Haematuria – what are the signs and symptoms of blood in the urine. Also can I have some advice for my father!

Haematuria - signs and symptoms
Haematuria – signs and symptoms

The reason for reproducing this article now it that I would like your help.  My father has spent the last couple of weeks.  He has been suffering from Haematuria.  I would be very keen to hear the stories of people who have had blood in their urine and dealt with Haematuria.  Please do share your thoughts and stories in the comments box below this article.


Finding blood in your urine can be very frightening and must be investigated by a doctor, but it’s not usually a sign of anything life-threatening.

If you notice bright red blood in your urine, or if your urine has turned red or brown because it has blood in it, see your GP.

Sometimes, urine may contain only a small amount of blood invisible to the naked eye and is only apparent when a urine test is carried out for something else. This still needs to be investigated by your doctor, as healthy urine should not contain any detectable amounts of blood.

The medical name for blood in the urine is haematuria. If blood in the urine is obvious with the naked eye, it is called “macroscopic”, or “visible haematuria”. If the blood can only be detected with laboratory testing, it is called “microscopic”, or “non-visible”.

The blood will have come from somewhere within the urinary tract – the kidneys, bladder or the tubes that urine passes through. It is often the result of a urinary tract infection (UTI), such as cystitis.

This page outlines the most common reasons for blood in the urine, to give you an idea of what may be causing the problem. However, this guide should not be used to self-diagnose your condition, and it’s important to see your GP for a proper diagnosis.

Is there definitely blood in your urine?

Before you read on, it’s worth considering whether you have recently eaten beetroot, as this can colour the urine pink and cause unnecessary alarm. Some medicines, such as the antibiotics nitrofurantoin and rifampicin, can also turn your urine red or brown.

Check that the blood is actually coming from your urine and not your vagina (if you’re a woman) or back passage.

Common causes of blood in urine

These include:

a bladder infection (such as cystitis) – which typically also causes a burning pain when you urinate
a kidney infection – which may also cause a high temperature and pain in the side of your tummy
kidney stones – which may be painless, but can sometimes block one of the tubes coming from your kidneys and cause severe tummy pain
urethritis – inflammation of the tube that carries urine out of the body (urethra); it’s often caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as chlamydia
an enlarged prostate gland – this is a common condition in older men and nothing to do with prostate cancer; an enlarged prostate gland will press on the bladder and may also cause problems such as difficulty urinating and a frequent need to urinate
bladder cancer – this usually affects adults aged over 50 and can also cause you to urinate more often and more urgently, as well as pain when urinating
kidney cancer – this also usually affects adults aged over 50, and can cause persistent pain below your ribs and a lump in your tummy
prostate cancer – this is usually only seen in men aged over 50 and usually progresses very slowly; other symptoms can include needing to urinate more frequently and urgently, and difficulty emptying your bladder

Seeing your GP

Your GP will ask about your symptoms and carry out a physical examination to help determine the cause of the blood in your urine. For men, this may include a rectal examination and women may have a vaginal examination.

They will also arrange blood/and or urine tests to look for signs of an infection. If they think that an infection is likely, they may prescribe some antibiotics before you get your results and will refer you to a specialist if your test results later show you don’t have an infection.

In some cases, your GP may recommend keeping an eye on your symptoms to see if they get better on their own over time.

Referral to a specialist

Your GP should refer you urgently to a specialist if any of the following apply:

  • you have visible blood in your urine and no pain, and tests show there is no infection
  • you are 40 or over and keep getting UTIs and blood in your urine
  • you are 50 or over and a urine test picks up unexplained non-visible blood in your urine
  • you have a lump in your tummy (a possible tumour) that was picked up during physical examination by your doctor or during a scan
  • non-visible haematuria is picked up during a test, particularly if there is also protein found in the urine

You will be referred to a hospital urology or nephrology department, or a specialist haematuria clinic, for further tests to identify the cause of your symptoms.

These tests may include more blood and urine tests, an ultrasound scan, an X-ray and a cystoscopy. This is a procedure used to examine the inside of the bladder, using an instrument called a cystoscope.

‘Is it more beneficial for children with autism to be educated within a mainstream school or a Special Educational Needs setting?’ Please help a student with her research!

Autism Awareness and EducationChildren
Autism Awareness and Education

My name is Alanah Patterson and I am currently a  sixth form student studying a BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Children’s Play, Learning and Development. As part of my course, I am required to carry out a research project into a related subject of my choice, where I must gather both primary and secondary research to be included within the project.

The question I have chosen to research is ‘Is it more beneficial for children between the ages of 2-8 years with autism to be educated within a mainstream school or a Special Educational Needs setting?’ All primary information gathered and used will remain anonymous and will only be viewed by myself, my teacher and the external examiner. In order to accurately analyse my findings, I will require information from both parents/carers and practitioners who care for and work with children with autism. I have attached the two questionnaires below and would hugely appreciate anyone who could spare a little time to complete my survey as this would massively help with my project. Thank you!

