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Elevated WBC in Urine...


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I was wondering if any of you more medically minded folks could help me out with this one???? (i.e. morgan? melissa (in house urology expert?)...

The last two times I had a urine culture done (about two months apart) I had elevated WBC in my urine.

So, the docs (two different ones) suspected a UTI (although I had no symptoms other than my usual urinary junk)...

I did not have an infection either time...

I was wondering what might cause this and if I need to investigate it?

I have peed in a cup a zillion times since I have been sick and since the surgery...and have never had this mentioned before.

Any thoughts?? I'm askintg b/c I'm not able to get any help locally on this! Even my PCP is now being a pain in my butt!

Thanks!!!

Later Alligators!

Emily

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Hi Emily,

You might want to do a google search of Pyuria for a bit more information. There are a few different things that can cause this. Are your wbc levels very high? This can also be caused by some meds... but I'm not sure which ones. It might say somewhere on the google search. Hope this is of some help! Laura

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Hi Emily,

I also have had elevated WBC in my urine and the docs just gave me meds for UTI. Not quite sure what causes it though.

Jacquie

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If it was a mid stream void, it can actually be from the vaginal area. Sometimes no matter how many of those little wipes we use, you can still secretions and the vagina can have wbc's.

Having just recovered from my first ever uti ouchers, I can't imagine a uti not being painful, so maybe a different source. When I worked in the ob/gyn office, we got a least 3 women and girls a day with sx, and many times the doctors would get annoyed because of wbc's from there. So who knows.

It's a very good idea to look it up, although your doctor should be more helpful, harharhar...morgan

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Hey thanks! :P

Laura...that was the term I was looking for...pyuria. I needed the term to be able to do a search! Thanks! You are always sooooo kind to me! I am not sure what the WBCs were...I will have to look. They didn't tell me at the second appt. I will have to call perhaps, but they are super rude!

Morgan...that was what I was wondering about the wipes...the one appt. was at a UROLOGIST of all places and I used three wipes! But still got the WBCs...The first time was at a doc that we thought it just wasn't a 'clean catch' or that the urine had sat too long. but the second time i was super careful and it was looked at right away.

Jacquie...interesting that you have that also..

Morgan...can you just have the elevated WBC from external bacteria without a UTI? Is that what you are saying? I guess I was wondering b/c I wear a girdle and compression hose and well, this is gross, but it is very sweaty and smelly down there from that and maybe just that environment is breeding a little bacteria but not enough to cause a UTI?????

yes, i agree the PCP (or urologist for that matter) should be a bit more helpful. my PCP suggested intercsytal cystisis, but that doesn't match the pattern, as i have had IC symptoms for years, but not the elevated WBC and not an increase in urinary problems.

my PCP is now on the 'you know depression can cause more than just crying and sadness' thing...and attributing all of my symptoms to that! i am sooooo frustrated.

okay, sorry, vent...

thanks for your help!!!!

emily

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Oh Yea Em, any area of the body that is warm and moist is a super breeding ground for bacteria.

Many women can have vaginal infections and the only thing they notice is a weird odor, but you don't just get yeast infections, there are many other things that can grow. So there can be different signs and symptoms for different things.

And women can have infections that will show wbc's vaginally. (by the way, it's impossible to gross me out) What you might do is see a gyn and have them do cultures there and see what there is to see. Sometimes they can look on a slide and diagnose immediately. They do a two really simple tests that can show a lot and it's not anything more difficult than a pap. Not that paps are fun, but they aren't painful and are over quickly. You might check that out, especially since there's no breathing room, so to speak.

Always wear cotton in the middle panties, girls, it can save you a ton of grief... :P

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Hey thanks Morgan!

Going to my Gyn might be the route to go--at least she's nice! :P But the thought of another doc appt. and 'outing' from my house is not exactly fun.

I HAVE had a weird odor and sweating but just chalked it up to all those undergarmets! But, perhaps, I do have some bacteria there.

Like you said, the cotton panties are a must. I had just been wearing the girdle and hose and the girdle is all lycra and nylon and stuff liek that. So, now I am wearing the panties first, then girdle, then hose, then pants! It's nuts! It seems to be a bit better since then. I'm just so sexy. haha.

Maybe it will settle down on it's own? That would be nice!

Well, I'm getting loopy on my ambien...

Guess what Morgan???? I have a brain MRI tomorrow and had a thoracic on Monday...because, drum roll please, MA will not pay for two scans on the same day. But as long as you get them 24 hours apart it is okay! What a joke. So, that means two injections of contrast instead of one. Two trips out of the house, two times in that stupid tube with a crink in my neck???

Oh well....

Goodnight, my battery is about to go!

Emily

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Oh man, Em. I have firmly decided never to have another mri....until someone talks me into it, because it's too hard to fight people...not at all surprised by medicare though, good grief. Good luck and let me know what it says...morgan p.s. these infections will not typically clear up on their own sorry :(

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Guest Mary from OH

Emily -

Since I am going through all this Urology stuff now I *MAY* just be able to answer your question!! I have had the SAME thing happen too!! Are you talking about the UA in the drs office? Or the UA that the dr sends out of the office to the lab? There's a big difference.

Does one come back with TONS of WBC's and the other OK? OR Both are coming back with WBC's. If the 2nd one, the one that goes to the off-site lab, comes back with WBC's it should be growing and either be a bacterial or fungus that they can identify and treat. Does that make sense?

The first UA that the dr does in the office is just done with a dipstick and and if it comes back with WBC's and the lab test comes back with NO WBC's, it means that you have a problem in your kidneys. I forget the name right now. I'd have to look it up. I started doing research because of my problems. I'm going to ask my dr about it on Friday. That's what happened to me. Let me know.

Hope that helped?

