Recurrent pain/infections, no apparent cause

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Recurrent pain/infections, no apparent cause

Postby Hannah » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:44 am

Hi everyone. I've been having kidney problems for the past 10 months or so which doctors have been unable to diagnose, and I wondered whether anyone else had had similar experience/symptoms.

Background: I'm 33, female, not really a drinker, had a couple of kidney infections in my early 20s that started as UTIs.

Back in December I started having ongoing flank pain - a dull ache that I felt pretty much everyday. It felt like the pain I've had with kidney infections in the past, so I mentioned it to my GP. However I was told it was probably nothing - at the time I was dealing with some other health problems (reflux disease and a neck injury), and I also had ongoing abdominal pain, but the GP focused on the other symptoms, but didn't think it could be a kidney problem (I also had no UTI symptoms).

In March the flank pain increased and I began to feel really unwell. It felt like a kidney infection to me but as I had hadn't classic UTI symptoms (pain when urinating) the GP said it couldn't be a kidney infection. I had a urine test anyway. A couple of weeks later I was feeling increasingly unwell and the GP called me to say that my urine was infected after all and gave me antibiotics. I ended up being hospitalised as I was vomiting and very unwell.

Blood tests showed normal kidney function. Because this was my third kidney infection I was given an ultrasound on my kidney to look for underlying causes, but this came back normal. (That said, the radiologist told me she could see no signs of infection on the ultrasound, so I'm not entirely sure I trust anything she said as infection isn't something you would see on an ultrasound?!). I've been told my ongoing abdominal pain is functional pain, but it also seems to increase when my flank pain increases, so I'm not at all convinced.

I have had ongoing flank pain ever since - so basically since December. This week it has got worse again and I've started to feel unwell so I'm calling the out of hours GP today.

What I'm wondering is, is it possible that I'm getting kidney infections that don't start as UTIs? Would this explain why my urine is infected but I don't have normal UTI symptoms? What might cause this?

Is there something else that could be causing kidney problems that would not be showing up in either my blood test results or an ultrasound?
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Re: Recurrent pain/infections, no apparent cause

Postby wagolynn » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:06 pm

On the face of it, it doe's not sound like kidney infection but it is important to keep the diagnostic process going until an answer is found.

If your practice has more than one GP, try seeing another one but if the latest visit doe's not improve your condition, go back again.

Best wishes.
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Re: Recurrent pain/infections, no apparent cause

Postby JMan » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:00 pm

I would try and get referral to a nephrologist (kidney specialist) if you can. GP's have zero knowledge of kidney's apart from treating some infections. A specialist is far more likely to find out any underlying issues.

Repeated UTI's need to be taken seriously. You won't always get symptoms of infections immediately. At least seeing a specialist would either properly diagnose or rule out anything in the kidney or bladder area.
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Re: Recurrent pain/infections, no apparent cause

Postby Hannah » Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:15 pm

Thanks both of you for responding. I appreciate that my kidney troubles are mild in comparison to many on this forum so I appreciate people taking the time to reply!

The GP diagnosed me with a(nother) kidney infection but after 9 days the antibiotics don't seem to be reducing the flank pain and my glands are still really painful as well. I definitely think there is some kind of underlying problem. The GP told me to call back next week to discuss either getting a specialist referral (sounds like the best option) or going on a long course of antibiotics (3 months or so) to make sure any underlying infection is completely gone.
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Re: Recurrent pain/infections, no apparent cause

Postby ras2701 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:06 pm

Another option could be a slight blockage and that's what is continually causing the infections.
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