Questionnaire for practitioners/those who work or have worked with children who have autism: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RQSJG7G

Questionnaire to parents/carers of children with autism: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RWMJQW5

5 Foods that Can Help You Manage Your Incontinence

5 Foods that Can Help You Manage Your Incontinence
5 Foods that Can Help You Manage Your Incontinence

If you suffer from incontinence, you will understand how difficult it can be the manage the symptoms on a daily basis. It seems like you spend your day planning every toilet visit and making sure you have plenty of incontinence products to manage any accidental leaks of urine.

The good news is that there are plenty of treatments and options for incontinence, from pelvic floor muscles exercises, bladder re-training, medication and the possibility of surgical intervention too. However, there are smaller changes that can have big impacts on incontinence, and that is the food and drink we consume.

This is especially true when you have an over-active bladder. This is when the lining of the bladder is irritated, causing an urge to urinate on a frequent basis. This urge can also be immediate and thus, you may leak urine before you reach the toilet.

There is no dietary cure for incontinence but it is known that some foods and drink can make an overactive bladder feel more irritated. Making dietary changes should be done with the help of your GP or a specialist incontinence nurse and can, in many cases, work well especially when practicing pelvic floor exercises or using other incontinence products and aids.

There are some foods that can help with incontinence and here are five of the best!

#1 Nuts, seeds and legumes

Edible legumes include soya beans, lentils and other kinds of pulses and by building more of nuts, seeds and legumes into your daily diet, you are building in an important food group. Nutrition experts suggest that by eating nuts, seeds and so on that are natural, unprocessed and as close to their natural state of possible, the more effective they will be.

A 115 gram or half a cup serving of each of these food groups will add six to eight grams of fibre to your diet.

#2 Fruit and veg…

… but the right fruit and vegetables!

Citrus fruits are acidic and this means that they have potential to irritate the bladder. They are also a diuretic which means that they ‘encourage’ the body to urinate more. This is why many low-fat or diet plans will contain high levels of citrus fruits such as lemon, as well as tomatoes and so on.

Therefore, eating the right fruit and vegetables is important. Cut out or lower your intake of citrus fruits and instead focus on those high in fibre such as peas, sweet potatoes with their skins on and broccoli.

#3 Breads, cereals and rice

A common factor relating to incontinence can be slow transit of food through the digestive system. Being constipated on a frequent basis or passing hard stills can contribute at accidental leaks of urine.

Increasing your intake of fibre and water simultaneously, will help to decrease constipation and hard stools. Thus, eating wholemeal bread and cereals and brown rice that are as unrefined as possible is key to maintaining a healthy digestive system.

#4 Water

When suffering from urinary incontinence, especially an overactive bladder where you feel you are always going to the toilet, it can seem counter-intuitive to drink more water.

A sensitive or over-active bladder has a lining that is irritated and sometimes, consuming more water helps because urine becomes less concentrated. This means the bladder can feel less irritated and not produce the urge to urinate all of the time.

When adding unrefined foods to your diet, you will also need to consume more water to help with the digestion and passage of this food too.

However, you need to drink water throughout the day – try adding an extra six to eight small glasses of water to your daily routine. It is best to sip water through the day, rather than taking it in in one large gulp. This means your system is working constantly to use the water and dilute urine.

Combine this increase in water with scheduled toilet visits too so that you start to regain control of your bladder.

#5 Meat and fish

Nutrition experts agree that lean cuts of meat along with fish are the best protein sources for the body.

However, when we add ingredients to them, we can sometimes be inviting trouble for an irritated bladder. Use non-acidic and healthy mono-unsaturated fats such as olive oil when cooking meat and fish.

There are also some foods that can be soothing to the bladder, such as avocado. Some people also find that cutting out caffeinated drinks or drastically reducing them, also helps an irritated or sensitive bladder.


HARTMANN Direct supply a range of high quality incontinence products suitable for men and women. Their range include light absorbency pads, through to heavy absorbency as well as other products that can help managing an over-active bladder easier.

Autism – should training be provided free of charge to parents and family members of children on the autism spectrum?

Training for Autism
Training for Autism

When our son John was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum (you can read about it here) we were offered a training course by the National Autistic Society called Early Bird.

While well meaning it was, in fact, total rubbish. And put me off the NAS for a few years.

However I am still of the view that decent training would be really helpful for parents of children who have been or in the process of being diagnosed with autism. What do you think?

It would be great if you could take part in the poll below. But also it would be great if you could tell us a bit more about the training courses you have received over the years.

If you provide training please tell us more in the comments section below.

