Blood present in the urine can be either gross or microscopic. In gross haematuria (blood in the urine), the blood can be seen in the urine without using a microscope. The appearance of the blood varies from light pink to deep red with clots. The cause of blood in the urine, its evaluation, and, treatment is similar irrespective of the amount of the blood found in the urine.
For those who have gross haematuria, you will have to visit a doctor to carry out a private blood test UK, but, those with microscopic haematuria are likely to be unaware of the condition. Microscopic haematuria is usually detected during a general or periodic check-up.
Causes of blood in the urine
The cause of both gross and microscopic haematuria is similar and results from bleeding anywhere in the urinary tract. Bleeding from different parts of the urinary tract such as the kidneys, ureter (the tubes that transport urine from the kidneys to the bladder), bladder or urethra cannot be easily distinguished. If there is blood in your urine, your doctor would have to carry out a full examination which will include a blood test to diagnose the condition.
Having urinary tract infection as a result of a problem with the kidneys or bladder can lead to blood in the urine that can only be seen using a microscope.
The urine is naturally sterile, but, when there are stones in the bladder or kidney, it could cause the irritation and abrasion in the urinary tract leading to microscopic or gross haematuria.
Any trauma to any part of the urinary tract or prostate can cause haematuria. The condition can also be associated with kidney disease and haematological disorders which involves the blood clotting process. Taking medications such as warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin or clopidogrel (Plavix) which increase the risk of blood clotting can lead to having blood in the urine.
Cancer in any part of the urinary tract can lead to the presence of blood in the urine.
Tests to diagnose the causes of blood in the urine
During a diagnosis for the cause of blood in the urine, the doctor would consider family history and carry out a physical examination. You would have to perform a urine test where your urine would be evaluated using a test strip (urinalysis) and viewed under a microscope. The urine may also be cultured to identify any bacteria in the urine.
In a urinary tract infection, symptoms such as frequency (need to urinate frequently), urgency (strong feeling to urinate), burning or pain when urinating, fever and chills are common. These symptoms help to diagnose an infection that led to haematuria easily.
Symptoms such as abdominal or flank pain especially, those that affect the inguinal or the genital area are common to ureteral or kidney stones and, they help in the diagnosis of haematuria resulting from kidney or ureteral stones.
If you are on any medication associated with bleeding, vitamins or herbal supplements, your doctor will have to review them to check if they are the cause of having blood in your urine.
The physical examination that would be carried out during the diagnosis of the cause of haematuria would focus on possible sources of the condition, such as bruising over the back or abdomen, which indicates trauma.
A digital rectal exam would also be performed in males. The scan can help identify prostatitis (like tenderness on palpation of the prostate), an enlarged prostate (a sign of benign prostatic hyperplasia), which are useful in the diagnosis of haematuria. The scan can also help identify a nodule or an area of induration in the prostate, which is an indication of cancer.
Another urinalysis and urine culture will be carried out. The presence of consistent white blood cells indicates a urinary tract infection. If protein, glucose or other sediments are found in the urine, it may be a sign of kidney disease.
Carrying out some tests using a blood sample would help in assessing how well the kidneys are working and, it would help in the identification of any clotting abnormalities.
Asides a basic history and physical exam, there are three other essential components in the diagnosis of haematuria. They include cystoscopy, urine cytology, and imaging.
The imaging (CT scan or intravenous pyelogram) is used in evaluating the kidneys and ureters while the cystoscopy is necessary for the evaluation of the bladder, prostate or urethra. The urine cytology involves a pathologist evaluating the urine sample to check for abnormalities or cancerous cells.
Treatment for blood in the urine
Treatment usually depends on the cause of the blood in the urine, and the urologist is the best person to recommend a treatment plan for the condition.
Sometimes, no underlying cause is found for blood in the urine and, if this is the case, further observations, urinalysis and diagnosis would be carried out to rule out the most serious causes of the condition such as cancer.
If you notice blood in your urine, you need to visit Private Blood Tests London Clinic to get the necessary tests done and receive proper treatment. You can call for private blood tests near me in London on 020 71830244 to book an appointment for the diagnosis of the cause of blood in your urine.