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Blood in Urine

Definition

Blood in the urine is also called hematuria. Normally, urine does not contain blood.

There are two kinds of hematuria:

  • Microscopic hematuria—Urine contains a small amount of blood, which is not visible to the naked eye
  • Gross hematuria—Urine is visibly discolored by blood, appearing red or tea-colored

Causes

In some cases, the cause of hematuria is never found. The list of known causes is lengthy. Some more common causes include:

Risk Factors

Risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Medications such as certain antibiotics and pain medications
  • Recent upper respiratory tract infection
  • Family history of kidney problems
Kidney Stones Can Cause Microscopic Hematuria
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Symptoms

In some cases, there may not be additional symptoms.

But, if you have an underlying condition, you may have other symptoms. For example, kidney stones can cause blood in the urine, along with pain in the side, abdomen, or groin.

When Should I Call My Doctor?

Call your doctor any time you notice blood in your urine.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to a neprhologist who specializes in kidney disease or a urologist who specializes in the urinary system.

Your doctor may need to test your bodily fluids. This can be done with:

  • Urine tests
  • Blood tests

Your doctor may need to view your bodily structures. This can be done with:

Treatment

Treatment will depend on the cause of hematuria. Some causes of hematuria require no treatment or will resolve on their own. Other causes will respond to medication. For example, treating a urinary tract infection with antibiotics will stop the hematuria. Still, other causes may require surgery, such as the removal of a tumor or treatment for prostate cancer .

Prevention

Treating the underlying condition that causes hematuria may help prevent it from occurring.

Revision Information

  • American Academy of Family Physicians

    http://familydoctor.org

  • National Kidney Foundation

    http://www.kidney.org

  • HealthLink BC

    http://www.healthlinkbc.ca

  • The Kidney Foundation of Canada

    http://www.kidney.ca

  • Hematuria in children. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/hematuria.cfm . Accessed August 22, 2013.

  • Hematuria in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebsochost.com/dynamed . Updated October 9, 2012. Accessed August 22, 2013.

  • Hematuria in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebsochost.com/dynamed . Updated July 22, 2013. Accessed August 22, 2013.

  • Microscopic hematuria. Am Fam Physician. 1999 Sep 15;60(4):1154. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/990915ap/990915b.html . Accessed August 22, 2013.

  • Urination problems. American Academy of Family Physicians' Family Doctor.org website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/health-tools/search-by-symptom/urination-problems.html . Accessed August 22, 2013.