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Kidney Issues + Abnormal CT Results

Discussion in 'Not Diagnosed Yet?' started by Tired, Oct 7, 2017.

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  1. Tired

    Tired Member

    Hello. It's been a little bit since I last updated here. I initially came here after having discovered that I have a positive ANA 1:640 (speckled pattern) as well as joint pain and a photosentive rash. I also have another autoimmune illness (Hashimoto's thyroditis) and have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. SLE runs in my family - my mother was diagnosed with SLE in her 30s after having a PE and also having kidney issues. My great-grandmother also had SLE.

    Over the past year, I've had spotty abnormal labs - I went for an appointment and my ESR was 40. I ended up flaring the next day, although I didn't find out about the results until a couple of weeks later. My total protein was elevated during another set of labs, but nothing else was elevated. My rheumy was unsure as to what was causing the abnormal labs but she continued to treat me for inflammatory arthritis nonetheless. I've been on plaquenil, nabumetone and tramadol for over 2 years now.

    Earlier this year, I managed to come down with Type A influenza and pneumonia. I was put on levaquin and tamiflu. I ended up taking a medication holiday from my plaquenil because I found it was really difficult to recover from both illnesses while taking it. Meanwhile, my high blood pressure, which I had previously been taking cardizem to control, continued to get worse...during a routine physical, it was 160/100 with a pulse in the 120s. (This was after I recovered from pneumonia and the flu.)

    Fast forward to now. After having some GI issues and thinking that it might be IBD, as well as noticing an abdominal mass in my left lower abdomen (along with having night sweats, absolute exhaustion and chills), I was sent for a CT scan.

    I haven't spoken with my rheumy yet, but I do have a copy of the CT report. Apparently, my left kidney is "heavily atrophied" with a calcification in the median calyx. Several of my mesentery lymph nodes on the left side of my abdomen were also "mildly prominent" with the largest being 13mm in size. I'm pretty shocked by this, to be honest - I've had low back pain for the better part of the last 5 years but I always assumed it was related to my scoliosis and now sclerosis and herniated disc in my back (which was also seen on CT). I've never had hematuria or any issues with urinating. I do usually have a very small amount of WBCs and epithelial cells in my urine, but nothing else. Now I'm seeing that hypertension can be a symptom of kidney problems.

    Perhaps unrelated, I also had a 36x24mm lesion on the right side of my pelvis on the CT, another large lesion on my left ovary and a smaller one on my right ovary. These are listed in the report as "likely follicles/cysts." I had an endometrial stripe which popped up on CT as being something other than normal, healthy tissue. The tech asked me after the scan if I have ever been diagnosed with cancer, which I found a bit odd. According to my mom, she also had problems with her left kidney, which is severely atrophied as well, and she ended up having a total hysterectomy in her late 30s due to having a large (5 pound) precancerous mass on her left ovary. Cancer does run in our family, but so does SLE. So I'm not sure what to think.

    I have an upcoming consult with a GI doc but I'm not sure that's even needed anymore...it seems like I probably need a kidney doc more at this point? And maybe an MRI? Hopefully I'll find out more soon.

    I just wanted to post an update on what's been going on. Thanks for reading!
     
  2. x_claire_x

    x_claire_x Moderator

    Hi.... what a lot of stuff to be dealing and worrying about...:0(((

    I too think you should be seen by both a Renal Doctor and a Gynaecologist. These things can be very innocent, but need to be investigated thoroughly to get the correct treatment for whatever is going on. Endometriosis for example can cause problems in alot of these areas ...also the bowel and the lungs etc........... but you need Cancer to be ruled out or sorted out promptly. I assume you will hear quickly if there is any cause for concern ?

    Btw... problems with your kidneys will impact your blood pressure readings.

    I am curious why the Rheumy has decided it definitely isn't SLE ? Do you not meet 4 out of the 11 criteria ? You certainly have quite a strong family history.

    Let us know how you get on.............Claire
     
  3. lazylegs

    lazylegs Moderator

    Hi,

    Enlarged mesentery lymph nodes can be seen in Lupus and other issues. Depending on the size the gastro doc will usually do a biopsy with CT guidance to check them out. In the event they are do to Lupus the rheumy will usually administer steroids to bring down the inflammation.

    Take care,
    Lazylegs
     
  4. Tired

    Tired Member

    I'm not sure myself. The only reason that I can think of is that she wants to be really sure before she puts it down as an actual diagnosis. It is my fear, though, that I will suffer in the mean time.

    My kidneys definitely aren't doing so well. I'm currently dealing with an awful UTI, on top of everything else. I went to the clinic today and was given Bactrim DS, although they're going to call me when the culture comes back, in case I'm not on the right antibiotic. It seems like Bactrim kills just about every bacteria known to man though.
     
  5. keebler

    keebler Moderator

    Hi,

    Bactrim DS is a sulfa drug. Have you taken it before? Did you have any side affects?
    Take care,
    Lyn
     
  6. Ann2

    Ann2 Registered

    I am sorry to hear that you have so many health issues going on, you certainly are having to cope with a lot. I do hope your consultants come up withe right care and treatment for you soon.

    best wishes
    Ann2
     
    Tired likes this.
  7. Tired

    Tired Member

    The last time I took it, I was considerably younger - I presume that I didn't have any major autoimmune issues then. I don't recall any side effects. This time it was a bit different. I had intense kidney pain a few hours after taking a dose of Bactrim, which lasted for 2-3 days. Bactrim also caused an increased in photosensitivity. I work underneath fluorescent lighting and after my 2nd day taking Bactrim, parts of my hands and face that were in direct light looked like I had sun burns on them. My hands also swelled a little bit, but have since went back to normal.

    A nurse from the clinic called me today and told me the culture came back as "definitely bacterial", that I was on the right antibiotic to fight it, and told me that if I was still having lower back pain after my last dose of antibiotics, to come back in.

    My urine still looks pretty awful - there's what looks like pieces of tissue and black specks (maybe old blood?) in it. No fever or other symptoms, though - just the low back pain. Hopefully this last bit of Bactrim will knock it out.
     
    keebler likes this.

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