Occult blood refers to presence of blood cells in urine which may not be seen by the naked eye except when viewed in a high field device such as a microscope. The aspect of occult blood in urine is a matter of concern and this is because there are conditions, which manifest through presence of blood in urine that is not visible. Nonetheless, blood in urine and which is not visible may not be a health concern especiallyhen the cause is not threatening. Blood for instance can pass in urine due to strenuous exercises.
People who indulge in strenuous exercises may exhibit cases of presence of blood in urine, which may be gross, meaning visible or microscopic, meaning invisible by the eye without the aid of a high microscope. When the cause of occult blood passing through the urine emanates from other conditions such as urinary infections, kidney diseases and bladder infections, this becomes a health problem than needs immediate diagnosis and treatment.
As kidney stones move along the urinary system, they are likely to scratch the ureter, pelvic and the underlying tissues thus exposing the micro capillaries and this may lead to leakage of blood in urine. The growth of tumors such bladder cancer, and kidney tumors can lead to bleeding of tissues, which pass blood to urine. When technicians are testing urine samples for blood cells, they can indicate whether it is hemolyzed, meaning dissolved blood or non-hemolyzed, meaning intact red cells.
This can help in analyzing the cause of the bleeding. Infection is the common cause of blood in urine such as pyelonephritis, glomerulonephritis and cystitis. In rare cases, muscle injury may cause myoglobin to be presence in urine and this can cause the reagent pad used in urinalysis indicate false blood presence in urine. Occult blood being passed in urine can signify that there is growth of tumor such as kidneys, bladder or urinary tract tumors.
This is one area that needs proper diagnosis since when blood in urine is not visible by human eye, a patient may not able to know that is suffering from tumors in the genitourinary tract and the kidneys. They only come to realize they have tumors when other tests are being done on urine or when the bleeding caused by the tumors advances to visible levels. At this time, the tumors may have grown to advanced stages, which become complicated to be treated.
Prostatic hyperplasia can lead to difficulties in urination and this is also likely to lead to occult blood cells in urine or hematuria. Other aspects which can lead to this occult blood are medicines, constipation, and menstruation, which result to red blood cells passing in urine.
In a nutshell, people need to visit their doctors and get tests on their urine to determine if there are traces of blood cells. This can help in detecting health conditions, which could otherwise remain undetected such as the cancerous growths of the kidneys, bladder and the urinary tract. An occult blood in urine can be a problem and in other times, it may not pose a health challenge if the underlying cause is not health threatening. The blood may disappear with time in non threatening cases.