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White stringy particles in urine and mid back discomfort
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White stringy particles in urine and mid back discomfort

I am a male 47 and have had 2 UTIs this year, one in the spring and one at the end of November. The last UTI I was on Cipro for 7 days and had some blood in my urine, White particals or stringy pieces  with even thinner strings on them, like tenticles, and red fleshy peices. I got blood work/urine analasis work done and  was diagnosed with a bacterial infection by the emerg doctor and he dimissed the flakes as part of the infection. An ultrasound was also done of the bladder and the kidneys + a cystoscipy and all showed up normal. They checked my prostate with their fingers (both the emerg doctor and the uroligist and said it is normal. Right after the final cipro pill I felt like the infection was better but not gone, so I stated drinking cranberry juice and if felt like it flushed it out and I felt better for about a day.

Right after the above episode (ending November 20th) "I won't forget that day since it was my birthdayd", I started to have vision problems (even felt like the right side of my eye went knumb for a few days), trouble breathing, trouble peeing sometimes and generally felling bad. I even had an episode one night when my feet and hands went completly knumb and I felt like falling over. I couldn't focus or even function normally for about a week and ahalf (begining of December) most of the symptoms have subsided but some of the things have stayed. Here is some of my history from this summer since the first urine infections in April and I will continue until todays date

1) April 2011, started to have strange pain in my lower belly (like a cat was scratching my lower stomach) I had no problem peeing or any burning during urination, but my family doctor said I had a UTI, so  I got antibiotics and it seemed to pass. At that time she also told me that I was getting high cholesterol. I have changed my diet since then and have had a recent test which showed it has lowered to the boarder line (5.65)

2) During the summer I started to have episodes of higher blood pressure and irregular heart beats (fealt like my heart was skipping a beat). I finally ended up in emerg one day because I felt so bad and my blood pressure was going up to 150/100 for some episodes. I was refered to a Ambilitory care clinic in the hospital and they did all the tests on my heart, including ultrasound, running test, breathing test and blood work. They could not explain the irregular heart beat so dismissed it as normal. I changed my diet, stopped drin king alcohol and started to excersise more and stopped taking some suppliments like Magnisium, that I read may cause irregular heart beats and all seemed to subside and the blood pressure has stayed between 140/90 to 120/80.


Right after the last episode with the bleeding urine FINISHED or subsided, I have had very fluctuating blood pressure rising early in the moring to 130/90 and then falling to 110/65 sometimes. When I tell docotors this they say it is normal, but I explain them I have never had blood pressure that low, if it has changed due to my adjustments to my diet and life style that is great, but it just seems weird to me. Some times it will shift between the above two number within .5 an hour.

I am also having lower back discomfort that feels all kinds of ways including off and on jabbing or discomfort below my ribs on my back.

I have a hard time peeing and when I go I ussually pee no more than 100 - 150 ml in a slow stream. I may go about There are still white pieces in my urine all the time. Sometimes they are bigger and sometimes they are smaller. I do not have burning sensation or any pain in the front of my stomach area. I have even had nights that I urinate more, but I did drink more before bed, so that may have been the reason.

I also get strange pains in the heart area and jabs in my chest, especially in the moring lying down, they seem to go away during the day. These are not severe pains but wierd and uncomfortable

4) I have always run about 7k per day when I am active. I have not been excercising much because of the way I have been feeling. I have lost about 10 to 15 pounds (I am 6'1" and was 200 lbs and am know about 195) since the last infection, but that could be due to me modifying my diet. On top of it all I have Tendinidis in my left hip that has developed in the last week and prevents my from running. I have still been to the gym rowing and doing light weights, trying to feel normal agian!

I have told my doctor, but she says she can deal with only one problem at a time. I feel like I am going crazy but I know this is all some how related. My back pain is not going away and the urine looks strange + all the other strange symptoms are still around.

Related Discussions
1814148 tn?1332489398
Men don't seem to get UTI's as often as women and are most commonly caused by obstruction, kidney stones or an enlarged prostate. The antibiotic treatment is longer than that of women. Recurring infection is likely when the bacteria is not very sucseptible to antibiotic given. A urine specimen should always be tested for bacteria culture and sensitivity to ensure the right spectrum of antibiotic is used. The white strings can be remaiins of bacterial debris from the old infection or indicate the infection is still present. A simple chemistry strip can identify if infection is present in the urine. Fever is another indication that an infection is brewing in the body. However elderly people may experience low temperature.

Unmanaged blood pressure can cause inadequate perfusion to the kidneys and leave cause changes in kidney function and low urine output.

A weak urine stream and frequent, small amounts of urine commonly indicates an outflow problem caused my enlarged prostate. It sounds like you have enlarged prostate. It does not have to be noticeably enlarged when palpated to cause a urinary outflow problem. The prostate is like a donut around the urethra. Even a small amount of swelling can cause these symptoms. There are medications that work well on these symptoms. Also, checking for PSA (prostate stimulating antigen) is a good baseline for men a familial history of prostate cancer.

