Hematuria, what are its symptoms and causes?
The word hematuria is the medical term used to define the presence of blood in the urine. Finding blood in the urine is a fact that scares anyone. However, there are multiple causes of this happening, and not all of them are serious.
Although sometimes the blood can be seen with the naked eye, it is not so in all cases. Thus, hematuria is divided into two main types: macroscopic and microscopic. Microscopy needs to be diagnosed by certain medical tests.
Hematuria It is a very frequent reason for consultation. Its prevalence can reach 16% of the general population. In addition, as we have mentioned, it can be a symptom of very varied processes, from an infection to a carcinogenic process. Therefore, it is important to know what it is, its symptoms and its causes.
In this article we explain the most important aspects of hematuria.
What is hematuria?
Urine, under normal conditions, has no blood. Hematuria is defined as the presence of more than two red blood cells per field in the centrifuged urine sediment, observed by certain laboratory techniques.
Hematuria occurs because the kidneys or other parts of the urinary tract allow blood cells to pass into the urine. The urine may adopt a red color or remain the same. Hence the difference between macroscopic (the presence of blood is seen with the naked eye) or microscopic (not appreciated).
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What are the main causes of hematuria?
On many occasions, finding the specific cause of hematuria is not possible. The main processes that allow the filtration of red blood cells in the urine are:
- Urinary tract infections. It is a relatively common situation, especially in women. This is because the female urethra is very close to the anus and the bacteria present in it are easy to spread to the urethra.
- Kidney infections. This pathology is called pyelonephritis. Bacteria can reach the kidneys through the blood or through the ureters.
- Prostate problems. When the prostate enlarges, something that tends to occur with age, compresses the urethra. Urine flow can block and cause hematuria. The same thing happens with prostate infections.
- Bladder or kidney stones. Certain minerals present in the urine tend to accumulate. They solidify and form crystals that transform into small stones, the stones. When they pass through the urinary tract, they can block them, and blood usually appears in the urine.
- Cancer. Hematuria may be a sign of bladder, prostate or kidney cancer. However, it usually appears in advanced stages, making diagnosis difficult.
- Glomerulonephritis. It is a disease in which the glomeruli become inflamed. These form the filtration system of the kidneys. This pathology can be triggered by numerous causes such as diabetes, infections or blood diseases.
- Some medications, such as anticoagulants or anticancer drugs.
As you see, hematuria can have numerous causes. Even scientists have linked hematuria to strenuous exercise; also with trauma or dehydration. Therefore, it is important to see a doctor to find out the cause.
What are the symptoms of hematuria?
Gross hematuria manifests as red or brown urine. It is not usually painful and usually is not usually accompanied by another symptom. However, the presence of certain symptoms may lead to the diagnosis of the cause.
For example, when there is fever and the lower back hurts, it may be indicative of kidney infection. If it is accompanied by increased urination or stinging, the cause is usually in the lower urinary tract.
On the other hand, an asymptomatic and continuous hematuria, which also presents clots, it can be a renal tumor. From 40, it is essential to do a prostate exam in men.
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As we have seen, hematuria can be related to numerous pathologies. In addition, in some cases it is not detectable with the naked eye. Therefore, it is important to see a doctor with some frequency. Urine tests are recommended from time to time to detect the possible presence of blood..
Do not forget to pay attention to the way you urinate. You have to look at both the color of the urine, the frequency and the sensations you may notice. Any alteration could be indicative of some pathology that you ignore