Y. Mark Hong, MD

Causes of Hematuria (Blood in Urine)

By markhongmd on November 17, 2014

Male patient shaking hands with his urologist after having his hematuria (blood in urine) diagnosedAt the urology practice of Y. Mark Hong, M.D., we treat the full range of urological conditions, including hematuria, or the presence of blood in the urine. While hematuria is often not a cause for concern, it can be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition. Of course, any time a person is able to see blood in his or her urine, there is cause for anxiety, and timely diagnosis should be sought out.

At our urology practice in Phoenix, hematuria (blood in urine) causes are diagnosed through state-of-the-art systems and technologies. By identifying the underlying causes of hematuria, we are able to prescribe treatment plans that work promptly and effectively, giving our patients the opportunity to return to optimal health as quickly as possible.

What is hematuria?

Hematuria is a condition in which red blood cells enter into the urine. These cells may be visible, in which case the condition is considered “gross,” or they may be invisible, in which case the condition is considered “microscopic.” Microscopic hematuria is generally only discovered incidentally upon a urine test.

Hematuria is not a particularly rare condition; in fact, it may occur in up to one-fifth of the American population, although many people are unaware of its presence. People who smoke or who use (or overuse) certain pain medications may be more prone to hematuria.

What causes hematuria?

In many cases, a definitive cause of hematuria cannot be determined, while in other cases, several possible causes may be found to have contributed. Often, hematuria is not an indicator of a serious underlying disease or disorder; however, it is always important to have hematuria diagnosed as it can be a symptom of a serious condition.

The general cause of hematuria is the leakage of red blood cells from your urinary tract - usually your kidneys - into your urine. This leakage can be caused by:

  • A kidney infection (pyelonephritis): When bacteria enter your kidneys and multiply, blood can enter your urine stream, causing pain and a burning sensation when you urinate.
  • A urinary tract infection: Similar to a kidney infection, bacteria enter the bladder and multiply.
  • A bladder or kidney stone: A bladder or kidney stone can cause bleeding in addition to pain.
  • Enlarged prostate: In addition to causing difficulties with urination, an enlarged prostate can cause blood to enter the urine.
  • Infected prostate (prostatitis)
  • Glomerulonephritis: This condition, an inflammation of the kidneys’ filtering system, is marked by blood in the urine.
  • Bladder, kidney, prostate, ureteral, or urethral cancer
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Alport syndrome
  • Trauma to the kidneys
  • Urinary tract injury
  • Certain medications: Mediations such as Cytoxan and penicillin can cause blood to enter the urine.
  • Exercise: In rare cases, rigorous exercise can lead to gross hematuria. While this is not necessarily a bad sign, proper hydration may help to prevent this from happening.

Learn More about Hematuria Causes

To learn more about hematuria causes, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hong, please contact our urology practice today. We would be pleased to assist you in any way we can.

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