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During the most stressful periods in my life, I began to get kidney infections. This all began when I was 24, I will be 30 in Feb. After the first one, each time I'd get stressed I would get another. Not minor stress, but big time stuff. As I have gotten older, I have gone down hill. I now have aching in my shoulder, which is now all over my back. I swell up like I am pregnant when my kidneys hurt. It sometimes feels as though I am urinating needles. I have only gone to ER about this, as I haven't had insurance since all this began. They tell me there is a large amount of blood seen under the microscope. I have taken all the antibiotics out there for kidney infections. The infection will go away, but come right back...especially under stress. I have had burning pains in my stomach, but my back is hurting me so bad and I am very swollen. I have no energy and recently it's been even worse. Obviously this is effecting my everyday life. Some medications cause the infections, such as Benadryl or some pain relievers. Mainly though, stress brings it out of me every single time. The worst infection I had got into my blood and the DR. said I almost died. I saw the scan, my left kidney was inflamed and had pus all around it. I was also urinating pus at that time as well. The left side of my body is where all the pain is from my neck to my tailbone-which also swells up. I just do not understand these odd symptoms. A DR. told me stress can do odd things to the body, but there must be some underlying cause for this. My body USED to be able to function during stress. It's as though this was activated. Anyone out there going through the same thing or know why or what this could be?? Autoimmune?? Neurological?? Mental issue?? I can't live this way, the infections, swelling, and pain is too much.

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Also, to note...I have Rh negative blood.
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User avatar
Health Ace
6520 posts
j_l80, Stress Definatly lowers your immune system which is why you keep having reoccuring infections. also as i'm sure you know proper hygien especially for females is very important (although it is important for males as well). I'm actually studying for finals so i'm not going into too much detail at the moment but if you can bear with me i will add to the post as i can (i will be done with finals tomarrow then i can help more) (sorry) HAve they cultured your urin and done any blood tests? I would be interested to know what your white blood cell Count is as well as the differentials (levels of each type of white blood cell in your blood) it may be possible that you contracted some sort of virus and it becomes active durring stressfull times (this is how cold sores work, the virus lays dorment in your skin then becomes active and forms a sore when the body is under some sort of stress be it physical, emotional, or caused by an illness)

I hope this isnt to confusing, does it help at all?
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Do a blog on Intersistial Cystitis....see if your symptoms sound familiar.
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Sorry! I meant do an internet search..
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Yes, I suppose it sounds similar. It's so hard to tell without just going to the dr. I know this. Thanks for the help. :-D
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All the blood tests came back normal. I am unsure of what they test when a patient goes to the ER for a kidney infection. When I have an infection, the white blood cells are down...that is what the dr. says. On normal days, I wouldn't know. However not a single time have they not found blood in my urine. I am unsure of what kind of virus I may have caught, I do understand what you are saying though. I will say that most of the infections were caused by e. Coli. I am unsure as to how stress and that come together and I keep myself very clean...maybe too clean?? I am very careful, because that was my first thought when it all started. But I don't think it's that. I appreciate your help. If you can come up with any kind of virus that would stay in my body and show itself during stressful times, that would be amazing!! Good luck on your finals!!!!!!!! :-D Is there any autoimmune disease that could be doing this?? It's just strange that I feel so ill all the time (especially when heavy stress comes my way.) Thank you.
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The reason I suggested you do a search on Intersistial Cystitis is because my daughter, age 26, suffers really bad from this. Though I think she has had it since she was born it really flared up when she went away to college. Stress, caffeine and acidy foods play a huge role in her IC making it miserable for her.
Just a few notes: She always has blood in her urine (when tested). She is constantly running to the bathroom (her bladder holds 8 oz, normal one holds 16 oz)and has pain when urinating.. Severe side and back pain. Anti biotics really sets her IC off. IC is considered an autoimmune-meaning your body attacks your bladder.
A lot of doctors are not too familiar with IC and its treatment, at least not in our area.

Though it is hard taking the stress out of your life (who doesn't have stress!) and you have no medical insurance you may want to expierment with your diet to see if it helps any. No caffeine. No spicy foods. No fruit or juices (anything with a high acid content).
Just a thought.
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User avatar
Health Ace
6520 posts
I find it very odd that your white blood cell (WBC) count is low when you get an infection as these cells are what kill and fight off infections. a low WBC count increases your risk of getting an infection. did the urin cultures say that you had E. coli in your urin. this is actually a very common cause for UTI since the anus and urethra are so close to each other in the females and when cleaning your self after going to the bathroom fecal matter can come in contact even if it is on the toilet paper, with your urethra introducing E. coli into your urinary track.

it would be interesting to see what your white blood cell count is when you are healthy. perhaps your white blood cells drop for some reason and then you get sick.

are you taking any medications (medicins containing steroids such as crotizone) which are normally perscribed to treat inflamation also weaken the immune system and i beleive lower WBC counts (but dont quote me on the WBC part)
this may also be a contributing factor.
well back to more studying... :-P
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I too believe I was born with this, but it did not flare up until my divorce and custody battle with my ex husband. However, while I was pregnant, I had UTIs and vaginal infections left and right. After the birth, I was fine until the traumatic event and it just continued to each stressful occurrence. So yes, if I were going away to college...I KNOW it would flare up. Moving has done it to me. A week ago my cat died, so I am suffering with it now. It strikes me as so odd. Does your daughter get a lot of yeast infections? I tend to mainly get them when I take antibiotics, but I suffer with them now and again. I do not have any sexually transmitted diseases and I really do keep good hygiene. I'm not always going to the bathroom, but I sometimes struggle to get it out...I have to push sometimes. I do have pain and swelling in the bladder area. I suppose it just moves up into the kidneys. I think I have almost become used to it, so I don't even realize until it's gotten so bad (with the kidney infections.) I think changing my diet is not a bad idea at all, although the caffeine part sucks! LOL. Do you know of any vitamins or herbal remedies that help with this? And also, is there a cure for this. If I did in fact get to see a Dr, I am just wondering if this problem could be solved. Is she sore a lot too? I mean, do her muscles ache and things? I suppose that could be stress, but really IC sounds like me in a sense. I feel for your daughter, ugh it is sooooooo awful and my mom is always telling me to go to the hospital, but it's not solving ANYTHING!!! I appreciate it. (;
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User avatar
Health Ace
6520 posts
well... i would get tested for IC or at least bring it up at your next doctors appointment. as for the yeast infections, antibiotics arnt very selective whicheg. they dont kill the one bug that is causeing your infection but work on a number of different ones including the helpful "good" bacteria. When you take the antibiotics the normal flora in your body are also killed off so there fore the lactobacillus and other species of bacteria in your vaginal tract are getting killed affecting the PH (acidity) of your vaginal tract and allowing the yeas (which is always present just in smaller numbers) to multiply and get out if controle thus leading to YI. people also tend to diarrhea because of the same reason so it would help to eat active cultured yogurt and or take probiotics such as acidophilus pills to keep the normal flora in your intestines in check.

Good luck and keep is posted.
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Just went to DR for another infection. He said there was red blood cells and nitrates in my urine. So he said I have a UTI. Thing is, I look 9 mo. pregnant from the swelling and I am in a lot of pain...a lot worse than a UTI...more so in the kidney area. But, he put me on Macrobid and told me to take Tylenol for the inflammation...which is not working. Hopefully the Macrobid works, but the swelling is what really concerns me and is gross and painful!!!
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