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Forum Name: Renal Failure

Question: kidney/abdomen pain, swelling, rapid heart beat


 DiagnoseMe - Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:44 pm

I am a 26 year old male. For 5 weeks I have been suffering from a variety of symptoms - the list seems to grow from week to week. Here's a timeline:

Started with pain in the right groin/abdomen area, and with urine that wasn't quite cloudy, but was strange looking - more dense (and currently quite bubbly). I went to the doc and we did an ultrasound on the abdomen to look for appendicitis (and a later ultrasound of the groin). Ultrasound showed no problems.

I then started developing a situation where at 3:00am every morning I would wake up sweaty and having tremors all over my body, which seemed to start in the abdomen. I was not running a temperature, but my blood pressure went from around 140/80 to as high as 175/84, and currently at 160/80. I also had swelling and bloating and digestional problems (diarrhea once, and then constipation since then). I also find my heart rate to be very unstable, and I can view my stomach move with my heart beat. I did a complete blood test which checked for diabetes and thyroid problems among others. Everything came back normal. Same with the urine and stool analyses, and the EKG. At the hospital ER, where I ended up one day, the doc said it could be an adrenal problem, so I did my own research and learned that too much aldosterone might produce these symptoms, so I started increasing my potassium and reducing my sodium and I have had no more tremors since then.

I have back pain now in the right kidney area, and still in the abdomen, I also developed a cold or something, which I am still dealing with. It started with a sore throat and a lot of clear mucous coming from my nose. At one point I sneezed non-stop for 2 days straight. I also noticed swollen lymph nodes in my neck, under my right arm and under my clavicle on the left side. Finally, I have had some numb-like feelings in the left arm. And I feel like no matter how much I drink I am dehydrated.

This weekend I was having dizzy spells and nausea...almost like fluid in my head. Also, my finger and toemails are half brownish-pink and half normal (not sure of a conncection here, but I did some research on this and they look like Terry's nails).

All of this and still no diagnosis. I had mentioned that I lost over 100 pounds (275 to 170) in less than a year without working out, but I did move away from my mother's house and began caring for myself, meaning I was probably eating a lot less.

The one last thing I will say is that the day I first noticed the symptoms I was very, very stressed at work, and was having chest discomfort. But I feel relaxed since then, so I don't know. I am currently waiting to see an Internist, but until then I'd like any info anyone can give to me. I am a little scared to be experiencing all this at such a young age.

Thank you.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:55 pm

User avatar Unfortunately, many of your symptoms are fairly non-specific. So, it may take a little searching to find out the diagnosis.

The one thing I did notice is that even though your blood pressures were elevated, the diastolic pressure (the bottom number) stayed normal. Aldosterone, too much salt, etc. essentially increase the amount of fluid in your blood vessels thereby raising blood pressure. When this happens both numbers should go up.

One thing that explains your symptoms fairly well is panic attacks. These can cause the heart rate to shoot up quite high and raise blood pressure without typically raising the diastolic blood pressure. They can also cause some nerve type pain such as that which you are experiencing.

There are some important other things to consider. Seeing your internist is a good idea. This way you can have some other screening labs and work up to see if something else may be going on.

One note, anxiety attacks often happen when people feel basically OK. Depression or other symptoms are not a requirement for the diagnosis. I have had patients with severe anxiety attacks that would be completely well feeling in between episodes.

Best wishes. Hope this helps.

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