Runner’s Hematuria · 7 February 2013

Blood in the urine can be an indicator of a serious medical condition. And people who experience it ought to seek medical advice on a more personal basis than the internet.

I would do well to follow my own advice, but I was not even sure I saw blood in my urine the first couple times. I just thought it was darker than that amber color it gets when we are dehydrated. And when I looked later on those days, there was no blood so I figured I was imagining the red.

I know I saw blood the third and fourth times. I was not panicked, but I did look on the internet to see if bloody urine, running, and dehydration might be connected. It turns out that they are.

If you look up runner’s hematuria on the internet, you will see lots of entries that say exercising can cause bloody urine (hematuria). There are many possible explanations for it, but the ultimate cause is too little fluid in the body while exercising strenuously. The reason I never went to the doctor (I would have after seeing blood a fifth time) was because the blood never showed up again after I drank water.

Every time I had seen the blood, I had been a bit dehydrated before running. I knew this beforehand, but still went out and ran. I did not want to fill my bladder and need to empty it while on the road. Since doing a little research and finding out about hematuria, I now drink water before I run. I try to have enough water in my system all the time, but I know I get dehydrated sometimes. So I have started drinking a glass or two of water shortly before I run. So far, so good. No more blood.

If I had seen my own bloody urine more than the few times I have already, especially if I had seen it multiple times in one day, I would surely have been to the doctor already. I would not have assumed it was runner’s hematuria if things had not cleared up. Remember, blood in the urine (or anywhere outside the body for that matter) is usually an indicator of a serious medical condition.

© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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