Page 8 - Beaumont_Book_1
P. 8

Haematuria                                                      Elevated Serum Creatinine
           Blood in the urine (haematuria) can                               The serum creatinine is a blood test
        either be present in amounts that you       “Blood in the           that is used to monitor kidney
        can see (macrascopic) or in amounts      urine is frequently         function. The serum creatinine may
        that you cannot see (microscopic) in         an alarming             be elevated as an early sign of
        which it is only detected with urine       symptom and it            kidney disease long before there are
        testing. Blood in the urine may not       should never be           any symptoms evident of kidney
        appear red but more like strong tea            ignored.”           disease (see Chapter 2). Blood tests,
        coloured.                                                       identifying elevated serum creatinine,
           Blood in the urine is frequently an alarming             are main undertaken, as a routine, during an
        symptom and it should never be ignored. However,      annual physical medical examination. If serum
        it only takes a few drops of blood for the urine to   creatinine is elevated, it may be as a result of any
        turn red. There are a large number of potential       of the kidney diseases discussed below.
        causes of blood in the urine including: urine
        infection, kidney stones, kidney or bladder           Kidney Stones
        tumours and inflammation in the kidney called            Kidney stones occur when a tiny fragment of
        glomerulonephritis (GN).                              crystal develops within the kidney or the tube
           If you have haematuria, the first thing your       coming from the kidney, called the ureter. A kidney
        doctor will do is to make sure you do not have a      stone mainly produces very severe colicky pain. The
        urine infection or bladder or kidney tumour. To do    pain of a kidney stone is described as being more
        this, you will usually need to have a number of       severe than that of labour pains. The treatment of
        scans of the kidney and may well need a               a kidney stone will consist of pain medication
        cystoscopy. A cystoscopy is a test in which a         initially mainly in the form of an injection.
        camera with a light is inserted into the bladder.
        If these tests are normal your doctor will
        then focus on determining if the
        blood is coming from kidney
        inflammation or glomerul-
        onephritis. This may require
        further specific blood and
        urine tests or a kidney
        biopsy (see page 26).


        High Blood Pressure
           High    blood   pressure
        (hypertension) may arise
        due to, or as a result of,
        kidney    disease.    It   is
        important, however, to realise
        that the vast majority of
        people,    with   high    blood
        pressure, have entirely normal
        kidney function. If you have high
        blood pressure, it is very important to
        treat it as it will help preserve your
        kidney function and reduce the risk
        of developing a stroke or heart
        attack.



         P.6 Kidney Disease — A Guide for Patients
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