Evaluation for Blood in urine (Hematuria)
Hematuria is blood in the urine. Two types of blood in the urine exist. Blood that can be seen in the urine by the naked eye is called gross hematuria. Blood that cannot be seen in the urine, except when examined with a microscope, is called microscopic hematuria.
Sometimes, patients with no symptoms at all besides abnormal urine test showing blood. Most common symptoms are:
- Blood in urine
- Flank Pain
- Difficulty urinating
- Change in urine frequency
- Pain with urination
What causes Hematuria?
- Bladder Diseases (Cancer or infection)
- Prostate diseases (Cancer or infection of prostate)
- Urinary tract infection
- Kidney Cancer (cancer inside the kidney itself)
- Glomerulonephritis (Inflammation inside you kidney from lupus, HIV, or other conditions)
- Kidney Cysts
- Sickle Cell Disease
- Sexually transmitted diseases
On their first visit, you will have your urine checked by a specific lab called “Urinalysis.” This evaluates you urine for blood, proteins, glucose, infection, and any abnormal cell.
If you urine is persistently abnormal, you may need to get a kidney ultrasound (which is a diagnostic x-ray modality that evaluates the size of your kidney and any abnormalities in shape or contour).
Your doctor will also order additional specific blood tests to see if the blood in urine is coming from the actual kidney or bladder or prostate.
Occasionally, after extensive blood and urine tests are done, a tissue biopsy from your kidney may be required if your doctor is concerned about serious inflammation inside your kidney known as Glomerulonephritis.
Common foods high in Potassium:
Especially important for Patients afflicted with Chronic Kidney Disease.
Important facts you should know about Hematuria
Who is at risk for Hematuria?
- Family history of kidney, bladder or prostate diseases
- History of kidney stones or urinary tract infections
- Patients with history of un-treated sexually transmitted diseases
- Use of tobacco products or exposure to radiation
Why is it important to detect and evaluate your urine for blood?
Early detection and evaluation to find the cause of hematuria is important to your health and wellbeing.
Early detection can offer optimal treatment plans to help resolve the underlying disease that is involved in your kidney, bladder or prostate.
Most common questions our patients ask:
Question 1: Does Hematuria always cause symptoms?
No, most often, hematuria presents without any symptoms.
That is why it is very important to get early workup and evaluation on first detection of blood in urine.
Question 2: Can Hematuria lead to kidney failure?
Depends on the cause of hematuria.
Bladder and Kidney Cancer do not always lead to kidney failure in early stages. However, large kidney stones causing blockage of your kidney, lupus, sickle cell disease, and inflammation inside your kidney (known as Glomerulonephritis) can cause kidney failure and require urgent evaluation by a nephrologist.
Question 3: What are the most common causes of hematuria?
Kidney stones, un-treated sexually transmitted diseases (Herpes, Syphilis, and Gonorrhea / Chlamydia), as well as urinary tract infection remain common causes of blood in urine.
Question 4: Is there anything I can do to prevent hematuria from occurring?
It all depends on the cause.
Of course, tobacco products have been linked to kidney and bladder cancer, and smoking cessation can help reduce your risks for cancer.
If you have a history of kidney stone, make sure to ask your doctor about the specific type of kidney stone and how you can avoid stone formation inside your kidney.