While finding blood in your urine may be alarming, oftentimes, it is not an indication of a serious issue. Blood that is visible in urine, which indicates the presence of red blood cells, is referred to as gross hematuria. In such cases, the urine often appears pinkish, red, or brown (the color of cola or tea). Small blood clots may also be visible.
It’s important to note that the amount of blood in the urine is not indicative of the seriousness of the condition. Urinary blood that is visible only under a microscope is known as microscopic hematuria.
There are many potential causes of blood in the urine, some much more serious than others. Potential causes that implicate the kidney and/or urinary tract include an injury to the bladder or kidney or a recent urinary tract procedure, such as catheterization, circumcision, surgery or a kidney biopsy.
Other kidney or urinary causes include inflammation of the bladder, urethra, prostate or kidney, or kidney failure. Painful blood in the urine can be caused by a number of disorders, including infections and stones in the urinary tract. Painless blood in the urine can also be due to many causes, including but not limited to, cancer.
Another possible cause of blood in urine involves blood disorders such as hemophilia, low platelets, sickle cell disease or a blood clot in the kidneys. In addition, patients who take certain medications (including blood thinners) may find blood in urine.
Although some potential causes may be innocuous, blood in the urine should never be ignored. Anyone who experiences blood in urine that is accompanied by fever, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, shaking chills, burning sensation when urinating, and/or pain in the abdomen, side, or back should contact a health care provider immediately.
Also, contact a doctor immediately if blood in urine is accompanied by other certain other symptoms including passing blood clots in the urine, inability to urinate, urine dribbling, frequent urination or difficulty starting your urinary flow.
Blood in Urine Symptoms. Web. www.medicinenet.com. Accessed 31 Oct. 2011
Blood in Urine (Hematauria). Web. www.mayoclinic.com. Accessed 20 Oct. 2011
Urine- Bloody. Web. www.nim.nih.gov. Accessed 20 Oct. 2011
Hematuria (Blood in Urine). Web. www.kidney.niddk.nih.gov. Accessed 20 Oct. 2011
Blood in Urine. Web. Emedicinehealth.com. Accessed 31 Oct. 2011
Reviewed October 31, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg
Edited by Jody Smith