Bloody or red coloured urine

    • Brief

    • You may feel anxious seeing the colour of your urine turn red. Your urine will usually look light yellow to brown, depending on your diet, water drinking habit and health status. Your urine may appear red because there is blood in your urine; this indicates ill-health and a problem with your urinary system.

      You should contact your healthcare provider once you notice this change in colour.

    • What are the causes?

    • Red coloured urine is most times caused by blood in the urine; however, it may have other causes. These causes include the following:

      • Infection of your urinary system affects the organs such as the kidneys and bladder.
      • Presence of stones in your bladder or kidney. This happens when your urine becomes concentrated.
      • Medicines used to treat tuberculosis, cancer and pain medications may cause blood in your urine.
      • Menstruating women may also notice blood in their urine. It will help if you inform your doctor about your cycle.
      • Blood may enter your urine when you perform strenuous exercise. Why this happens is not very clear yet.
      • Cancer of the organs of the urinary system could also be a cause.
      • It is also important to note that your urine may be red because of the red pigments in the food or drink you take (e.g. foods coloured using beetroot extract).
    • When to visit a doctor?

    • Contact your healthcare provider once you notice any of the following which may suggest a problem with your urinary system:

      • There is a change in the normal colour of your urine.
      • You find it hard to pass urine or you feel you do not empty your bladder well.
      • You urinate more often than you used to do.
      • Experience side pains or pain while urinating. Side pains are common with kidney problems.
    • How to prevent?

    • You may not be able to prevent this symptom, but practising sexual hygiene, drinking a lot of water, and treating underlying conditions can reduce the severity of the symptom.

    • How to manage and treat?

    • Self-care:

      • Drinking enough water helps your urinary system work properly and also dilutes your urine.
      • Avoid eating too much salt.
      • Urinate after sexual intercourse to prevent infections.

      Medical treatment:

      • Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat infections.
      • You may need surgery to help remove stones or treat cancer.
      • Your doctor may prescribe drugs that help relax your prostate gland. This is helpful to men who have an enlarged prostate.
    • Kulawa cares

    • Bloody urine is usually a sign of serious ill-health, and you should see a healthcare provider right away. Be prepared to undergo tests and imaging (scans) as your healthcare provider tries to identify the cause. When this is done, treatment will start immediately. In patients with infection, drinking a lot of water to increase the frequency of urinating may be helpful, except where urinating is painful.

      Duration of treatment and recovery will vary with the underlying cause, from a few weeks (e.g. bacterial infections) to many months (e.g. cancers). You should follow your healthcare provider's recommendations to get the best benefits.