Many thanks in advance.

What is CRPS and what can we do about it?

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic long-term condition that causes sharp, burning pains for those suffering from it. It can affect both men and women of any age, although it is most commonly found in people between 30 and 55. Three out of four people with CRPS are likely to make a full recovery from the condition, but this still leaves 25% with a moderate or severe permanent disability.

CRPS can be caused by soft tissue injuries, fractures, sprains, stroke, heart problems or small nerve fibre injuries, and it is usually identifiable by signs such as prolonged burning pain, changes in skin texture, unusual sweating patterns and abnormal difficulties with muscle movement. It is a horrendously difficult condition to endure, with everyday tasks like getting dressed, taking a shower and cooking dinner all requiring a great deal of effort.

To find out more about CRPS, including ways in which the condition can be treated and advice on how to cope with it from one day to the next, take a look at this infographic from Burning Nights (http://www.burningnightscrps.org/).

What is CRPS and what can we do about it?
What is CRPS and what can we do about it?

Did you know 80% of individuals affected by depression do not receive any treatment? Learn more depression statistics & facts.

Depression statistics infographic


Some tips for exercising with multiple sclerosis and other chronic pain conditions.

As many of you know Patient Talk is very interested in the best ways to exercise for various different medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

So we are very happy to share this infographic which provides some great tips to exercise. Not just about types of exercise which we have looked at before. But also tips for warming up and cooling down afterwards.

If you have any other suggestions please do add them in the comments section below.

Many thanks in advance.

Multiple Sclerosis And Exercise

From Visually.

Do you support the idea of a “soda tax” to promote health and wellness? Please take our poll!

Do we need a soda tax to fight obesity?
Do we need a soda tax to fight obesity?

As some of our readers know Philadelphia has plans bring in the so-called “soda tax” to help “fight obesity”.

In simple terms the soda tax means that those who are distributing fizzy/soft/sugary drinks will have to pay a tax or around 50c per liter. They can choose if they pass it on to their customers or not. But I think it is safe to assume they will charge their clients a bit more.

However when prices go up consumption , it is thought, will go down. This, it is hoped, will help lower rates of obesity especially among younger people?

But is this true or is it the nanny state gone mad? Is government intervention the best way of promoting good health and wellness?

Please share your views in the poll below.

It would be great if you could share in a bit more detail your views in the comments section below.

Many thanks in advance for your help.

How long is someone infectious after a viral infection?

How long is someone infectious after a viral infection?
How long is someone infectious after a viral infection?


[Original article on NHS Choices website]

The length of time you’re infectious for after having a viral infection depends on the type of virus involved. The infectious period often begins before you start to feel unwell or notice a rash.

The infectious periods for some common viral infections are described below.


The length of time that bronchitis is infectious varies, depending on its cause. In most cases, bronchitis is caused by the same viruses that cause the common cold or flu and you’re likely to be infectious as long as you have cold or flu symptoms.


Chickenpox is infectious from about one to two days before the rash appears until all the blisters have fully crusted or scabbed over. This is usually five to six days after the start of the rash.

Common cold

The common cold is infectious from a few days before your symptoms appear until all of the symptoms are gone. Most people will be infectious for around two weeks.

Symptoms are usually worse during the first two to three days and this is when you’re most likely to spread the virus.

Flu (influenza)

Flu is usually most infectious from the day your symptoms start and for a further three to seven days. Children and people with lowered immune systems may be infectious for a few days longer.

Glandular fever

Glandular fever is infectious during the incubation period (the time between catching the virus and developing the symptoms). For glandular fever, this can be two to four weeks.

Some people have the virus in their saliva for a few months after recovering from glandular fever, and may continue to have the virus in their saliva on and off for years. However, glandular fever isn’t very infectious and the length of time people remain infectious varies considerably.


Symptoms of measles appear around 10 days after you become infected. Measles is most infectious after the first symptoms appear and before the rash develops.

First symptoms of measles include:

a high temperature
red eyes
sensitivity to light
cold-like symptoms – such as a runny nose, watery eyes, swollen eyelids and sneezing

Around two to four days later, a red-brown spotty rash develops that normally fades after about a week.


Mumps causes your salivary glands to swell. These glands are just below and in front of your ears. Mumps is most infectious from a few days before your glands swell until a few days afterwards.

Rubella (German measles)

Rubella is infectious for one week before the rash appears and for up to four days afterwards.

You should stay away from school or work for six days after the rash starts to avoid infecting others and try to avoid contact with pregnant women during this time.


Shingles is infectious from when the rash first appears until the last blister has scabbed over. This is usually after about 10-14 days.


Tonsillitis itself isn’t contagious but the viruses that cause it are. The length of time you’re infectious will depend on the virus. Read more on the causes of tonsillitis.