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kidney infections, UTI's and white blood cells without infection...

Hi! Im a 22 year old female that over the last 12months has experienced a serious of kidney infections (with protein and blood being detected in my urine samples). I started with more frequent trips to pass urine, offensive smelling urine and extreme pain predominantly in my left kidney, which was always at its worse when waking up in the morning. For several weeks a ignored the pain until it became too painful to bear. I went to my GP and was immediately put on one weeks course of antibiotics and submitted a urine sample. The sample came back as postitve for infection, but after the weeks course of antibiotics I felt no better and promptly returned to my GP. Another sample was taken, which the Dr tested there and then with a dip stick, she explained that blood and protein was still apparent in my urine and prescribed a longer, stronger course of antibiotics and a blood test. I never recieved a detailed explanation of the findings of the blood test, so i presume that all were clear. After this course of antibiotics I continued to suffer from pain and tiredness. Once again I returned to my GP and a scan was arranged a few months later. After a long wait I went for the scan, however no abnormalities could be found. I took the findings (or rather absence of!) to my GP and he insisted that the pains i was experiencing were muscular. I went home and tried to convince myself that his explanation must be right, even though all my symptoms remained. I went travelling for 3 months, still suffering, a couple of months past, then in my third month of travelling i experienced extreme buring when passing urine and abdominal pains. I visited a chemist (in thailand you can pick up antibiotics etc over the counter) I explained my symptoms and he prescribed a course of antibiotics and anti-spasmatics for the abdominal pains. That cleared up easily and shortly after I returned home. I have returned to my GP about the exsisting pains in my kidneys, frequent urinating and offensive smelling urine, yet another urine sample was taken and I was put back on antibiotics. I recieved a call from my GP asking me to return if my symptoms persisted after the current course of antibiotics. On my return (my last visit to date) I was informed that white blood cells where found in my urine but no infection. He hasn't explained what he thinks this could suggest, but has made me an appointment with urology. I also have not been told was preceedure I will undergo! I feel very in the dark. My urology appointment is today! Other things that you may need to know is I suffer from Urtecaria, which i take antihistamines for daily.I am also on the conteceptive pill, which i have been on since about age 15. I rarely drink alcohol and consider my diet fairly healthy! Any guidance or direction would be much appreciated!! Thanks!
6 Responses
Avatar universal
I had a very similar situation, and the urologist is now testing me for Interstitial Cystitis (test is a cystoscopy - a minor surgery that is no big deal).  There is also something called Urethral Syndrome that can cause symptoms of a UTI even when no infection is present.
Avatar universal
ah thnk you for your comment...i will begin researchin them! lol! i have been ordered by the consultant to attend a cystoscopy and to have a CT scan. This isnt until the end of this month! its such a long wait! Thank you again for your help though!!!
Avatar universal

You can ask for an Xray, which would be quicker to schedule and to report, to check for the presence of kidney stones which my cause an obstruction of urine flow, even if only partial, and can predispose to UTIs.

WBCs in the urine can be a sign of renal damage and inflammation, especially if accompanied by epithelial cells.

The ideal way to have dealt with the recurrent UTI would have been to have a urinalysis followed by a culture sensitivity and antibiotic treatment based on the culture report. This would have ensured that the infection would have been treated adequately as well as prevented reactivation of the infection.

You can check your blood test reports to see what your creatinine and uric acid levels were. This will give an idea as to whether kidney function has been affected.

In the interim, Drink plenty of fluids, increase intake of vitamin C, avoid caffeine, practise safe sex, and add vitamin A and E supplements to your diet.

Do keep us posted on your doubts and progress.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your comment, I will be chasing up my blood test results and have already started taking vitamins! I attended my CT scan but unfortunately they refused to give me the dye injection due to my urtecaria, I hope this wont affect the pictures?? They said it will be a couple of weeks until I know the results....does it usually take this long? Im stll awaiting the date for the cystoscopy, but will be sure to let you know how things go! Thanks very much once again!

Kind regards,

Avatar universal
PS When I first attended my appointment with the consultant I was given a fluid and frequency chart to complete, I realised how frequently i visit the toilet, but more so how little i pass, sometimes only 25mls! My greatest volume was 350mls (in the morning) is this a normal volume? I also had a scare last week when I drank close to 3000mls and only passed 175mls all day, I felt very uncomfortable to say the least! should I visit my GP in the mean time or wait for my results first? I have also noticed my ankles are swallon alot of the time!
Avatar universal
Contrast Ct scan does give a clearer picture of the structures being imaged, but even the normal CT scan will pick on structural changes in the areas studied. If further or more elaborate imaging is required, that would be prescribed. The reporting of any radiological test can depend on the availability of the radiologist. You can follow up after a week or so and check if the scan has been reported on.

Swelling in the ankles that is absent or minimal on waking up but increases throughout the day is a sign of kidney function impairment. You will need the results of your blood tests to assess kidney function and this will reveal the extent of compromise in function.
If you are in a warm climate, insensible fluid loss (sweat, breathing, etc.) will comprise about 800 ml of fluid. If you had passed about 175 ml every time you voided and voided at least 10-12 times a day, the urinary excretion of fluid would have been adequate. However, it would be best not to take fluids over 2000 ml since the state of kidney function is undetermined. A minimum fluid intake per day should be 2000 ml, with a flexibility of 100 or 200 ml either way.

You can visit your GP with regard to the swelling in your ankles as any compromised function of the kidneys needs timely medical evaluation.
Also try and keep your sodium intake minimal.


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