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What causes potassium level of 5.6 and blood in urine?

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Posted on Thu, 25 Jun 2015
Question: Hi! Again. I tried to write to you via the other thread and then I realized you only answer 3 questions. We spoke yesterday regarding my 5.6 potassium level. After you mentioned that urine is something to be tested to rule out renal problems, I realized that my Doc has never done that. Today, I went to a local urgent care and got my urine tested and it came back with trace amounts of blood. Now what?

I did have them take my blood again - as I mentioned to you. The results won't be back for 3 days. Finally, she sent the urine for more testing a a larger lab. Can you explain that? What could this be? Scared again...

As you may recall I was the one who was on Norco at a pretty high does...
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (4 hours later)
Brief Answer:
It depends!

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

actually it seems that you sent the question in the other thread too. I don't know if the thread had to be closed, so I'll post it here too!

"Traces of blood in the urine can be normal (0-2 red blood cells per high power field). If you've got more than that then there could be a problem. Sometimes slight elevations (like 3-4 red blood cells per high power field) are seen but no problem can be identified after investigation.

Despite that, if you've got blood in the urine then you need an investigation (at least an ultrasound scan of the whole urinary tract). Depending on the results you might need more tests."

Let me just add that the cutoff point between normal and abnormal is not clearly defined regarding red blood cells in the urine. The lower the cutoff the more the false positive results (which means that normal individuals might be characterized as "diseased" and undergo an unfruitful investigation). Also, dipstick results (which are commonly used instead of microscopic testing) might detect tracts of blood even with 1 - 2 red blood cells in the urine, which could marginally hide a problem but it's proven normal in 99% of the times.

So what you need is a clarification about the test (dipstick or microscopic examination), a repeat test and depending on the results a radiological assessment of the urinary tract.

To explain things a little deeper (but not too deep), the presence of blood and protein in the urine may signify glomerular disease, while the presence of blood only, may signify tumors, renal stones, injuries etc

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (6 hours later)
Thank you. I did want you to know that the internist that I spoke with yesterday (that did my urine test) also said that Norco would not be the cause of such symptoms - which give me a bit of relief.

Also, I expect to receive my urine test results today, and I will be asking very specific questions based on what you've told me.

I'm assuming that when the internist sent out the test for more info/testing it was for microscopic examination. The clinic results came back so quickly (within minutes) yesterday that my guess would be that it was a dip stick.

Anyway, please know how helpful you've been. I noticed you are in XXXXXXX Jealous. :)

Thanks again.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
you're welcome

Detailed Answer:
if you got the answer on minutes then it was definitely a dipstick test. I wouldn't worry too much about it but you'd better investigate it to make sure everything is all right. XXXXXXX is a nice place to live depending on the circumstances! It's great when you're not in a hurry, or when you're on vacation! If you haven't visited Greece (or XXXXXXX in particular) then you'd better do so!

Kind regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (35 minutes later)
Greece is on my list. I did a month in Italy and several weeks in Austria and Switzerland after that, and I know things have been tough in Greece - depending on who you are/where you are.

As for the pace of things, I could use some down time in my life. Most American's do. When I was in Italy, I became hyper aware of how quickly I did everything. It took me quite some time to assimilate.

I am feeling anxious about the health stuff - unfortunately that tends to be my nature. I'm assuming that if it is something serious, that it would be in the very early stages... One last question and then I will stop bothering you:

It is a good sign that all other elements in my comprehensive blood test were normal right? It means that my kidney's are still ok? Thanks again!



doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (11 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
probably yes

Detailed Answer:
First of all you're not bothering me at all. It's been a pleasure talking to you!
A normal urea, creatinine, urinalysis AND radiological tests would make sure that nothing is wrong with your kidneys. If the microscopic analysis is negative though, I wouldn't recommend further testing. Although I couldn't exclude every kidney problem with the data I've got so far, I can assure you that there are no worrisome results.

Kind regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (10 minutes later)
Thank you...It's funny how someone on the other side of the world, can be such a support. I think I should have been a doctor in a different life. I'm into information and details and making connections, etc.

That's why it's so hard for me to receive stock answers from medical professionals. I like to learn about the how and why of things.

Thank you! I will report back on progress/results.

Have a great evening and enjoy your dinner!




doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (4 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
thank you!

Detailed Answer:
I'll be glad to comment on the results, if you'd like.
Best regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (1 minute later)
Thank you! I will be in touch...
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (4 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
OK!

Detailed Answer:
Sure, anytime...
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3726 Questions

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What causes potassium level of 5.6 and blood in urine?

Brief Answer: It depends! Detailed Answer: Hi, actually it seems that you sent the question in the other thread too. I don't know if the thread had to be closed, so I'll post it here too! "Traces of blood in the urine can be normal (0-2 red blood cells per high power field). If you've got more than that then there could be a problem. Sometimes slight elevations (like 3-4 red blood cells per high power field) are seen but no problem can be identified after investigation. Despite that, if you've got blood in the urine then you need an investigation (at least an ultrasound scan of the whole urinary tract). Depending on the results you might need more tests." Let me just add that the cutoff point between normal and abnormal is not clearly defined regarding red blood cells in the urine. The lower the cutoff the more the false positive results (which means that normal individuals might be characterized as "diseased" and undergo an unfruitful investigation). Also, dipstick results (which are commonly used instead of microscopic testing) might detect tracts of blood even with 1 - 2 red blood cells in the urine, which could marginally hide a problem but it's proven normal in 99% of the times. So what you need is a clarification about the test (dipstick or microscopic examination), a repeat test and depending on the results a radiological assessment of the urinary tract. To explain things a little deeper (but not too deep), the presence of blood and protein in the urine may signify glomerular disease, while the presence of blood only, may signify tumors, renal stones, injuries etc Kind Regards!