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Red Flags of Blood in Urine: Understanding Hematuria and Its Causes”

Blood in the urine can be a startling sight that should never be ignored. This can be alarming and raise many questions for those who experience it. Whether it’s a one-time or recurring occurrence, seeing red in your urine can cause concern.

Hematuria, the medical term for this condition, can have many causes, some of which are relatively harmless, while others can be serious and require prompt medical attention. 

Whether you’re experiencing hematuria or want to learn more about this common symptom, in this blog, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for hematuria to help you better understand this condition and what to do if you experience it.

Explaining Hematuria: What Is It?

Occurrence of blood in urine: Hematuria occurs in two types. When blood is visible with your naked eye in urine, it is known as “gross hematuria.” In contrast, one that is not visible to your eyes and is only discovered with laboratory testing is referred to as “microscopic hematuria.”.

The presence of blood in the urine can cause it to appear pink, red, or cola-coloured. This colour change in the urine is caused by red blood cells. Urine will turn coloured even with a tiny amount of blood. Even though the bleeding usually doesn’t hurt, if blood clots pass through the urine, it can be uncomfortable. If there is a suspicion that there is blood in the urine, it is advised to seek medical attention. The presence of red blood cells may not always be the cause of red urine. Some foods or medicines can be the reason behind it, such as beets and rhubarb, as well as some medications, including phenazopyridine, which helps treat urinary tract symptoms and can make urine turn red.

Understanding the various factors that can contribute to Hematuria 

Hematuria is a common diagnosis among individuals that visit a medical specialist. According to research, Hematuria affects at least 1 in 5 people  Microscopic hematuria is more common than gross hematuria. Some of the common causes of occurrence in people are:

  • Kidney related issues
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Certain Medicines
  • Vigorous exercise
  • Cancer
  • Enlarged prostate

Hematuria Can be caused by a wide range of factors, ranging from minor to serious medical conditions. Some of the most common causes of hematuria include urinary tract infections, kidney stones, prostate problems, and bladder or kidney cancer. Other factors that can contribute to hematuria include certain medications, strenuous exercise, dehydration, and sexually transmitted infections. Additionally, some individuals may experience hematuria due to inherited disorders such as sickle cell anemia or Alport syndrome.

In addition to the factors listed, several other factors may increase the likelihood of developing hematuria. These include having a family history of kidney disease, being older, being male (as they are more likely to develop BPH or prostate cancer), and having a history of smoking. Certain medical conditions, such as sickle cell disease and lupus, may also increase the risk of developing hematuria.  Understanding the various factors that can contribute to hematuria is essential in order to diagnose and treat the underlying condition properly. It is important to note that anyone, regardless of age or gender, can develop hematuria

Prevention of hematuria primarily involves avoiding the risk factors that can lead to the condition. These risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity, among others. Lifestyle changes that can help prevent hematuria include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking. Here are a few points to remember

  • Hydration: Drinking plenty of fluids can help prevent dehydration and urinary tract infections, which are common causes of hematuria.
  • Diet: A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fiber can help prevent kidney stones and promote urinary tract health.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise can help prevent obesity and other health problems that can contribute to hematuria.

Hematuria can be prevented and managed by making certain changes in one’s lifestyle such as quitting smoking, making dietary changes to ease the workload on the kidneys, and engaging in regular physical activity. In addition, it is essential to manage any underlying medical conditions that may be causing hematuria such as high blood pressure. The appropriate treatment for hematuria will depend on the root cause, so it is important to consult with a healthcare provider for tailored recommendations. Regular medical check-ups can help detect hematuria early and prevent complications. During routine visits, a urine test may be done to check for blood in the urine. To prevent and manage hematuria, it is crucial to adopt a healthy lifestyle and address underlying medical conditions with the help of a healthcare provider.

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