Hematuria is a condition when a person experiences bloody urine. Although generally harmless, this condition can be a sign of a serious illness, such as urinary tract infections, kidney disease , and prostate cancer.

Blood in the urine will change the color of the urine to reddish or slightly brown. Normal urine should not contain any blood, except for women who are menstruating.

Hematuria is divided into two, namely microscopic hematuria and gross hematuria . In microscopic hematuria, sufferers cannot see blood in the urine. While sufferers of gross hematuria can see the color of their urine reddish or brown due to the presence of blood.

Hematuria is generally painless. However, if the blood is in the form of a clot, the urinary tract can become blocked causing pain.

To prevent dangerous complications, check with your doctor if you have bloody urine.

Causes of Hematuria

Normally, the kidneys filter fluids in the body to prevent blood or protein from leaking into the urine. However, in hematuria there is a leak in one of the urinary tract, which can be the kidney, ureter, bladder, or urethra, so that blood leaks into the urine.

These leaks can be caused by various conditions, namely:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Urinary tract stones and kidney stones
  • Kidney disease, such as inflammation of the kidneys ( glomerulonephritis ) or due to diabetes ( diabetic nephropathy )
  • Enlargement of the prostate gland
  • Kidney cancer, bladder cancer, or prostate cancer
  • Blood disorders, such as hemophilia and sickle cell anemia
  • Medications, such as penicillin, co- trimoxazole , aspirin, and warfarin

Keep in mind that urine that turns reddish or brown doesn't always mean bloody urine. Changes in urine color can occur due to consumption of certain fruits and medicines, or due to menstruation in women.

Risk factors for hematuria

A person is more at risk of developing hematuria, if he has a disease that can cause hematuria. Other factors that can increase the risk of developing hematuria are:

  • Smoke
  • Too often taking pain relievers
  • Exposure to certain chemicals
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Being over 50 years old, especially in men
  • Exercising too hard, such as running a marathon
  • Have a family who suffers from hematuria

Symptoms of Hematuria

Hematuria is characterized by a change in urine color to pink, reddish, or brown. However, if the amount of blood that enters the urine is not large, the color of the urine may not change.

Depending on the cause, hematuria can be accompanied by other symptoms, namely:

  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Frequent urination or difficulty urinating
  • Low back pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever

When to see a doctor

Check with your doctor if you notice blood in your urine, especially if you have other symptoms, such as stomach pain and nausea.

Keep in mind that a change in urine color does not always indicate hematuria. However, a doctor's examination is still recommended so that the cause can be identified and to prevent serious conditions from occurring.

Diagnosis of Hematuria

To diagnose hematuria, the doctor will conduct questions and answers about the diseases that the patient and family have experienced, as well as the medicines they are taking. The doctor will also ask about the color of the urine, the frequency of urination, and whether there is pain and blood clots.

After that, the doctor will carry out a thorough physical examination. Furthermore, the doctor can carry out further examinations to confirm the diagnosis, namely:

  • Urine
    test This test is done by taking a sample of the patient's urine for analysis in the laboratory. The urine test aims to see whether there is blood in the urine, and detects the possibility of infection or urinary tract stone-forming crystals.
  • Scanning
    Scanning in patients with hematuria aims to check the condition of the urinary tract. Scanning can be done with the method of MRI, CT scan, or ultrasound.
  • Cystoscopy
    Cystoscopy is performed by inserting a camera tube through the urethra. The goal is to see the condition of the urethra and bladder in more detail.

Treatment of Hematuria

Treatment of hematuria is to treat the cause. Types of treatment that can be done include:

  • Administration of antibiotics, to treat urinary tract infections
  • Administration of 5-alpha reductase inhibitor drugs, such as finasteride , to treat enlarged prostate gland
  • Wave therapy or ESWL , to break up urinary tract stones

Depending on the patient's condition and the cause of bloody urine, doctors can also perform other therapies, such as surgery.

Patients will also be advised to routinely control the doctor to monitor whether there is still blood in the urine after the treatment is carried out.

Hematuria Complications

Complications that can occur due to hematuria depend on the cause. If hematuria occurs as a result of a kidney infection, the patient may experience kidney failure. Whereas in hematuria caused by cancer and not treated from the start, the cancer will grow more and more difficult to treat.

Prevention of Hematuria

It is difficult to prevent hematuria because the causes vary. But in general, the following precautions can be taken to avoid diseases that cause hematuria:

  • Maintain  body weight to remain ideal
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat foods with complete and balanced nutrition
  • Limit consumption of salty foods
  • Consult a doctor first if you want to take supplements
  • Drink enough water
  • Not holding back urination
  • Cleaning the genitals after sexual intercourse
  • Do not smoke 
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