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Blood in Urine & B-12 Deficiency

By Brian Connolly

While some cases of blood in your urine can be indicative of serious conditions, such as kidney problems, many instances occur as a result of taking aspirin or prescribed medication or engaging in strenuous exercise. While vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause constipation, nerve problems and megaloblastic anemia, among other issues, it is generally not connected with the symptom of blood in the urine.

Blood in the Urine

According to MayoClinic.com, the two basic types of hematuria, or blood in the urine, are gross hematuria and microscopic hematuria. Unlike the microscopic variety, gross hematuria can be detected without the help of tests or laboratory equipment. While the presence of red blood cells in your urine is generally painless, it can also be accompanied by sharp pains during urination if you are passing blood clots. Hematuria can be indicative of urinary tract infections, kidney infections, bladder or kidney stones, prostate enlargement, and inherited disorders such as sickle cell anemia. Since the causes of hematuria can be vague and multifaceted, you should talk to your doctor immediately after noticing symptoms.

Vitamin B-12 Deficiency

Vitamin B-12 is an essential nutrient that maintains the health of your nerves, blood and DNA. It can be found in animal foods, including clams, beef liver, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products, as well as in supplements and multivitamins. Vegetarians often need to consume breakfast cereals and nutritional yeasts that have been fortified with vitamin B-12. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, most teenagers and adults require 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12 a day, while breast-feeding women should take in an average of 2.8 micrograms a day. Vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to weakness, constipation, nerve problems, poor memory, coordination problems, depression, tiredness, loss of appetite, and soreness of the mouth and tongue.

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The Connection

Despite its general role in maintaining healthy blood cells, vitamin B-12 does not cause the leaking of red blood cells into your urine. Some confusion may stem from a condition of vitamin B-12 deficiency called megaloblastic anemia. Like other types of anemia, megaloblastic anemia is a condition where the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells, resulting in diminished oxygen to some body tissues. Although megaloblastic anemia causes your red blood cells to become larger than normal, it is not likely to cause additional blood in your urine.

Safety Concerns

Seek immediate medical attention as soon as you begin to notice a discoloration in your urine. Some causes of hematuria are relatively benign, but others – such as enlarged prostate – need to be detected early. Foods such as beets, rhubarb and berries may have a staining effect on the color of your urine for a short time after you eat them, which can sometimes be confused for hematuria.

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