Red pee - A reason to worry?

  • By Team TDO

Haematuria or blood in the urine is a common condition. The redness may be frank red, pinkish or dark, tea-colored. It may be gross where the red cells can be seen frankly or it may be microscopic where only a laboratory evaluation will reveal the presence of blood cells.

Haematuria is not a disease in itself. It happens due to some underlying pathology. Though not a cause for serious worry, it is advisable to get all cases checked by a doctor to be safe.

Haematuria can occur due to a variety of causes. Some of the common causes are listed below:

  1. Bladder infections [acute cystitis]
  2. Bladder or kidney stones
  3. Kidney diseases like glomerulonephritis
  4. Kidney, bladder or prostate cancer
  5. Vigorous exercises
  6. Medicines like aspirin, penicillin, heparin, etc.

The reddish colour of the urine can be due to presence of pigments from foods eaten, most commonly beetroots. This condition is referred to by doctors as Beeturia.

The doctor will usually take a detailed medical history and also a urine sample which will be sent to the lab for testing. Further tests like a CT scan for the kidneys, IVP, kidney ultrasound, cystoscopy and kidney biopsy may be performed as required.

Your GP will see the need to refer to a specialist if:

  1. There is frank blood in the urine. But you show no pain and the reports do not suggest any infections.
  2. You are over 40 and this kind of infection with blood in the urine is a frequent occurrence.
  3. If there is a mass in the abdomen that was picked up by the doctor during palpation, or in the scan.
  4. Invisible haematuria picked up in a routine testing also shows presence of protein in the urine.

Treatment of haematuria involves treating the cause of the blood appearing in urine.

Blood in the urine can be quite a frightening finding. However, there is no reason to be alarmed. Get yourself checked by a doctor.

Early detection is the key to successful treatment. Do not get alarmed when you see blood in the urine, at the same time, do not ignore it either.