Hi Doctor, I’m a 27 year old, Korean, healthy, female. My blood pressure is always very low and I’ve maintained good health for the most part. For more than a year, I have experienced kidney pain and tenderness the night of and day after I drink alcohol. I’ve always thought it was nothing to worry about since I had ingested alcohol and thought this was my body’s normal reaction. There was a time when I didn’t have these symptoms, but it’s been a long time. Recently, I went to my PCP because my kidney pain lasted a few days after I had drank alcohol. My doctor did a UA and my results came back as follows: GLUCOSE, UA Negative mg/dL; KETONES, UA 80 (2+) mg/dL; SPECIFIC GRAVITY, UA 1.027; UA HGB 0.03 (1+) mg/dL; PH, UA 5.0; PROTEIN, UA 30 (1+) mg/dL; NITRITE, UA Negative; LEUKOCYTE ESTERASE, UA Positive; UROBILINOGEN, UA, QL Negative; BILIRUBIN, UA Negative…. WBC’S, UA/HPF 6-10 HPF; RBC, URINE HPF 4-10 HPF; MUCOUS, UR SED, QL, AUTOMATED COUNT Present HPF; HYALINE CASTS, URINE SEDIMENT, AUTOMATED COUNT, QUAL 5-10 LPF. In July, my GFR was 86 mL and my Vitamin D levels were 16ng/mL. I have not repeated a blood test since July. When I spoke with my doctor regarding my results, she stated she ruled out a UTI and a Kidney Infection. She referred me to a Urologist and Radiology for an ultrasound. I have had a kidney infection previously in 2012. I can’t get into my urologist until April, so naturally – I’m scared. Do these results lean toward a kidney stone being present? Could it have been present for over a year and only agitate when I drink alcohol? Or do these seem to point toward diseased kidneys? I’ve lost about 12 pounds in the last couple months (108lbs, 5’3″) and have (in the last week) a decreased appetite. In the last four days, I have been experiencing a low grade fever and chronic, dull pain/heaviness in my kidneys. Since I have experienced a kidney infection before, I am reluctant to go to the ER to see a specialist sooner. Are these symptoms something I need to address sooner than April?

I am unable to provide a specific diagnosis based on the information that you provide.  I am a nephrologist and I cannot make a diagnosis of kidney disease based on the information that you describe.  I agree that you should be evaluated by a urologist and have further testing.  I would trust the advice of your physician and wait for your consultation with a urologist.

 

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