Hematuria (Blood In Urine)
When we see blood, the tendency is to panic. To be sure, blood in the urine, also known as hematuria, is not normal; however, it should be evaluated by a qualified urologist before drawing any conclusions as to its cause. Indeed, blood in the urine is not an uncommon sight in older males and is associated with many and varied conditions.
Hematuria is actually a common side-effect of untreated BPH or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. Since the prostate is directly involved in the urinary tract, it is no surprise that any leakage of blood related to this enlargement would be expelled through the urethra. Blood is a common cause for trips to the urologist and often leads to the diagnosis of BPH. While BPH is a benign condition, it should be evaluated and treated by a urologist promptly to avoid more significant symptoms. Should the blood not be caused by BPH, there are many other possible causes – both benign and malignant – which can include:
- Kidney problems. Kidney infections and kidney stones can be a contributing cause of blood in the urine. While kidneys are the workhorses of our urinary systems, they are also sensitive to changes in our bodies, especially as they relate to the urinary tract. Kidney problems should be diagnosed and treated before any ill-effects become permanent. Much like other organs in our bodies, the kidneys are also susceptible to malignancy or cancer which, especially in its advanced stages, can cause hematuria.
- Bladder problems. Another significant component of the urinary tract, the bladder can become infected causing blood in the urine. Known as a Urinary Tract Infection or UTI, a common cause of this infection is blockage leading to a backup of urine in the bladder (urinary retention). Bladder stones and bladder cancer are also causes of blood in the urine. Many bladder issues are themselves a symptom of an underlying condition such as BPH and therefore should be treated quickly to avoid long-term complications.
- Other Causes. There are many other possible causes of blood in the urine including injury to any component of the urinary tract – from sports to car accidents and the after-effects of some surgeries. Some medications may also cause a discoloration of urine or allow blood to enter the urine. Finally, certain foods can tint the urine red, however this is usually obvious, as the coloration is quite different from actual blood in the urine.
Seeing blood in your urine is no reason for panic, however it is something that should be evaluated by a qualified urologist as soon as possible. If blood in the urine is significant or accompanied by other symptoms and signs of a medical emergency, it is important to contact 911 immediately. For hematuria caused by BPH, speaking to a specialized urologist can determine the best course of action.