Severe pain, acute renal failure

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 128
   Posted 7/9/2015 11:25 AM (GMT -6)   
I had a UTI about 4 weeks ago that I treated at home and felt like resolved after 5-6 days. A couple of weeks later I started feeling completely sick/horrible and my back started hurting pretty bad. I thought maybe the UTI had spread to my kidneys so I went to the doc to have labs done. There was a very small amount of bacteria and blood in my urine, but the culture showed no growth and the sonogram of kidneys/bladder were normal so the doc declared no infection anywhere. But my blood work did indeed show acute kidney failure:

BUN 25
Creatinine 1.6
GFR 40

And I have almost every single possible symptom of acute kidney failure as well (fatigue, backache, nausea, massively increased urine output, unquenchable thirst, bloating, swollen ankles, itching, etc).

I see a nephrologist on Monday but I was getting concerned about waiting because the most troublesome symptom of all is malaise. My muscles all hurt and I know it sounds melodramatic but i feel like I'm frikken dying. The intensity waxes and wanes day by day. I spoke with the nephrologist's nurse about waiting until Monday and she of course gave the standard "Go to the ER if you're in significant pain" and went on to say that with kidney failure there's usually not too much pain. Infection usually will cause a lot of pain, but with failure it's not very common.

Does anyone have any ideas about what could be causing the pain? I've of course spent a lot of time googling all the potential root conditions that most commonly cause kidney failure, but I don't really think any of them apply to me. I'm not diabetic, no high blood pressure. But, I have had positive ANA for years and do have a rheumatologist who has mildly suspected Lupus for years, but my positive ANA is a weak positive and I haven't had any rashes so no diagnosis yet. Are there any other potential underlying causes that could be causing the severe pain?

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2014
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 7/13/2015 12:16 PM (GMT -6)   

To feel like you're dying, when you have these symptoms, is NOT melodramatic. I've gone through kidney failure, and it feels exactly like that. about a year before complete failure, I had terrible back pains. It is most likely that your severe pain is coming from kidney failure itself.

Look, with a creatinine of 1.6, I don't think you need to be getting a fistula yet. What you should do is get yourself listed at a good hospital for a kidney transplant. Act quickly - it's a long process and dialysis is incredibly difficult, so try to minimize any time you may have to be on dialysis for. Some of the best transplant centers are UCLA in California, New York Presbyterian, and University of Maryland Medical Center. UPMC in Pittsburgh is also good. Talk to one of these - whichever is closest - and work on the process now.

Talk to a center, and your family, about all of your issues and pains. The only thing that will bring you relief is addressing the problem.
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