Seeing blood in your urine can be startling, especially if you don't know the cause. Though many cases of bloody urine end up being relatively harmless, you should still take this symptom seriously, since it can indicate a serious underlying medical condition.
The technical name for the presence of blood in urine is hematuria. Two types of hematuria exist:
- Microhematuria: Microhematuria refers to a presence of blood only visible when looking at a sample under a microscope. Usually, you'll find out you have microhematuria as the result of a urine dipstick test.
- Macrohematuria: Macrohematuria refers to an amount of blood you can see yourself as a pink or red coloration. Also called gross hematuria, this is the most common symptom of bladder cancer. However, just because you can see blood in your urine does not mean you necessarily have bladder cancer.
You'll likely need tests to determine the cause of gross hematuria, and we recommend you consider Cxbladder.
Cxbladder is a non-invasive, urine-based molecular diagnostic test that is highly accurate, easy to use and clinically validated. Cxbladder tests measure the gene expression levels of five biomarkers in urine that effectively rule out or detect the presence of bladder cancer.
How Common Is Having Blood in Your Urine?
If you have hematuria, you are not alone. Up to one in five people in the general population has hematuria. Even so, noticing blood in your urine can be alarming because it's the most common symptom of bladder cancer. However, fewer than one in 10 people with hematuria actually have bladder cancer.
Many factors can cause or create the appearance of hematuria, in addition to bladder cancer. Many common foods and drugs, for example, may give your urine a pink or red coloration. In these cases, you don't need to be alarmed. Consulting with a doctor and getting tested for bladder cancer can help you discover the cause of your hematuria and decide on an appropriate course of action.
Let's take a look at some common underlying causes for red colored urine and hematuria.
Common Factors Causing Red Coloration of Urine
In some cases, the red coloring in your urine might not actually be blood. Red coloring in urine can come from:
- Food: Certain foods, like beetroot, blackberries, blueberries, and rhubarb, can turn urine red or pink.
- Medication: Some medications can cause the discoloration of urine.
If you think food or medicine might be the cause of discoloration, the red color of your urine could disappear in a few days. However, you should still contact your doctor when you notice discoloration because most people have a difficult time telling the difference between blood and other coloring in urine.
Common Causes of Blood in Urine
After determining whether or not the coloring in your urine is actually blood, your doctor will likely recommend tests to determine the cause of your hematuria. Many medical conditions and other physical factors can contribute to hematuria, including:
- Bladder Cancer: As discussed, hematuria is the most common symptom of bladder cancer.
- Bladder or Kidney Stones: Bladder and kidney stones are composed of crystals that accumulate on the walls of the bladder and kidneys. Passing these stones can lead to severe pain, as well as gross and microscopic hematuria.
- Urinary Tract Infections: Usual symptoms of urinary tract infections include burning pain and a frequent urge to urinate. However, they can also cause microscopic hematuria.
- Kidney Infections: Like urinary tract infections, kidney infections can lead to hematuria, as well as other symptoms. Kidney infections can also cause fever and pain in the upper abdomen, back and sides.
- Kidney Injuries: If you've recently suffered an impact to one of your kidneys, either through sports or an accident, this injury could cause visible blood in your urine.
- Other Factors: Monthly periods, sexual activity, vigorous exercise and viral illness can all sometimes cause blood to appear in urine.
Find the Cause of Your Hematuria
If you ever notice blood or red discoloration in your urine, it's a good idea to schedule an appointment with your doctor — especially if it persists for more than a few days. Seeking advice from a trusted medical professional will allow you to determine the cause of your hematuria and begin treatment to restore your health.
In order to rule out bladder cancer as a cause of hematuria, your doctor might have you use Cxbladder, an easy-to-use urine test that can rule out bladder cancer and help narrow down your diagnosis. Cxbladder is an accurate and reliable bladder cancer detection test that can put your mind at ease and increase confidence in your treatment plan. For more information on how Cxbladder can help, reach out to us today.
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