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Old 03-13-2003, 01:32 PM   #1
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Exclamation Not drinking enough, kidney pain, left arm pain

I'm horrible about drinking enough. A few times a month I get pain in one at least one kidney, left arm and shoulder pain and sometimes pain over my heart and my pulse gets to over 111. My legs swell a little and once I get all these symptoms, it takes days to get hydrated enough to quite having pains. At first I thought it might all be from just my heart but could I have a kidney problem? I have children and don't want to die in my sleep. My potassium and electrolytes have been low when I feel like this and I have high not carbon dioxide. A lab tech wanted to know what I'm smoking but I don't smoke or around anyone that smokes. Heart tests all okay so far. I really feel like I'm having small heart attacks and mini strokes at times.

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Old 03-14-2003, 02:44 AM   #2
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Low potassium and other electrolytes, can be an indication of dehydration. As well as drinking more water, if your potassium is low, you need to take some potassium supplements to get your level up a bit or eat some bananas. They are an extremely good source of potassium.

You say that you get pains and you go tachycardic and your potassium is low? This could well be the reason, as a potassium level that is too low can cause what are known as cardiac arrythmias, including tachycardia. It can also cause pain and muscle weakness too. If your potassium is too high, then this can result in a sudden cardiac arrest. I don't know what your sodium level was? If the balance of sodium and potassium are incorrect, then this can cause oedema in the limbs too. Potassium - K+ is what is know as an intracellular cation and Sodium - Na+ is what is known as an extracellular cation. This means that there should be more K+ inside the cell and more Na+ outside the cell and to help this there is something called the Na+/K+ pump to facilitate this action and keep it in balance. If it is out of balance then this can cause the symptoms that you are experiencing.

The fact that your potassium is on the low side is probably quite a good thing, as if it is low it does mean that your kidneys are still managing to filter it adequately so that it does not build up in your blood. In renal failure and without dialysis, lots of patients have potassium levels of at least 6 or above pre dialysis. The normal level should be around 4.5.

I think you need to go back to your doctor and if your K+ is on the low side, you should be taking some supplements for a little while to help this. Also, if your sodium level is abnormal this will need correcting too.

I don't know whether you are diabetic or not, but it might be worth having your kidneys monitored and getting blood tests that include creatinnine, K+, Na+ and calcium and the rest to check your renal function. If you are an insulin dependent diabetic or even a tablet or diet controlled diabetic, then you will probably have a higher than average chance of renal problems, due to differing sugar levels. This is known as diabetic nephropathy.

Go back to your doctor and ask for a referral to a nephrologist and also ensure that you are under the care of a good diabetic specialist as the complications of diabetes are vast if it is not sufficiently well controlled.


 
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Old 03-20-2003, 10:36 PM   #3
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No, I'm not diabetic so they keep telling me. My sugar runs from 60 - 199 most of the time. Yesterday was a classic day. I had to drive to Spokane, almost 100 miles. I didn't get much water to drink while I was gone but I did drink a couple pepsi's to keep me awake on the road and by the end of the day, I had pains up my arms, numbness in my face, pains over my heart, but no kidney pain this week. Would you still suggest that I see a nerpology(spelling?) type doc for my kidneys? In the past 10 yrs when I've complained of my kidneys they did nothing. Just recently I begged them to do a test. They had me do a 24 hr urine where I pee in a jug of acid for 24 hrs, take it back to them and then they drew my blood to see about some kidney function. What will this show about my kidneys. Could I have a tumor in my kidneys or a pituitary gland problem at the base of my brain that could cause Diabetis Insipidus. I was brutally beaten in the back of the head, kicked in the kidneys(trace of blood in them), etc.

 
Old 03-21-2003, 04:50 AM   #4
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The symptoms that you have described do not indicate diabetes insipidus, one of which is passing very large amounts of unconcentrated urine all the time. Also, diabetes insipidus does not really originate from the pituitary but from the kidneys, rather it is to do with insufficient production of ADH from the adrenal glands or where the kidney tubules are unresponsive to the effects of ADH on them. ADH is antidiruretic hormone and can stop you passing urine and raise your blood pressure in conjunction with other mechanisms. The fact that you are not drinking a lot and are not passing vast quantities of urine would go against this.

A Nephrologist is someone who specialises in kidney disorders.

A 24 hour urine collection will measure how effectively your kidneys filter creatinnine, protein, sodium and other electrolytes from your body in a 24 hour period and this can be an indicator of renal function overall.

The blood test will probably be a full blood count, which tests your heamaglobin level. In renal disease, this can be low, as the kidneys are responsible for stimulating the bone marrow to produce red blood cells by the excretion of the hormone EPO, which can be lowered with renal problems. You would also have your electrolytes checked. This would include creatinnine, urea, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and others. However, the main indicator of renal function is creatinnine. Creatinnine is the by product of muscle metabolism and is a good indicator of how well the kidneys are functioning. The Urea level is the by product of protein metabolism and is also a useful indicator of function too.

If your electrolytes are out of balance, these can be corrected with supplements, especially the potassium.

Go and see a nephrologist and get this checked out to see. Also, old trauma to the kidneys could have caused some scarring. This is another possibility. Scarring could cause problems in itself rather than cyst formation. Any kind of violvent trauma to the kidneys can cause blood in the urine too.

