What is Hematuria (Blood in Urine?)
Hematuria is the medical term used to describe the occurrence of red blood cells in the urine. These red blood cells can come from the kidneys (which make urine) or from anywhere in the urinary tract.
Seeing blood in your urine can be frightening, but most of the time hematuria is not a life-threatening issue. That being said, it’s always important to find out what’s causing the blood in your urine, as it can sometimes indicate a serious condition.
There are two main types of hematuria – gross and microscopic.
Gross hematuria is when you can see the blood with the naked eye. Your urine will appear pink, red, brown, or tea-colored. If you see blood in your urine, you should call your healthcare provider.
Microscopic hematuria, on the other hand, occurs when your urine looks normal in color but contains an increased number of red blood cells. Urine sample tests detect the presence of these cells through a microscope (x).
Causes of Hematuria
Several health conditions can cause hematuria, including:
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (enlargement of the prostate)
- Bladder infection
- Cancer of the bladder, prostate, or kidney
- Kidney disease, infection or stones
- Sexual activity
- Vigorous exercise or injury to the kidneys
Additional symptoms like the passing of blood clots, trouble urinating, or painful or frequent urination may accompany hematuria (x).
Symptom Remedies and Supplements
While hematuria can be frightening, the good news is that there are many natural remedies to help keep your urinary tract system healthy. Some remedies are condition-specific and some are general.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is an extremely common condition in men over thirty. In patients with BPH, the prostate gland becomes enlarged, causing uncomfortable urinary symptoms, including blood in the urine.
Luckily, natural remedies could help relieve these symptoms. For example, studies show that cernilton (a type of bee pollen), saw palmetto, and pumpkin seed oil may all reduce urinary symptoms associated with BPH. Even better, they won’t cause many of the unwanted side effects that occur with medications (x, x, x).
Urinary Tract Infections
If you get chronic UTIs, you may notice blood in your urine. Prevention can go a long way in saving you from discomfort. Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to reduce occurrences of UTIs because urine will continually flush out bacteria. Vitamin C supplementation may also help with prevention. (x,x)
If prevention fails, cranberry juice or cranberry extract, along with the herb bearberry leaf, can be useful in treating mild UTIs. Their unique chemical compounds can help dislodge troublesome bacteria from the lining of the urinary tract, preventing infection (x, x).
Minerals can build up in the urinary tract and cause kidney stones, which are often extremely painful and can cause blood in the urine. However, many lifestyle habits can help minimize the occurrence and severity of kidney stones.
Staying well-hydrated is one of the most effective ways to flush out any mineral “grit” from the body that could cause kidney stones. Reaching or maintaining a healthy weight can also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones. As for dietary considerations, citrus juices, apple cider vinegar, and dandelion tea can help naturally break up mineral deposits in the urinary tract (x, x, x).
Bladder cancer may cause hematuria. While bladder cancer is a serious condition that requires skilled medical treatment, studies have found that two natural substances – frankincense oil and bee products (such as bee pollen or bee propolis) – may help destroy these cancer cells. Research continues into the efficiency of these herbs in the fight against cancer (x, x).
Staying Healthy With Probiotics
The immune system plays a key role in keeping you healthy. Probiotics help improve digestive health, which can affect the health of other systems like the urinary tract. Supplements and fermented vegetables, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, and yogurt are good sources of probiotics that may help prevent hematuria.
The Bottom Line
It can be very alarming to see blood in your urine. But often, a benign, treatable condition may be the cause. Your healthcare provider can help determine what’s causing hematuria, which will in turn determine the next steps you can take to treat the condition.
If possible, however, the best treatment is prevention. Staying hydrated and practicing healthy habits to keep your kidneys and digestive tract functioning at their best can help prevent hematuria in the first place.