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Could my kidney problems and joint pain be lupus?

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Old 01-10-2006, 09:25 AM   #1
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Could my kidney problems and joint pain be lupus?

I posted over at the kidney site, but I'm wondering if I might have lupus. I had a high protein/creatinine ratio in a urine test about 7 weeks ago. It was 470, normal range is 0 to 200. I was having symptoms of pressure and discomfort in my flank area on and off for a couple of months before I had the test, but I thought I just strained a muscle. Now the discomfort, pressure and occasional pain is almost constant. It is mostly right below my ribcage on the right side of my back. I feel a lot of pressure there. I've had two urine tests come back positive for protein, blood and white blood cells in my urine. A doctor I spoke with said it could be kidney stones. But I'm wondering in its lupus because I've also had very sore joints on and off in my knees, fingers, elbows and hips. Sometimes it's painful to even drive.

A lot of people think lupus is a disease of the mind, not the body. That makes it hard to even bring up with a doctor. When I spoke with my doctor about my symptoms, she suggested I take paxil. She said they don't treat lupus, but she did a blood test for my sed rate anyway. I haven't received the results, but she's supposed to call today.

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Old 01-10-2006, 07:44 PM   #2
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Re: Could my kidney problems and joint pain be lupus?

Dear Worrier,

I am sorry to hear that you are having trouble with your kidneys. I hope your dr finds out what is going on soon.

You mentioned in your post that "a lot of people think lupus is a disease of the mind, not the body." I think it's more accurate to say that a lot of people with lupus are told they have anxiety or mental problems because the sympotms of lupus, the real physiological symptoms are so varied and hard to diagnose. Add that to the fact that lupus appears mostly in women and that it can present in such a variety of different ways in different people, and you can see why diagnosis is such a difficult thing. My presenting symptom was a platelet count of 4,000 (normal being 150,000 to 350,000 or so) being caused by an anti-platelet antibody. A very serious physical symptom. However, diagnosis wasn't made until 15 years down the road, after years of different symptoms coming and going. All of this is to say that lupus is most definitely a physiological, as opposed to a psychological, disease.

You also said that your dr said, "they don't treat lupus." There are definitely treatments for this disease. Plaquenil, prednisone, methotrexate, NSAIDS, just to name a few. Maybe what your dr meant is that there are no cures for this disease. Don't know.

I wish you well in your quest for answers regarding your condition. I hope that this board will be helpful to that end. Please let us know what you find out.

Take care,
Michelle in CA

Old 01-11-2006, 02:59 AM   #3
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Re: Could my kidney problems and joint pain be lupus?

Dear Imaworrier,

Are you following through with your drs. on this to check for signs of stones, UTI, or other infection? I think that when I had a total blockage caused by stones that the ER did an ultrasound. I seem also to remember that a 24-hour urine collection was discussed, in the event the stones recurred (they didn't). I was forming tiny urine crystals, even when there was no complete or even partial blockage.

My urologist also considered Interstitial Cystitis because episodically I had chronic pain and an awful frequency problem. (IC was ruled out for me.)

Re: the flank pain you describe: I think kidney involvement in lupus is "silent", meaning NOT associated with pain. MAYBE SOMEONE ELSE WILL CONFIRM THIS FOR YOU---or, better yet, you could ask your dr. to confirm.

But I really hope you get answers soon, as whatever is doing this, I know you do not want pain or the risk of ongoing damage. Best wishes, Vee

Old 01-11-2006, 11:53 AM   #4
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Re: Could my kidney problems and joint pain be lupus?

My doctor's office called and told me all my labs were normal, which I knew wasn't true because I had gone on Sunday to urgent care and saw a doc. which pulled up my labs and told me I had blood, white blood cells and protein in my urine. He is the one who said I may have stones. I told my docs office this, and they messaged her and her nurse called. She said that my labs were contaminated and I needed to do them again. I couldn't believe it, because they had just said they were normal. Then she found my more recent labs and saw that they weren't contaminated. I told her about all the pressure and discomfort I'm having, and she said, "Why do you think you need to be seen?" I was livid. Then later, another nurse called and told me I needed to call this morning to make a same day apt., since I have new symptoms. So I called the call center this morning, and they told me I couldn't make an apt. to be seen for this because I had already been seen on Sunday. They said they had to message the doctor because her nurse had to make my apt. for me. I told them that it was her nurse that told me to call the call center in the morning to make the apt.
She said she would message the doctor's office to call me, but then said she couldn't because the other message from yesterday hadn't been cleared. I told her they called me back at 5:04 last night, but it hadn't been cleared so I couldn't send a new message.
So basically, I can't make an apt because they have to send a message, and I can't send a message!
The discomfort is worse today. Its in my rib area, in back and front now on the right, and up into my shoulder and neck.

Old 01-11-2006, 07:37 PM   #5
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Re: Could my kidney problems and joint pain be lupus?

Dear Imaworrier,
Maybe it's time to see a new doctor. You deserve more respect and attention. Be persisitant! I hope we hear good news from you soon, until then take care, I am sending good thoughts your way.

Old 01-12-2006, 10:23 AM   #6
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Re: Could my kidney problems and joint pain be lupus?

My doctor's nurse called yesterday evening. She said the doctor wanted to see me since I have "new" symptoms. Then she said she didn't have an apt. until February, and asked if it was okay for me to see someone else. I said yes. So I went this morning, they didn't even do another urine. I told him what my symptoms were, and he said my urine from Friday was normal. I guess they consider trace blood, white blood cells and protein in it normal.
Then he felt around and banged on my back and ordered me an ultrasound for FEB. 3. I can't believe I have to wait that long. He said it's not kidney stones, and doesn't "THINK" it's anything serious. He also told me to follow up with my primary, because it's not good for a lot of dif. docs to see me then no one knows what's going on. I told him she didn't have an apt. until Feb., so they made me come to him. they also said he could have my ultrasound done today, which apparently was another lie. Also, I told him that my regular doc thinks all my problems are caused by anxiety because I had a panic attack when my husband was laid off last year and she prescribed me paxil, which I refuse to take. My husband is back to work, and my anxiety is getting better, except my anxiety about my health now! He was like, "I don't know anything about that, I can't talk about that."

I am fuming! My husband wants me to call a private doc. and see if he can get me in and do an ultrasound immediately. I don't even know if they will accept me if I don't have their insurance. And it would probably be quite expensive.

Old 01-13-2006, 08:55 PM   #7
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Smile Re: Could my kidney problems and joint pain be lupus?

They could be . Do you have mouth ulcers ? I also showed protien in my urine that indicated my kidneys were involved with Luupus and I hurt all over some days like I was hit with a truck. The Dr will ask you if 6 or more joints are involved and do blood tests which do not always reveal the disease. I hope you dont have Lupus and its something less serious and curable.Hang in there it will be ok.

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