Any kind of chest pain, shortness of breath and numbness should be followe up in the ER asap. It couild be heart related or mean you are having a mini stroke. All these can be related to anxiety as well. I am not worried about your blood pressure. Despite the fluctuations it is within normal limits. Do you take BP meds? or any other kinds of meds?

Is it possible the back pain could be a muscle strain? Try ibuprofen and/or tylenol and see if there is any improvement. Flank pain could indeed be caused by an infection in the kidneys but it is unlikely that this kind of infection would be missed by blood work.

You should have bloodwork drawn:
CBC, lytes, Bun, creatiine, GFR, PSA

I hope this helps.

Follow up with the doctor as symptoms present themselves. If the urinary stream is weak and you are awake at night with small frequent voids then you definitely need to futher explore these symptoms with a urologist.
Avatar m tn
Thank you,

I had a CT scan done today and it did not show any obstruction in the kidneys or bladder. It did show some prostatic Calsifications ( but the emerg doctor did not even mention that. I also asked if the emerg doctor did all the protien tests, as I mentioned I am constatly seeing all kinds of white tissue in urine including white stringy ones. He said all is normal with his kidney function tests. I am going to my new family doctor tomorrow and will check to see if she has done all the proper tests.

Note: I flushed my system this moring before the scan and there was no sign of the white stringy bits, but as soon as I started eating again urine colour changed to a slightly richer yellow and white bits all over?
1814148 tn?1332489398
I'm so glad you received some explanation to explain your urinary patterns. Way to advocate for yourself!

I was more likely to think the white strings in the urine were cellular debris left behind when the antibiotics killed the bacteria. However with prostatic calcification the seminal ducts may have calculi as well, causing congestion and backing of the 'the pipes'. You may be seeing semen/prostate fluid in the urine.

Talk to your doctor about treatment of these calcification as they will progress to stones if left untreated. Stones can then lead to infection of the prostate which encaplulates itself and is challenging to treat.

Sound like you are in the early stage of a common problem. Keep up the dilligent monitoring and follow-up visits. Let me know how it goes. Take care.

1814148 tn?1332489398
The fact that the strings are not in the urine everytime you void further supports the probability that it is seminal fluid. Hope this helps.
Avatar m tn
Thanks again for the responce. You have been more helpful and responsive than the doctors I have been seeing including the ER and my doctor. Are you in the medical field? Do you know of any other sites or resources that can help direct me with these problems.

Sorry I keep dumping this on you, but you sound like you know what you are doing and I really appreciate the help more than you know.

This is getting a bit complicated, hope you have the patients.

I went back to my new doctor yesterday to review the CT scan and blood tests. Well, the kidney blood tests are showing up normal in all catigories (I for got to get a copy of them, but when I do I will post) and protien is not leaking into the urine. The doctor did not disscuss the white flakes in my urine but dismissed the protien idea. The blood tests also found that a bacteria is still in my urine. I did not get the type of bacteria but will try to find out next time. She thinks that it is Prostitis and is sending me to a Uroligist. And she is recommending that I get on Cipro again, this time for six weeks! When I asked her if the Cipro will resolve this problem, she said most likely not ... but just to be safe!

Now when I look back on what happened after my last 7 day run with Cipro, this may explain a few things. Here is the comment from my first post back to haunt me:

"Right after the above episode (ending November 20th) "I won't forget that day since it was my birthdayd", I started to have vision problems (even felt like the right side of my eye went knumb for a few days), trouble breathing, trouble peeing sometimes and generally felling bad. I even had an episode one night when my feet and hands went completly knumb and I felt like falling over. I couldn't focus or even function normally for about a week and ahalf (begining of December) most of the symptoms have subsided but some of the things have stayed. Here is some of my history from this summer since the first urine infections in April and I will continue until todays date."

+ another thing that I did not mention because I thought it did not have any thing to do with this, is I developed tendonitis/bursitis in my hip after the last session. I get sudden pain in my hip and oddly enough when lying down or sitting. The above doctor that is perscribing more Cipro is the same doctor that diagnosed the Tendonitis. When I asked her if any of my breathing, strange chest pains, perpheral eye problems and tendont problems where related to the Cipro, she dismissed it.

Here is what the warning for Cipro is:

Serious adverse events occur more commonly with fluoroquinolones than with any other antibiotic drug classes. In most, adverse reactions are mild to moderate; however, occasionally serious adverse effects occur.[43][44] There have been a number of regulatory actions taken as a result of such adverse reactions, which included published warnings,[45][46] additional warnings and safety information added to the package inserts[47] together with the issuance of "Dear Doctor Letters"[48] concerning the recent addition of Black Box Warnings. In 2004, the U.S. FDA requested new warning labels to be added to all of the fluoroquinolones, including ciprofloxacin, regarding peripheral neuropathy (irreversible nerve damage), tendon damage, heart problems (prolonged QT Interval / torsades de pointes), pseudomembranous colitis, rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown), Stevens–Johnson syndrome, as well as concurrent usage of NSAIDs contributing to the severity of these reactions.[citation needed]

So what do I do now???

