what the problem is and what needs to be done to treat it.
How can I find out what’s causing blood in the urine?
A doctor may order a series of tests to find the cause. These tests may include:
- Urinalysis, an examination of urine for various cells and chemicals
- Blood test, an examination of blood to reveal kidney disease
- Intravenous pyelogram, an x-ray of the urinary tract, which uses a dye to detect a tumor, a kidney or bladder stone, an enlarged prostate, or another blockage of the urine
- Cystoscopic examination, inserting a tiny camera at the end of a tube into the urethra to gain a better view of a tumor or bladder stone
- Kidney x-ray, an x-ray to detect kidney abnormalities
Other tests that may be necessary include urine culture; a 24-hour urine collection to measure creatinine, protein, and calcium levels; a test for strep throat; a test for the blood disease lupus; an abdominal ultrasound; a computerized tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen; a magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, of the kidneys and lower urinary tract.
Typically, the patient gets a urinalysis, CT scan, and cystoscopy (done by a urologist). More studies may be added depending on the particular situation and on the findings of these first three studies.
How is blood in the urine treated?
Treatment depends on the cause. In some cases, the origin is not serious, and treatment may not be necessary. If the cause is kidney stones, your doctor may tell you to take pain relievers and drink plenty of water to help pass the stone; sometimes surgery to relieve the blockage is needed. For urinary tract infections, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics for up to two weeks. If it’s cancer, early treatment has a chance of a good outcome.
You’ll typically be asked to go in for a follow-up appointment one to two weeks later when you’ll have your urine tested again. If the problem hasn’t cleared up, your doctor may send you to see a specialist.
Pay close attention to your body, although there is no sure way to prevent bladder cancer, there are definitely things you should avoid that could potentially put you at a higher risk. Smoking, common workplace chemicals (i.e. rubber, leather, printing, textiles, and paint), diesel and certain hair dyes all contribute to bladder cancer. Our recommendation, drink plenty of liquids and eat lots of fruits and vegetables!