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Y. Mark Hong, MD

What Blood in Your Urine Means for Your Health

By markhongmd on May 16, 2014

Patient Meeting with DoctorBlood in your urine may startle you, but hematuria, the official medical term for the condition, should prompt a call for a visit to the doctor. Phoenix-based urologist, Dr. Hong, offers assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of hematuria.

What Is Hematuria?

There are two types of hematuria that bring patients to Dr. Hong’s urology office, where patients can seek treatment for a range of conditions.

Most commonly, blood in the urine isn’t detectable by the human eye, in which case a dipstick urine test can confirm its presence. These cases typically come to light during a physical with a general physician.

When a patient spots the blood, it’s called gross hematuria. This means that the volume of blood is large enough to be noticeable. The urine is not its normal yellow color; instead its anywhere from pink to red to tea-colored.

Causes

The cause of hematuria can originate anywhere along the path that urine takes out of the body, including the kidneys, the tubes that transport urine from the kidneys to the bladder, or the urethra. A CT scan or urine cytology can reveal the location of hematuria’s origin, as well as the cause.

Some of the possible causes include:

  • Recent trauma
  • Heavy exercise routines
  • Bladder infections
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Kidney infection
  • Kidney stones
  • Enlarged prostate in men
  • Tumors of the bladder, kidney, or prostate
  • Some types of medicine, from aspirin to ones with more active ingredients
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Cystic kidney disease

In some situations, we discover the urine discoloration isn’t caused by blood. Eating too many beets, taking some medicines, and ingesting red food dyes may make urine look red, which is officially called beeturia.

Treatment

Hematuria is a symptom, not an illness. Treatment hinges on determining the root cause for the blood, and then resolving that issue. Dr. Mark Hong will begin with a medical workup to look for issues from your medical history, and he will order blood and urine analyses. If these tests do not reveal the cause of the condition, he may suggest:

  • Cystoscopy - in which we thread a small camera through the urethra into the bladder. Collecting tissue samples for a cancer screening sometimes takes place at the same time.
  • Computer tomography, or CT, scan - shows us bladder and kidney stones, as well as abnormalities of the ureters, bladder, and kidneys.
  • Kidney ultrasound - shows the kidney structure so that Dr. Hong can look for abnormalities.
  • Bladder or kidney biopsy - especially in cases of suspected cancer.  isease as the cause.

Sometimes we don’t uncover the underlying cause of blood in urine, and the symptoms disappear with time. In such cases, Dr. Hong may recommend follow-up blood and urine testing every three to six months, as well as regular blood pressure monitoring. This is especially important if the patient’s profile includes risk factors for bladder cancer, such as being 50 years of age and older, having a smoking habit, or exposure to some industrial chemicals.

For More Information

If you spot blood in your urine, please contact Dr. Hong’s urology office so that we can schedule you for the first available appointment. A consultation and testing can put your mind at ease, whether you require treatment or not.

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