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Hematuria is a medical term used to indicate that you have blood in your urine. The blood can come from anywhere in your urinary tract, including your kidneys.
There are two types of hematuria:
- If you can see the blood in your urine, it is called gross or frank hematuria.
- If you cannot see the blood in your urine without looking for it under a microscope, it is called microscopic hematuria.
To find out why you have blood in your urine or hematuria, your doctor will ask you for a urine sample. The urine sample can be used to test for signs of an infection, kidney disease or other problems. Your doctor will use the results of the urine test to decide if you need more tests or if you need to start a treatment.
Additional test may be ordered to find cause of hematuria such as:
- Blood test
- CT scan, MRI, or ultrasound of the kidney
- Cystoscopy – a procedure that inserts a small camera through your urethra to view your bladder
- In some cases, a kidney biopsy may also be necessary
There are many causes of hematuria, and does not necessarily mean you have mean you have kidney disease.
Some common causes of hematuria are:
- An infection, such as a urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Strenuous (difficult) exercise
- Sexual activity
- Having a virus
Other more serious problems can also cause you to have blood in your urine. Some of these problems include:
- Polycystic Kidney Disease
- Kidney Stones
- Kidney or bladder cancer
- Irritation or swelling in your kidneys
- Prostate (in men) or another part of your urinary tract
- Blood clots or diseases that cause problems with blood clotting
- Sickle cell disease
You may not notice any symptoms if you have microscopic hematuria. If you have gross hematuria, you may notice that your urine is pink, red or brown. This happens because the blood in your urine makes it a different color. If you have gross hematuria, you may also see blood clots in your urine, which could be painful as they pass.
If you notice that your urine is a different color than normal or if you are having pain when you urinate, tell your health care provider. He or she can do some tests to figure out why you have blood in your urine or what is causing the pain and what treatment would be best for you. However, red or colored urine isn’t always caused by blood.
Sometimes eating certain foods with strong pigments, such as beets, may turn your urine pink or red and unless tested this may be mistaken for hematuria. It is important to have the test to assure that it is hematuria.
The treatment for having blood in your urine depends on what is causing the problem. For example, if you have blood in your urine because of an infection, your doctor might tell you to take an antibiotic medicine. If you have blood in your urine for another reason, you might need a different type of treatment.
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