When you see blood in your pee, this can be indeed very alarming.
While the first tendency is to panic, you must refrain from self-diagnosing yourself or jumping to any conclusion.
If it worries you, it’s best to see a medical professional about your symptoms.
This is also why you should be getting annual medical exams as part of your self-care if you haven’t done so yet.
1. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common causes of blood in the urine. This affects your kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra.
UTIs can affect any part of this system and range from mild to serious. Infections may occur when bacteria travel up from the rectum or vagina into the urethra and then into your bladder.
If you have an infection in your kidney or upper urinary tract, it’s possible for bacteria to spread to other parts of these organs as well.
This can result in fever, chills, and back pain associated with UTI symptoms that often include blood in the urine.
Women are more susceptible than men due to their shorter urethras. As a result, this exposes them more easily to pathogens.
To manage symptoms of UTI, it’s best to visit a urologist for immediate relief.
2. Strenuous Exercise
Strenuous exercise can cause blood in the urine. Examples of these activities are
- Running a marathon
- Taking part in an intense aerobics session
- Any kind of physical activity that is over-exerting your body, lasting more than 45 minutes, and causes you to sweat excessively and feel exhausted afterward
Blood in the urine caused by strenuous exercise may appear as a red splotch or look like rust on toilet paper.
Blood in your urine usually indicates an underlying problem such as infection, kidney stones, or cancer (although it’s important to note that these are only examples).
If you experience blood in your urine after a vigorous workout, see a doctor immediately for further diagnosis and treatment options.
It’s also advisable to get a personal trainer to avoid overexerting yourself during a workout again.
3. Kidney Infection
If you have a kidney infection, your kidneys will be inflamed. This can happen when bacteria from your bladder or urethra travel up to your kidneys and cause irritation.
The bacteria can spread from anywhere along the urinary tract, including the bladder and urethra.
However, most infections are caused by E. coli bacteria, which are found in feces.
Symptoms of a kidney infection include fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting. You may also experience back pain that radiates down into your groin area.
4. Bladder or Kidney Stones
When urine contains too much of certain substances, the body may form stones.
Urolithiasis is the medical term for stone formation in the bladder or kidneys.
Bladder stones are usually made of calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate, or struvite crystals. They can cause pain and hinder urination.
Kidney stones are more common than bladder stones. Stones can range from tiny to large enough to block the flow of urine through your kidneys or even cause them to burst open (renal lithiasis).
The symptoms associated with kidney stones include blood in your urine, intense pain on either side below your rib cage, nausea and vomiting, fever, chills, fatigue, and back pain.
5. Inherited Disorders
The first is Alport syndrome, an inherited disorder that causes abnormal small blood vessels in the kidneys.
The second is phenylketonuria (PKU), which is a genetic condition where an enzyme needed to break down phenylalanine isn’t produced properly.
If you have PKU, your body can’t convert phenylalanine into tyrosine, which means it accumulates in your system and can cause serious health problems if not treated early on.
The third disease we’ll discuss here is sickle cell disease (SCD).
SCD results from a mutation in hemoglobin A—the protein that carries oxygen within red blood cells—and causes red blood cells to become rigid and sticky, leading them to clump together inside capillaries and block blood flow.
This can lead to severe pain or even organ damage at times when red cells begin forming clots inside organs such as the lungs and kidneys.
However, with proper treatment from a doctor who specializes in this type of illness, many people with SCD live long lives without any major complications arising from their disease state.
6. Some Types of Cancers
There are a handful of different types of cancer that can cause blood in the urine. Advanced kidney, bladder, or prostate cancer may have symptoms such as:
- Painful urination
- Pain in your back, side, or pelvis
While these symptoms could indicate cancer, they could also mean other things—like a urinary tract infection (UTI).
If you’re wondering whether that bloody pee is due to a UTI or something more sinister, ask yourself these questions.
Do I have any other symptoms? Have I noticed blood in my urine before?
Am I generally healthy? If the answer to all three questions is “yes,” then it’s more likely that you have a UTI than any kind of serious health issue.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of blood in your urine or have noticed a change in the color or consistency of your urine, see your doctor immediately.
Blood in the urine can be indicative of many different health issues, and this is not something that should be ignored.
If you have any questions about what could be causing blood to appear in your urine, speak with a doctor or medical professional for further advice.
And if your child is dealing with blood in their pee, seek a pediatrician right away.