Good luck.

 
Old 03-21-2003, 07:24 AM   #5
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When I go for my appt 3 Apr, I'll find my kidney function test results and have my heart test and then ask for a referral to see a kidney specialist.

In 1963 when I was 4, I was hospitalized w/sever kidney infection.

From 1978 - 1995, 17 years, I had drank awfully heavy too(which makes me wonder about my kidneys). What kind of damage could that do to my kidneys?

Then in 1984 somehow the yeast infection went up into my kidneys and I was hospitalized for a week.

In 1986 I was brutally beaten by the Turk and kicked in my kidneys and beat in the back of the neck and lower back broken, etc.

Then in 1989 when I was about to give birth to my 2nd daughter, I woke up in the morn and the bed was very wet and I had lost like 20 lbs of water through my skin. How this happened, I don't know but that's the day I began to get severely thirsty. I was in the Air Force at that time and I complained of thirst and possible diabetis as the cause. Negative tests for diabetis and still do.

I still don't drink enough water and when I lay down to go to sleep, it all hits me. My eyes and mouth and throat get so dry and pains in my kidneys. Then I have to sit up all night drinking water, juice, koolaid, soup, gatorade, etc. to quench my thirst so I can get to sleep(sometimes 1 1/2 gal or 2 gal or more). Then it got worse, not only now do I have to quench my thirst by drinking all night but now I have to take an aspirin alot of times to help slow down my heart(sometimes drinking enough slows down my heart), and now I get the spasms in my kidneys, the pains in my left arm and over my heart, etc.

Sometimes when it gets this bad and I go to the ER after I feel I am stable enough to drive and by that time, my heart is basically back to normal but my potasium and salt are low and my carbon monoxide is high. They say my urine is way to clear and that I'm washing the electrolytes out of myself by drinking so much. They don't believe it when I tell them that I have to drink fluids to slow my heart down. It's really frustrating. Then they just tell me to go home and it's just anxiety.

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Old 03-22-2003, 03:07 AM   #6
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Drinking heavily will not injure your kidneys in any way, but will damage your liver. Do you still drink alcohol now? If not, then you will probably have come to no serious harm, as liver cells (hepatocytes) can re-generate and if you stop drinking your liver will recover and you will have no lasting damage.

Also, the ER staff are quite correct in what they say about drinking too much water being damaging and washing all the electrolytes out of your system. If you gulp down that much water, then you are liable to something called water intoxication and this can present with symptoms such as confusion and passing large quantities of urine and can be very much like diabetes insipidus, but without this cause.

Possibly on your next visit, get the doc to check for ADH levels to see, as it could be a reason why you are so thirsty all the time if your blood sugar levels are within normal limits.

Do you mean carbon monoxide? This is a poison? Do you have a gas boiler or do you sit by a gas fire that is not functioning well? If your carbon monoxide levels are up, then this could be a reason. What you probably meant was carbon dioxide and this could be the direct result of your electrolytes being all over the place.

Did you ever have counselling after this attack? If not, then I really feel that it might be appropriate now, as from what you describe, you may not have dealt with these issues and they could still be affecting you. I think the docs are right about there being an element of anxiety present.

Go back and see your doc again and get the renal function tests done and also mention the diabetes insipidus one, as it is a possibility, or at least something to do with ADH secretion. Depending on what the test results say, you may or may not need to be referred to a nephrologist. If it is the ADH, then it is easily corrected with a nasal spray of synthetic vasopressin.

Also, think about having some more counselling to deal with these issues.

Good luck.

 
Old 03-23-2003, 06:20 AM   #7
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Have you considered the possibility of it being a combination of a panic attack (can cause that pain as well as low carbon dioxide in muscles...that is actually what it is....too much oxygen.) next time you feel the heart attack/stroke thing, breathe into a paer bag and remain calm and see if that helps. and drink more, cause you probably have a kidney infection from not drnking enough...that would cause the low pottassium as well....

 
Old 03-24-2003, 08:16 AM   #8
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Just curious but what is your Blood Pressure? Check it a couple times at Wal-Mart or a Drug Store and update this post.

Also, I read somewhere something similar about sever thirst and such as you described. If I come across article I am going to copy and post it here for you.

Good Luck!

 
Old 03-27-2003, 04:41 AM   #9
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I check my blood pressure all the time at home. It's highest is 165/70, something like that. Actually, that's high for me. I can't find my cuff right now. It's new. Check out this site, this sounds like my probem. Alot of times I've been told certain medical problems I have had are anxiety but turned out there was something wrong. So, I don't believe that anxiety stuff. Maybe for someone else but not in my case. I wish all it was was anxiety. That would be easy to fix! For 5 yrs I was told the excruciating pain I had with intercourse was in my head by over 50 docs, even specialist, all's I needed was a Uteran Suspension. Then I had strep throat for a while that was suppose to be in my head which they didn't believe I had and wouldn't do a culture. I proved them wrong too. Those aren't the only times and I'll prove what's wrong this time sooner or later. If I can figure it out before I die that is. HA! Very frustrating.

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Old 03-27-2003, 04:42 AM   #10
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Oh the site I found which may be the problem is [url="http://www.ccfa.org/medcentral/library/diet/dehydr.htm"]http://www.ccfa.org/medcentral/library/diet/dehydr.htm[/url]



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