Red Blood Cells in Urine
The presence of red blood cells in urine is a very common condition. Generally, our urine contains around 2.5 million red blood cells excreted everyday as part of our bodily process in eliminating the old red blood cells.
The medical term for red blood cells in urine is hematuria. And there are two types of hematuria: the microscopic and the macroscopic hematuria. The microscopic hematuria is a condition wherein the urine is composed of abnormal amounts of red blood cells which cannot be seen through the naked eyes. The macroscopic hematuria contains sufficient amounts of red blood cells in urine which make it visible enough to change the color of the urine from yellow to red or pink.
Values of up to 4 red blood cells present per high power field indicate that nothing is wrong. But when the value goes higher than that, it may be an indication of a serious condition that needs treatment as soon as possible.
Causes of Red Blood Cells in Urine
Though the presence of red blood cells in urine is pretty normal and not life-threatening, there are some other contributing factors that need to be checked out including:
• Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) – because of the bacterial invasion around the urinary tract, it causes damage to the surrounding tissues and results to the red blood cells entering the urine. When not treated right away, the infection may spread up into the urethra and to the kidneys as well.
• Kidney Stones – when kidney stones are not detected early, these stones cause blockage to the kidney as well as the urinary tract. This condition causes pain and discomfort and may sometimes lead to the presence of red blood cells in urine.
• Enlarged Prostate – is a non cancerous condition usually present in older men. The abnormal cell division may lead to prostate gland enlargement which causes the presence of red blood cells in urine.
• Blood Clotting Disorders – when a person gets injured or cut, it is normal for the body to form blood clots. However, when the blood clot is too much, it could be an indication of something more serious. These clots may travel to the blood stream, causing trouble to the organs; and when they reach the urinary tract they contribute to the red blood cells in urine.
• Certain medications like antibiotics, anticoagulants, analgesics, and Phenytoin can lead to side effects like presence of red blood cells in urine.
• Other contributing factors include strenuous exercise, menstrual bleeding, viral infections, accidents, and kidney infections.
Symptoms Associated with Red Blood Cells in Urine
• Blood clots in the urine
• Burning sensation when urinating
• Decreased appetite
• Weight loss
• Nausea and vomiting
The treatment depends on the root cause. Urinalysis can help determine the level of red blood cells in urine. Further tests and examinations are needed when diagnosed with high amounts of RBC in urine. If certain medications caused the high presence of red blood cells in urine, they should be stopped right away. As for the other causes, your doctor will prescribe the appropriate treatment regime which you should follow to the letter. It is important not to self treat as this may cause more harm than good.