Blood In Urine (Hematuria)

What Causes Blood In Urine (Hematuria)?

Blood in urine can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'needs attention' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose blood in urine, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "blood in urine" as a symptom.  Here are four possibilities:
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Kidney Stones
  • Glomerulonephritis

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
significant right lumbar pain
frequent nighttime urination
strong-smelling urine
bladder cancer
current exposure to solvents
having foamy urine
moderate hypogastric pain
constant fatigue
joint pain/swelling/stiffness
kidney stones
mild abdominal discomfort
inguinal pain
... and more than 20 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of blood in urine:
Cause Probability Status
Glomerulonephritis 96% Confirm
Bladder Cancer 19% Unlikely
Kidney Stones 0% Ruled out
Urinary Tract Infection 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Urinary Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about blood in urine (hematuria):
Do you ever see blood in your urine?
Possible responses:
→ No / don't know
→ Yes, once or twice recently
→ Yes, occasionally
→ Yes, regularly
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either recent onset blood in urine or blood in urine, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Bladder Cancer

Blood in the urine, pain while urinating, and a frequent need to urinate even if the bladder is empty are the main symptoms of bladder cancer.  However, these symptoms can also indicate bladder infections, stones or benign tumors, so a medical diagnosis is necessary to rule out or confirm cancer of the bladder.

Glomerulonephritis

For some patients, IgAN first appears as an acute glomerulonephritis with macroscopic hematuria (visible blood in the urine).  In this case patients are visibly sick enough to seek medical attention, and may exhibit any or all the symptoms of acute glomerulonephritis.

Kidney Stones (Urolithiasis)

The bleeding may be caused by abrasion along the urinary tract as the stone travels.

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