Haematuria (Red blood cells in urine) is not a disease in itself. It is a “sign” that points to an abnormality within your body.
The treatment approach towards haematuria would require a confirmed diagnosis of the underlying cause and adopting relevant medical and/or corrective surgical approaches. Whether it can be resolved completely or not would entirely depend on its root cause.
Presenting here, the general pointers that guide your treatment plan for patients with Haematuria.
CAN HAEMATURIA BE COMPLETELY “CURED”?
As stated above, Haematuria is simply a “sign” that points to an underlying condition. Whether it can be resolved completely or not and which specialist(s) to consult for the same would entirely depend on its root cause as explained below:
I. NO TREATMENT REQUIRED
For instance, menstruation is a periodical, natural phenomenon. Blood in urine due to inter-mixing of menstrual bleeding would certainly NOT need any treatment.
II. MEDICAL TREATMENT
A local injury around your private parts externally should heal in its natural course provided local hygiene is maintained.
Urinary tract infections, kidney and ureter stones that are smaller than 5 millimetres in size can be treated with stone-dissolving medicines.
Blood in urine as a side effect of certain drugs (such as cancer drug Cyclophosphamide) can be reversed by changing medication.
Clotting disorders such as Haemophilia require medical treatments and regular-follow-ups.
Specialist consultation: Nephrologist or Urologist
III. SURGICAL TREATMENT
Injury & bleeding due to a narrow urinary pore (Meatal stenosis) needs surgical correction.
Haematuria from most Kidney stone(s), Ureter stone(s), Non-kidney Urological Tumours/cysts (diagnosed at an early stage), and bleeding in urine due to prostate gland enlargement in males can be resolved by corrective surgical approaches with supportive medical treatments depending on the extent of the respective condition.
Specialist consultation: Urologist
IV. MEDICAL AND SURGICAL TREATMENT PLAN
The conditions that require this kind of treatment plan are those where bleeding in urine occurs from kidneys. These include:
Glomerular haematuria usually indicates glomerular injury & inflammation due to an underlying systemic cause.
Inherited conditions such as Polycystic kidney (PKD) and Alport’s Syndrome slowly damage the kidney tissue from within. Most cases will lead to a gradual decline in kidney function over time and turn to chronic kidney diseases which is treatable but NOT curable.
Your doctor will put you on a slew of medicines initially. These could be to control your blood pressure, fluid levels in the body and other symptom-relieving meds. But eventually, these conditions essentially require dialysis and / or kidney transplant for survival.
For Cancers, the treatment plan may include a combination of surgery and chemotherapy depending on factors like the size & spread of the tumour and patient’s age.
Specialist consultation: Nephrologist & Urologist, Oncologist for Cancers.
IS THERE A ROLE FOR DIET MODIFICATION IN TREATING HAEMATURIA?
As of now, there is no published research evidence that confirms the role of diet in generally resolving haematuria (1). However, some patients who have associated high blood pressure or swelling in the body can benefit from a low-salt diet in controlling these symptoms and dampening progress of the root disease that has been causing bleeding in the urine.
DOES PHYSICAL ACTIVITY HAVE ANY EFFECT ON HAEMATURIA?
Maintaining an optimum body weight for height and age are important to retain kidney health. But please note, strenuous activity, weight-lifting or long-distance running may worsen (increase) haematuria. This is especially true for patients with associated high blood pressure or heart problems. If you have haematuria from a chronic condition and have been advised by your doctor to lose weight, discuss with your care team to devise an appropriate exercise plan and diet modifications safe for your condition.
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