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Causes and Symptoms

When you see blood in your urine, it is normal to be alarmed. This is called hematuria, and in a lot of cases, it’s caused by something that is easy to treat. However, it can also be an indication of a more serious disease.

There are two types of hematuria — gross hematuria, which is blood that you can actually see, and microscopic hematuria, which is blood in urine that is only visible through a microscope when your urine is tested.

Regardless of the type of hematuria, it is extremely important to determine the reason behind it because the form of treatment to be administered depends on the cause.

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What are the Common Symptoms of Hematuria (Blood in Urine)?

Those who have gross hematuria have red, pink or brown-colored urine. Even small amounts of blood can change the color of the urine, so it is pretty easy to notice. Most of the time, people who have gross hematuria experience no other symptoms. However, if they also have blood clots, they may also experience pain in their bladder or back pains.

Hematuria occurs when your kidneys or any other part of your urinary system allow blood to leak into your urine. This leakage can be caused by:

  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) – A UTI occurs when bacteria enter your urinary system through the urethra and multiply in your bladder. Some of the most common symptoms of UTI include pain and burning sensation when urinating, strong smell of urine and persistent urge to urinate. For some, particularly older infections, the only symptom of illness is the microscopic blood in their urine
  • Kidney infections – When bacteria enter your kidneys through your ureters or from your bloodstream, a kidney infection will develop. The symptoms are nearly the same with infections of the bladder, but kidney infections tend to cause pain in the flank and fever.
  • Kidney or bladder stone – When minerals in the urine form crystals around the walls of the bladder or kidney, they can become hard stones, which can lead to gross and microscopic hematuria.
  • Enlarged prostate – The prostate gland of men enlarges as they reach their middle age. However, when it becomes too enlarged, the urethra becomes constricted, and the flow of urine becomes blocked. An enlarged prostate or an infection of the prostate called prostatitis can lead to gross or microscopic hematuria.
  • Glomerulonephritis – This condition refers to the inflammation of the filtering system of the kidneys. One of the most common symptoms of this kidney disease is microscopic hematuria.
  • Cancer – Advanced bladder, kidney or prostate cancer can cause gross hematuria.
  • Kidney injury – When your kidneys are severely hit or injured due to accident or sports, you may experience gross hematuria.
  • Inherited diseases – Inherited medical conditions such as sickle cell anemia, which affects the hemoglobin in red blood cells, and Alport syndrome, which is a disease affecting the filtering membranes in the kidneys’ glomeruli, can lead to gross or microscopic hematuria.
  • Certain medications – Penicillin or the anti-cancer drug cyclophosphamide may lead to hematuria. In some cases, when you take an anticoagulant (e.g., aspirin and heparin) and you also have a disease that causes bleeding in the urinary bladder, gross hematuria may sometimes occur.

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When to See an Atlanta Doctor for Hematuria (Blood in Urine)

As soon as you notice hematuria or blood in your urine, make an appointment with your Atlanta urologist immediately. You will surely tell the difference if you have blood in your urine, however, it is also important to take note that there are some medications and specific foods (e.g., beets, berries and rhubarb) that can cause your urine to become red.

If the change in your urine color is caused by medicine or food, it will surely go away in a few days. If you’ve noticed blood in your urine, you may have begun researching solutions online with queries like “urologist near me” or “where to get hematuria treatment near me.” If this is you, call Advanced Urology today at 678-344-8900 to learn more about treatment options and make an appointment.