The presence of blood in the urine is called hematuria. Research shows that this condition is experienced by 21% of the population. This condition can be harmless or it can be a sign of other problems, such as kidney stones or tumors. There are two types of hematuria: macroscopic hematuria, when blood is visible during urination, and microscopic hematuria, when blood is visible only when the urine is observed under a microscope. In mild cases, no treatment is needed while healing the disease. There is no specific treatment available for this disease; instead, your doctor will focus on treating the condition that causes the disease. To find out how to detect blood in your urine, start with Step 1 below.
Part 1 of 3: Checking Your Urine at Home
Step 1. Observe the color of your urine
The color of the urine you excrete is the best sign of hematuria. If your urine is red, pink, or brown, you should see a doctor immediately. They are all abnormal colors that tell you something is wrong.
Your urine should be clear or very bright yellow. The yellower the urine, the more dehydrated your body is. Increase your water intake for a healthier urine color
Step 2. Purchase a pharmacy test
If you suspect that your urine may contain blood, you can purchase a test at your local drugstore. One of the tests available is Clinicistrip. However, keep in mind that these tests are not 100% accurate. Here's how you can use the test:
- Collect your urine in a clean, dry container, preferably a glass container. Morning urine is best because it contains a high concentration of markers.
- Take a strip of reagent from the bottle, and close the bottle again.
- Dip the reagent pad in the urine sample and remove it immediately.
- Remove excess urine by rubbing the end of the strip against the lip of the container. The strip should be held in a horizontal position to prevent cross-contamination.
- Compare the color of the reagent pad with the color in the table provided in the test kit package.
Step 3. Know that there is no other alternative but to visit your doctor
There is no definitive method of testing for hematuria at home. You should always seek professional help if you want to get a proper diagnosis. Urine tests available at your local drugstore are not as accurate as laboratory tests.
Testing your urine is a very routine and non-invasive procedure that only takes a few minutes after you arrive at the doctor's office. If you experience any urinary symptoms, do not delay a visit to the doctor
Part 2 of 3: Getting a Diagnosis
Step 1. Provide a urine sample
The first and most important step in the diagnosis of hematuria is to perform a urine sample test, called a urinalysis. If blood cells are present, the cause is likely a urinary tract infection. If large amounts of protein are detected in the urine, you may have kidney disease. With a second urinalysis, the doctor can also detect the presence of cancer cells. Here's how:
- A special container will be used to collect your urine sample. After providing the sample, the sample will be sent to the laboratory for analysis.
- A dipstick (a strip of paper containing a special chemical) will be dipped into the urine sample by a lab technician or nurse. The dipstick will change color if there are red blood cells in the urine.
- The dipstick has 11 segments that change color based on the chemicals in the urine. If there are red blood cells in your urine, a doctor will examine your urine with a microscope to diagnose hematuria.
- The next step is to perform additional tests to determine the cause of the hematuria.
Step 2. Get a blood test
You will go to a healthcare provider or commercial facility, where your blood will be drawn. The blood sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. If there is creatinine (a waste product of muscle breakdown) in the sample, you may have kidney disease.
- If creatinine is detected, your doctor will perform a series of other tests to determine the cause and may recommend a biopsy.
- Finding these breakdown products is a sure sign that the problem is in your kidneys, and not in your bladder or other areas of your body.
Step 3. Have a biopsy
If a sample of your urine and/or blood tests give some warning results, your doctor may want to do a biopsy. This is where a small piece of kidney tissue is taken and observed with a microscope. This is a very common procedure.
- A local anesthetic will be given and the doctor will use a computer tomography, or ultrasound, to guide the biopsy needle into your kidney.
- After the tissue is removed, it is examined by a pathologist in the laboratory. Your doctor will contact you in about a week to share the results and discuss what treatment is needed, if any.
Step 4. Consider a cystoscopy
A cystoscopy is a procedure in which a tube-like instrument is used to view the inside of your bladder and urethra. This procedure is performed in a hospital, in an outpatient facility, or a healthcare provider's center, using local anesthesia. The doctor performing this surgery will look for abnormal growths in your bladder or urethra that are causing the hematuria.
- Cystoscopy can reveal things that cannot be seen with X-rays or ultrasound. A cystoscopy can look for prostate problems, kidney stones, and tumors, as well as being able to remove blockages and foreign bodies from the urinary tract. Cystoscopy also eliminates the need for surgical operations.
- If you have pain while urinating, have incontinence, frequent or hesitant urination, are unable to urinate, or a sudden and urgent urge to urinate, the underlying problem may not be related to your kidneys, and a cystoscopy may be recommended by your doctor. your doctor.
Step 5. Ask about kidney imaging techniques
One of the imaging tests that may be performed is an intravenous pyelogram or IVP. Contrast medium (a special dye) is injected into your arm and will travel through your bloodstream until it reaches your kidneys. An X-ray will be taken, and the urine will be visible because of the contrast medium. The special dye will also reveal any blockages that may be in the urinary tract.
If a tumor mass appears, complementary imaging techniques such as computer tomography, ultrasound, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will be used to obtain more detailed information about the tumor
Part 3 of 3: Understanding Hematuria
Step 1. Know the causes of hematuria
There are many causes for the presence of blood in your urine, including:
- Urinary tract inflammation
- Blood clot
- Blood clotting conditions, such as hemophilia
- Presence of benign or malignant tumors
- Diseases affecting the kidneys or any part of the urinary tract
- Excessive exercise
Step 2. Recognize that symptoms are not always apparent
The only case in which symptoms appear is when suffering from macroscopic haematuria. The main symptom of macroscopic hematuria is red, pink, or brown urine. If you have microscopic hematuria, you will not experience any symptoms.
The color of the urine indicates how much blood it contains. For example, if your urine is pink, it means there is very little blood in your urine. A darker red color indicates more blood in the urine. Sometimes you can even pass blood clots when you urinate
Step 3. Recognize that secondary symptoms may occur with macroscopic haematuria
Watch for the following signs if you think you may have macroscopic hematuria:
- Stomach ache. Pain in the abdominal area can be caused by infection or inflammation of the urinary tract, from kidney stones or tumors.
- Pain when urinating. When your urinary tract is inflamed or if you are passing a kidney stone, urinating can be painful.
- Fever. Fever usually occurs when there is an infection.
- Frequent urination. When your urinary tract, especially your bladder, becomes inflamed, the tissue expands, causing your bladder to fill more quickly, and causing you to urinate more often.