount of blood cells can cause a noticeable change. Although the doctor will perform an in-office urinalysis test, it is helpful if the patient is able to accurately describe the color of their urine when blood was first detected.
What symptoms are you experiencing?
Along with the color of their urine, it helps the urologist to know if the patient is experiencing any other unexplained symptoms. In actuality, some cases of hematuria do not appear to have any symptoms, aside from the urine change. However, if accompanying health changes are apparent, however small, it’s important to note them and discuss them with your provider. Health changes such as body pain, painful urination, a burning sensation while urinating, or even frequent urination should be discussed. Fever, along with pain located in the flank or back, can be signs that something may be affecting the kidneys.
Have your activities changed?
Hematuria is possible among athletes due to consistent or strenuous exercise. Health experts theorize that dehydration, bladder trauma, and a breakdown of red blood cells may be the a result of these strenuous activities. At times, exercising can have a traumatizing effect on the body, especially if it is a relatively new habit or is particularly intense. If you notice urinary bleeding near or during times of intense exercise, alert your doctor.
What medications are you currently taking?
Carefully consider the medications you are currently taking, including supplements. Anticoagulants, such as aspirin and blood thinners, have been known to cause urinary bleeding. In addition, some anti-cancer drugs have been connected to this condition. Talk to your doctor about any medications you take and discuss their possible side-effects.
Possible Health Causes
Ultimately, hematuria is the symptom of an internal issue involving the urinary tract. For men, prostate issues is an added concern. When problems such as infections, kidney stones, cysts, tumors, and enlargement of the prostate occur arise, the body responds with symptoms to raise awareness of the problem. Hematuria is not the primary issue that needs treatment, but rather the undiagnosed condition.
When hematuria is present, it will help the physician to narrow down possible hematuria causes if they know the color of the urine, the patient’s symptoms, medications they are currently taking, and if they have had any changes in their activity level. A prompt evaluation by a physician can help reduce the chances of serious health problems.
If you have blood in your urine, contact our office to determine if you should schedule an immediate appointment, or proceed to the nearest emergency room.