So all this is most likely prostate related. The Semen is a good thought, but why do they only show up when I am eating or after meals never at night and if I am only drinking fluids excessively. I have not been sexually active with my wife lately due to how I am feeling, could there still be residue?

I also have some other underlying issues I did not mention and think I should tell you. I have battled severe constipation for years. I have tried high fiber, psylium husk, bulk additives and they ussually just plugged me up even more. I just used instant coffee for years with moderate to poor results. For the past 2 years I have been taking elemetal magnisium about 4-6 250 mg tablets per day and that seemed to regulate me and also made me feel amazing.

After the last infection and after the heart tests with no results for palpitations and high blood pressure, I discontinued the maginsium because I read that it may cause heart palpitataions. The palpitations did stop, but so did the regurlarity. I also adjusted my diet and that may have helped with a bit.

I have not used over the counter laxatives for more than 10 years, but after the last bout with Cipro I became very backed-up for about a week, although the doctor says this should not be affecting me. So I tried to use Senna-S on evening and my blood pressure went to 160/120 for about 3 hours, felt like I was going to have a heart attack. When it all subsided I didn't even feel the slightest sensation of movement in my bowel.

I have been using a few prunes in my food about 3 times a day and it has been working great up until today. I just started using herbs for infection of the kidneys/urinary system.

I have also been trying to fight the infection with cranberry juice and a special herbal mix from a herbalist in my city which consists of the following herbs: Plantain, Oregon Grape, Cornsilk and Marshmallow Root. I have only taken it once but and did make me feel a bit dizzy and of coarse constipated me the next day (which is today) but it seems to be aliviating the infection sypmtoms.

The above are a mixture of all types of herbs from around the world. I have been reading that chinese herbs are very good for Prostitis. Do you have any suggestions on alternative therapy. I live in Toronto, Canada which is culturally diverse and have access to almost any type of alternative medicine.

I'm  really worried to go back on the Cipro for 6 WEEKS and all the side effects including the very possible tendon, nerve, heart or liver damage and constipation.

The above problem right now are overwhelming. Any help or direction would be appreciated.

1814148 tn?1332489398
You are so welcome for the support. Yes I am a RN lol. You are an awesome historian and that has been most helpful in my suggestions to you. Indeed you are taking a proactive approach to your health and this awesome!

I would request the doctor do a culture and sensitivity test before prescribing any antibiotics, especially for a 6 week course. While cipro kills a broad specturm of bacteria, there may be an antibiotic that is more specific. Because the prostate is a 'capsule' it is challenging for antibiotics to penetrate it effectively. The calcifications may contribute to ongoing infection and I would strongly suggest a approaching the urologist for treatment options. Sure antibiotics put out the fire but what can be done to prevent it ;o)

It doesn't sound like you're side effects were caused by Cipro. Of course the tendonitis can't be ruled out but the risks really outweigh the benefits in this case. Difficulty breathing is suggestive to an anaphylactic reaction and this is not the case. It is not uncommon for our hearts to miss a beat, especially if we are anxious or stressed. I'm not sure about the numbness though..I don't think it can be explained by the Cipro. However if you experience numbness, tingling, muscle weakness and vision changes then you should be seen by an ER doctor to rule out a stroke. Obviously this is not what you had. Our nerve system is made up of billions of little wires and sometimes these wires get irritated or distracted so they send the wrong messages.

Protein in your urine is an indication of kidney damage so your kidneys are doing their job. It tests for a large protien molecule called albumin and if it can get through the kidney's filtration system then there is a problem. I don't think the test is likely to pick up protein in semen.

Fiber can actually constipate if not taken with adequate water. Metamucil can turn to cement in the bowel and cause obstruction without lots of water to help it pass. It's a common misconception and I have seen it's use cause bowel obstructions. Prunes and prune juice is great. Also fruits, veggies and whole grains. The longer stool sits in the bowel the more water that is extracted..and hard stool is very difficult to deal with. OTC meds that put more water in the bowel are colace and lactulose syrup. I suggest taking 1-2 caps of colace with breakfast and supper. Bowel motility agents like sennakot can cause cramping and loose stool although some people are not sensitive to them.

Magnesium is a great. Studies have shown it to be a catalyst to an enzyme that breaks down bad cholesterol too. Saw Palmetto is a common herb for an enlarged prostate. Health food stores are great sources of information. Small, independently owned ones are usually best for knowledgeable staff. I will check for some other info and post it later today.

I hope this helps. Take care.
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