Is there blood in your urine?
Blood in urine, known medically as hematuria, is a symptom that is often painless and can come and go. Because of this, many individuals delay making a doctors appointment. However, this symptom should be taken seriously as it may be a red flag that something is wrong in your urinary tract.
What causes hematuria?
Hematuria is most often caused by kidney stones, bladder infections or prostate problems. Symptoms often associated with kidney stones or bladder infections usually include a burning sensation when urinating and pain in the back, sides, lower abdomen or groin. Serious urinary tract infections usually cause pain, but sometimes patients do not have any discomfort and may only experience fever, chills, nausea, vomiting or rash. Enlarged prostate or chronic prostate infections usually have symptoms such as loss of urine control, difficulty passing urine or frequent urination.
Some medications and foods can change the color of urine to pink, red, maroon or even a dark, smoky color. Rifampin, pyridium, phenolphthalein, some laxatives, and vitamins B and C can make urine red or orange. Beets, rhubarb, blackberries and large amounts of red food coloring can turn urine red also.
Prostate cancer, bladder cancer and kidney cancer are less common reasons for blood in urine. Symptoms that typically accompany these conditions include unintentional weight loss, severe bone pain and unusual fatigue. If kidney disease is the reason for blood in urine, the associated symptoms can include swelling of the ankles, hands or face, sudden bloating or weight gain, new high blood pressure and unusual headaches.
What should you do if you have blood in your urine?
If you notice blood in your urine and you are not eating or taking medications that can change the color of urine, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. It is important for you to have a medical evaluation that will determine the reason for hematuria so that treatment can begin.