SICKLE CELL TRAIT: Blood in Your Urine? Don’t Delay, See Your Healthcare Provider Today!

According to the Center for Disease Control, sometimes people with sickle cell trait (SCT) experience blood in the urine, a condition called hematuria. This can be a sign of a severe medical condition, so it requires a thorough medical evaluation.

The following is crucial information from The Center for Disease Control:

Who can develop blood in their urine?
Anyone can have blood in their urine. It can occur in children and adults.

How can I tell if there could be blood in my urine? What are the warning signs?
Blood in the urine might be evident because it turns the urine pink, bright red, or brown. Sometimes the amount of blood in the urine is so small that it does not change the color, but the red blood cells are visible under a microscope (called microscopic hematuria). Most people with microscopic hematuria do not have symptoms, but others will have some discomfort or a burning sensation when they urinate, and they tend to urinate more often than usual.

If I have SCT and develop hematuria, is my SCT the cause of the blood in my urine?
Sometimes people with SCT have blood in their urine, which may or may not be related to SCT. If you have blood in your urine, tell your healthcare provider right away. Request a full evaluation to find out the cause, and have your provider carefully explain your test results. Once all other potential causes have been excluded, SCT is then the most likely cause of your hematuria.

What might cause me to have blood in my urine?
The exact reasons that some people with SCT have blood in their urine are unknown. Some possible reasons are dehydration (not getting enough fluids) or intense exercise. In very rare cases, blood in the urine may be associated with a rare type of cancer that affects the kidney called renal medullary carcinoma.

How can I help prevent having blood in my urine?
If you have SCT, drink plenty of fluids, especially when exercising.

What should I do if there is blood in my urine?
If you have blood in your urine and you have SCT, seek medical care right away. Although treatment for hematuria can help most people with SCT get better and avoid serious consequences, major health issues.

Where can I get more information on hematuria?
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

IMAGE/INFORMATION CREDIT: CDC.gov