Blood in the urine is an alarming thing to find and most people are rightfully alarmed when they do discover that blood is present when they pass urine. Blood in the urine however is not always a cause for serious concern, though it can sometimes point to a dangerous condition so it is important to take yourself to a doctor’s as soon as you notice it.
There are many causes of blood in the urine and just as many treatments to match. Here we will look at a few of the causes and what can be done to treat them.
Note: Small traces of blood in the urine are actually normal – though they won’t be visible in these quantities. When your urine contains more than around 1/5th of a teaspoon of blood, then the colour will look pinkish and this is when it is a cause for potential concern. In other cases you might have more blood in your urine than is normal, but still be unable to see it. In these cases you will need to spot other symptoms in order to get yourself checked out by a doctor.
Causes of Blood in the Urine
Kidney Stones: These are one of the most common causes of blood in the urine, and are the result of balls of minerals forming inside your kidneys. These can be incredibly painful and can be removed via surgery or by passing them through the urinary tract which can be highly uncomfortable.
Urinary Tract Infection: Many things can cause an infection of the urinary tract including STIs. These may be treated with antibiotics.
Kidney Disease: Kidney disease can also cause blood in the urine.
Medications: Blood in the urine can be an unpleasant side effect of many medications. These include: antibiotics, anticoagulants (such as aspirin), phenytoin, quinine and rifampin. If you have started any new course in medication then you should speak with your doctor.
Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy/Hyperplasia: This is an enlargement of the prostate which is harmless but which can cause pressure on other parts of the urinary tract. This will cause the feeling of needing to go to the toilet which can have a sudden onset and potentially painful urination too. It will likely be treated with surgery.
Inflamed Kidney: The kidney can become inflamed often through unknown causes and cause the lining to bleed which is passed into the urine.
Excessive Exercise: It may be a relief for some to learn that blood in the urine following prolonged and excessive exercise is relatively normal. This is because strenuous exercise and particularly running can jar the bladder.
Blockage: A blockage in the urethra for men can cause blood to exist in the urine. This is caused by a range of things including stones, tumours, or a narrowing of the urethra itself (stricture). Blockages may have to be surgically removed.
Cancer of the Prostate, Bladder or Kidneys: These are all more likely if you are over 40, and particularly if you have a history of cancer in your family. You may also find you have frequent need for urination and a sudden onset.
Note: Your urine may be coloured pink or red-ish without this being blood. Many foods can cause this colouring for your urine including beets, berries and rhubarb.