What Is Hematuria?

Trips to the bathroom are fairly routine, and rightfully so. As Dr. Neil Grafstein told CNN, the average person pees 4-7 times a day. It makes sense that most people would go in, do their business, and get out without paying too much attention to the actual, well, business.

However, a bathroom break might actually mean more than most people think. There are plenty of reasons to take it off autopilot, at least once in a while. It might be that you're going to the bathroom more often than you normally do. Perhaps changes in your urine can give you a heads up that you're developing a serious medical problem, like diabetes.

In other cases, you might find yourself experiencing hematuria, a condition with several possible causes. Most of these causes have to be verified or ruled out by a medical professional before effective treatment can be applied. Before you can see a doctor, you need to know what hematuria looks like.

A good reason for a quick check

The Mayo Clinic defines gross hematuria as bloody urine. Hematuria can cause urine that ranges in color from pink to distinctly red. It doesn't take much blood for urine to turn red and the bleeding isn't usually painful. It is only when clots pass in the urine that hematuria typically causes pain. Even in these situations, it is possible to experience hematuria without any other alarming symptoms. There is also a second kind of hematuria called microscopic hematuria, which the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) defines as hematuria where a person cannot see blood in their urine, but its presence can be detected with lab tests.

Several situations and conditions can trigger hematuria. These can include vigorous exercise, sexual activity, endometriosis, and infections in either the bladder, kidney, or prostate. There are several other causes also listed by the NIDDK, which are considered minor. Unfortunately, there are also several causes that require swift medical attention, such as sickle cell disease, hemophilia, and several types of cancer. Medical professionals can run through question panels and lab tests to determine the cause of a person's hematuria. Checking out the toilet after your business is done might not be ideal, but it could be a medically sound choice.