What else can cause blood in urine? 

Blood in your urine is also known as hematuria. Very rarely, it is caused by high blood pressure (HBP) — also known as hypertension.
Blood in your urine is also known as hematuria. Very rarely, it is caused by high blood pressure (HBP) — also known as hypertension.

Blood in your urine is also known as hematuria. Very rarely, it is caused by high blood pressure (HBP) — also known as hypertension. In all likelihood, if you’re seeing blood in your urine, it’s a sign of a complication with your kidneys or urinary tract. 

If your high blood pressure is severe, though, or if it’s left untreated for a number of years, then it can cause kidney damage. In fact, after diabetes, HBP is the second leading cause of  kidney failure in the U.S. 

If blood in your urine is due to your high blood pressure, it’s probably because your HBP has already begun to damage your kidneys.   

Blood can turn your urine either red, pink, or brown. You might not even notice that you have blood in your urine until your doctor has done a urine test. 

There are many complications and situations that can cause blood to enter your urine. Not all of them are cause for alarm, but you should always talk to your doctor if you notice blood in your urine. Seek immediate medical attention if there’s a large amount of blood or if you see blood clots in your urine. 

Causes for blood in your urine that are relatively easy to treat include:

Infections can be treated with antibiotics, and kidney stones, though painful, can be passed without much risk to your health. Be sure to have your doctor evaluate any potential injuries to your kidneys or urinary tract to be sure that any damage will heal on its own.

As stated, blood in your urine can also be a sign of a more serious condition, such as:

You’ll need medical attention to treat these conditions. For example, the treatment for cancer could entail surgeries and chemotherapy. Your kidney disease might need to be treated with dialysis, which is a process that helps filter your blood so your kidneys have time to heal.

How does high blood pressure cause kidney disease?

High blood pressure is a serious problem that affects around 45% of the adult U.S. population. Of those with HBP, around 20% have also developed chronic kidney disease.

Your kidneys are the organs that filter out waste products and excess fluids from your blood. They do this with finger-like cells called nephrons that are each supplied by their own tiny blood vessel (called a capillary). Overall, the kidneys need to interact with a large number of blood vessels in order to function.

High blood pressure can damage the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys — cutting off vital supplies of oxygen and nutrients. Over time, this damages your kidneys, and they begin to fail. 

Once your kidneys start to fail, a vicious cycle begins. They can’t filter out enough fluid, which leads to even higher blood pressure. Also damaged kidneys produce less of a hormone called aldosterone, which helps your body properly regulate your blood pressure. 

If this situation goes on for too long, your kidneys will fail, and you could die.  

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure and early kidney disease? 

High blood pressure is known as a silent killer because it typically doesn’t have a single symptom. In fact, the only way to really tell if you have high blood pressure is by checking it.

Early-stage kidney disease also rarely has any symptoms. Your doctor will look for the presence of certain proteins — like albumin — in your urine in order to diagnose the condition.

If you’re at the point where you’re seeing blood in your urine, then you need to see a doctor to treat your kidney disease. Your kidneys won’t be able to heal if the underlying cause is uncontrolled HBP. In this case, you’ll need to lower your blood pressure before you have any hope of recovery. 

How can you lower your blood pressure? 

The best way to prevent HBP-caused kidney disease and control any symptoms — such as blood in your urine — is by lowering your blood pressure. Medicines can help with this, but lifestyle changes are equally important. These include:

  • regular physical activity in your daily or weekly routine — at least 150 minutes a week
  • keeping your body at a healthy weight or starting a diet and exercise routine that will get you to a healthy weight
  • no smoking — it’s bad for your blood pressure and can damage blood vessels
  • healthy stress management techniques like taking up yoga or meditation
  • eating healthy foods that are low in fat and cholesterol and high in nutrients, proteins, and fibers 

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Medically Reviewed on 12/27/2021
References
SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "How High Blood Pressure Can Lead to Kidney Damage or Failure," "What are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?"

American Kidney Fund: "Blood in Urine (Hematuria) Causes, Treatments, and Symptoms."

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease."

National Kidney Foundation: "High Blood Pressure and Chronic Kidney Disease."