I'm a 31 year old woman. Mother of 3, the youngest of which is 13 months old. During each pregnancy I had "leaky kidneys" - there was protein and sugar in my urine, and my blood protein was low (no gestational diabetes and preeclampsia only in the first pregnancy). I also have a long history of multiple UTI's.
Since my last pregnancy 13 months ago, I had gradually been getting more and more unwell. The usual facial and hand swelling (which lead to Carpal tunnel syndrome), didn't resolve like it had after the previous two pregnancies.
Fast forward 13 months: I have low serum protein, albumin, creatinine, urea, ferritin, and calcium, and have been suffering greatly with the effects of these deficiencies. I'm not sure what my red blood cell count and vitamin D results are, but my endocrinologist want me to have ferrous sulphate and combined calcium with vitamin D3, so I assume they're low too (I haven't started these supplements yet, but have been taking over the counter calcium with vitamin D). I have odema, right loin pain (intermittent for about a year also), and recently I had a cystometrogram for bladder prolapse, before which my urine was tested; I mentioned my urine has been opaque and so they looked carefully at why, and I was told there was a very large amount of calcium oxelate crystals in it, plus some protein also.
This all seems to me, to be very a compelling case for suspecting kidney malfunction, but I have had a renal ultrasound which was "normal". Apart from a 24 hour urine collection, are there any other tests you think my GP/endocrinologist should arrange? I won't see my endocrine specialist until another 2 months, but I can ask to see my doctor this week.
Also, I have had irregular, heavy, long lasting menstrual periods and bad PMS, but my hormone panel seems to have come back with no abnormal results, could the other imbalances have contributed to this?
I know that you are only replying to these every month or so, but I am desperate for an answer...
I live in the UK, where they seem very blasé about low blood protein (advice being to eat more chicken and eggs - even though I eat LOADS of protein), and the possibility of Nephrotic Syndrome in particular... Since I have started the Calcium and Iron supplements, I am feeling worse and worse. It is starting to get to a point where the swelling around my eyes are actually causing eyes problems (as well as swelling elsewhere being very uncomfortable), and the muscular pains and fatigue are getting very difficult to cope with. I have taken the calcium separately to the iron so as to limit the inhibition of absorption, and I've been drinking orange juice too to help with absorption, but it's been a month, and while the calcium deficiency symptoms are improving, the other symptoms are not.
Please let me know if there is anything you can suggest at all, that would help me to know what I should be saying to/asking for from my Doctor.
Unfortunately, the calcium symptoms now seem to have returned! The pins and needles and muscular cramps have come back with a vengeance! I am currently trying to decide whether or not to pop into A&E or if I can wait for a month until I see the Endocrinologist. :(
Thanks Cath, I did go and get checked out, and they put the symptoms down to dehydration from the diuretics I had been taking for the odema (I have stopped taking them and the odema's back). But said maybe it was Calcium again... They didn't test as they said it was easier going through my GP (stupid as I have to go to the hospital anyway to get GP blood tests done) and they wouldn't be admitting me as I was already under investigation. I think he just wanted to get rid of me, I heard him having a go at a 77 year old man who had pain in his foot that had kept him awake for 2 nights.
Anyway, that night I had the most incredible cravings for milk! I must have drunk about 3 pints of it! And lo and behold, my symptoms have calmed down a bit again. Plus of course lots of fluid for the dehydration. :)
I will be seeing a cardiologist for an Ultrasound, and to get the results of a 48 holter test on Wednesday, so hopefully that will either clear awy any concern about that (I get tachycardic quite a lot and was when I went in to A&E the other day - but it may be something innocent), or it will confirm something needs to be treated and thus I will get that treatment. The cardiologist is the most ADORABLE man I have met in a long time. Very old French guy who is so kind and reassuring.
Then it's another FIVE weeks (my appointment got put back) before I see the endocrinologist again, when I plan to ask them if they will look further into kidney function. I too am like you Cath, I have had many many infections in the past, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear that there has been a bit of damage done by now.
Going back to the esteemed doctor who watches this list, I would love to know if there are specific tests I should be asking them to do, considering my history of low blood protein, calcium, and iron, and then finding it in my urine, plus the previous repeated UTI's etc (see first post).
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