Flank pain after a complicated UTI

Posted , 6 users are following.

This has been an issue that I have had for a long time now.

I was diagnosed in May with an ESBL E.coli urinary tract infection, after going to the GP complaining of flank pain and typical UTI symptoms. I was given several different antibiotics over the next month or so, all of which did nothing, until I was placed on a two-week course of Nitrofurantoin, which cleared the infection. It did also, however, leave me with nerve damage.

Anyway, despite being confirmed clear of the infection, I still find myself with constant flank pain. Initially, it was mild, intermittent, and only on my right side. It is now a constant ache with an occasional intense pain on both sides. I have had urine tests done recently: no blood in the urine, no new infection. My right side, in particular, hurts after putting pressure on it. My GP has referred me to the hospital for an ultrasound, but who knows how long it'll take for me to get an appointment.

I'm just wondering what on earth it can be. Has anyone else had constant flank pain for months after being treated for a UTI infection? 

It is really taking its toll on me. I'm tired, sore and have tachycardia with awful palpitations. The nerve damage often leaves me in incredible pain or wide awake at night. One of the few things I don't have is a fever - I always seem to have a fairly low temperature, sitting at about 36.3C.

I also have Polyglandular Autoimmune Syndrome consisting of pernicious anaemia, Graves' disease and vitiligo. These are all being treated and B12 and thyroid levels are fine.

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    I should probably also mention that I have had recurring UTIs for as long as I can remember.

    I'm also losing weight, which is very unlike me...

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  • Posted

    I've also had 5 bloods done (the doctor never told me what they were for), and they've all come back clear. So, I'm still at a loss!

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  • Posted

    I do not know how old you are or where you are, but this may make a difference to how your GP regards your condition.  In a young person he would be chasing up all sorts of avenues to sort things out.  In an older person with multiple problems different things can cause similar symptoms and it can be difficulot to differentiate between them.  It seems that your GP didn't get answers from your blood results, so an ultrasound (presumably for kidneys) is the next step looking for answers.

    Most of us with kidney problems start learning about the meaning of our blood results so we are able to understand the progress or otherwise of our condition. I suspect that most do as I do: ask for a copy of our blood results, take them home and study them.  If yiou have a medical professional friend it would be worth asking her/him to explain what is being tested for and how the results can vary according your daily activities/diet etc. before you panic! (otherwise ask your GP).

    Example: thei full blood count (FBC) can show if your body is fighting an infection but not what the actual infection is; whether you are getting sufficient vitamins, iron, minerals from you diet, etc.

    GFR estimation (glomerular filtration rate) gives an idea of how your kidneys are functioning; 

    Urea and electrolytes show balance of chemicals in the blood.  It can be a fascinating study provided you can be just interested in NOT PANIC about variations that can occur.

    Some tests say 'abnormal, no action'.  This simply means that this abnormality can occur for all sorts of reason but, if it continues to deteriorate in later blood tests it may be significant.

    Those tests that say 'abnormal, contact patient' may simply be something you are alreaidy being treated for (the lab. doesn't know this), or it may be a new development.

    I already have a good understanding of blood tests but still google "what is the significance of..." for clarification.

    What is imporant is that - when you read a variation from normal you understand that your blood is doing its job (like fighting an infection) and when its job is done it will go back to normal, NOT panic and think it's all going wrong and the end is not far away!  Believe me, the body is just amazing thei way it sorts itself out.  We just forget to treat it kindly and feed it properly - but it still keeps looking after us.

    Aches and pains and tiredness (believe me, I know) is the body saying 'look after me properly and let me recover'.  A little extra help would be appreciated and that is what your GP is trying to do.

    All good wishes.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for such a detailed response! smile I'm a 26-year-old female in Scotland. I have been seeing the same GP since the initial infection occurred nearly half a year ago. A few weeks back, I saw a different GP who decided a referral for an ultrasound was needed. Until then, I was just getting told time and time again that it would get better and that as I wasn't experiencing any other symptoms, things were probably fine. Soon after, the pain intensified and started radiating to the other side, too.

      It's definitely more the frustration of not knowing what is happening, and knowing it will probably be quite a wait before I get an ultrasound. I appreciate all your information about blood tests and will definitely bear that all in mind in the future. smile 

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  • Posted

    I have the exact same thing. Treated for a complicated UTI with Nitrofurtoin and still have back pain. Did you figure out what it is?
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    • Posted

      Hello nb1989..i have the exact same thing...in feb treated with complex uti...uti treatment started in feb end in june...uti treated with treated with different antibiotics...uti gone but still have back pain and sometimes causes leg pain also...
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    • Posted

      Hi ashi74578,

      Sorry to hear you have the same issue as me! I ended up getting another UTI and met with a urologist. He thinks the UTI could have caused a kidney stone or kidney stone caused  the UTI (mutually exclusive) and wants me to get a CT scan. He said this would explain the back pain, especially because it radiates into my pelvic area/leg. Waiting to get that in a few weeks. Did you meet with a urologist?

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    • Posted

      Hello...nb1989..how r u?

      Me too waiting for a ct scan ...my doctor also wrote me a ct scan of back..may be in next week i will do thag test..same as you my back pain radites to my leg...the worst part is that i am not able to walk more than 10 minutes..my leg started paining...i hope we will get answers soon..until then keep in touch and share your reports...

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  • Posted

    this caught my eye I have had a ct and this has been going on a yr used to get frequent uti now they wont even test me anymore I have great health insurance and am now pregnant and worried they dont take me seriously anymore. sometimes so bad I cant move. this all started from a UTI I didn't get help with I just tried to get rid of it on my own. i didn't have insurance. if any one has answers I am 24 yrs old. I do have my fair share of issues but has anyone had a doctor pursue it. they wouldn't even give me medicine for spasms that was the conclusion now I'm scared I wont know when I have a uti. not that I'd take the spasm meds now that I'm pregnant but knowing if its curable would help and that I'm not crazy. I feel your pain I even have burning urination blood in urine but no bacteria growth. ct said nothing but diverticular disease. doctors wont even test me now.

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