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Hi Em - I think there could be different reasons for a high WBC count... I do know that Lyme Bacteria LOVE the urinary tract and hang out there thus causing infection of sorts.....

I know you have been to a million and 1 dr's but have you ever seen a urologist? They might be able to rule out other possibilities...

I hope that one of these Dr's will give you some abx to try.... I am thinking this might help ...its a hunch :(

I hope you are having a good day.

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I have had both WBCs and RBCs in my urine at various times, but no infex. Just an FYI. I never investigated because I never felt sick or any other related symptoms.

Amy

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Guest Julia59

Emily,

So sorry your dealing with such rudeness for your PCP---and the nurses. It's beyond frustrating I think.......... B)

I think going to the gynocologist is a good idea. She can rule out any gyno problems that may cross with the urine.

I'm sorry you have to deal with two separate MRI scans----------how crazy is that. I know the old tube is not fun---i've been in there for up to 90 minutes at a time......... :unsure:

I sure hope you can get some answers that will help you after dealing with all of these MRI's and other tests.

Do let us know what you find out.....

Julie :0)

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Thanks so much!

I debated posting about this but I had nooooo idea how to get the answer and you all have me at least figuring out a game plan!

I am very suspicious about maybe it just being what Morgan said...a vaginal infection....b/c of these darned compression hose and girdle and panties and all these layers. Hey, at least they make me look svelte? haha.

MARY...yes...that is what is happening exactly. WBCs high in dipstick, but not when they send it out for the culture. If you find out the name of the condition let me know...I am on DDAVP and always wonder how that will be on the 'ol kidneys long term. I am continuing to keep you in my thoughts A LOT!

I'm irritated b/c the urologist was such a dim bulb about it too.

I am so low energy the thought of another doc appt. is overwhelming...BUT my gyn is wonderful...and I think that is a really good place to start. I have had problems with vaginal strep in the past, so that is not so far out of the question.

Morgan, I told my mom your answers and she was like, 'yes! that sounds like what is probably going on! That makes so much sense!'

Well, just so Wareagle can laugh, I'll say....pee...pee...pee...:unsure:

Later alligators!

em

P.S. julie...i need to post an update on all the results coming in...but so far MRIs look good and my POTS doc feels pretty certain that there is no Chiari or Cervical stenosis, which he said he was very concerned about. he feels that usually patients will respond to SOMETHING for their POTS unless they have something else going on...hmmm.....so we are still searching and esp. looking at the Lyme.

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Guest Julia59

Emily,

WEll----i'm so glad to hear that your doc feels there is no chiari---or serious cervical stenosis going on.

That is just another monkey wrench you don't need in the mix.

Some of my POTs symptoms are helped with drugs, but unfortuately there are some central nervous system issues---one of them being the myelopathy, and a couple of the NSGs feels it's from the congenital cervical spine stenosis/chiari issues. But the NSG at the Cleveland Clinic feels there is another source to my central NS issues, including the myelopathy.

Although I don't have an official "chiari" diagnosis----I definately have a small posterior fossa/brain stem compression, but only 1mm herniation. The cervical/cranial instability is a problem also. Instability is hard to detect through conventional x-rays---or an MRI with an untrained MRI tech who is familiar with cervical/cranial/chiari--and chiari related conditions. Together with the herniated disks---it's hard to rule out that some of my ANS dysfunction may be related to the EDS/spinal stenosis/brain stem compression issues.

Don't you just love it---it's hard to tell what is causing what. I'm taking a break from the docs for now---I don't think i'm getting anywhere with the Cleveland Clinic---so I may not continue with them. I have obvious problems with muscle weakness and the function of my legs----The CC is not looking outside the little "safe box". I just don't have time for that.

I hope you get to the bottom of where the bacteria is coming from---I hope the gyno can help.

Take Care,

Julie :0)

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Guest Mary from OH

Emily,

OK. Gotta make this quick because I am literally running out the door for my appt. AND I AM TERRIFIED. (just had to get that off my chest).

I TRIED to look up the stuff in the Merck manual where I found it before and since I'm hurrying I'm not sure I found the exact thing I found before. But: Proliferative glomerulonephrits is what I came up with. I'm going to ask my dr. today.

Gotta go!

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Hey Em! I haven't been around much because of energy, then my hard drive crashed and now I'm back from my first trip to see Dr. Grubb. BUT your post caught my eye because on monday I have call my doc for almost the same thing. I had the WBC in urine at Mayo but no infection or anything in the cultures. Then, Dr. Grubb told me I had to have a urodynamic study. Ugh!

Please let me know what you learn or what you find out... if it is a bacterial cause or whatever! I'm going to look some of these things up too. Hope my doctor can find a knowledgeable and NICE urologist for me!

After while crocodille! B)

~Roselover

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Oh Roselover,

My heart sang when I saw your name pop up today! I was really wondering how you were doing.

I am so happy that you had sucha good and productive appt. with Dr. Grubb. Yeah! Keep us posted.

Also, let's keep eachother posted under this thread about the WBC stuff and what we decide to do. I was trying to decide whether to see my gyn first or try to find a urologyst witha clue? I like my gyn, so thought I might start with her adn then she could refer me to a urologist, since the two have seen so far in this town are well, less than willing to help me out!

Seeing your name pop ou today...and Poohbear too! Two people who have been away a lot pop up on the same day! Welcome home! :)

Later alligator!

Emily

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Em- I love you so much!!!! You make me feel soooooo good and loved, thank you! It has been a hard couple of months and sometimes I just didn't have the heart or mind to write responses, though, I have been lurking.

I think you should see the GYN too... especially since you know you will be treated well and there's a really good possibility that bacteria could be causing it. Just my opinion...

OK - so I looked back at the lab report because I have to call my primary monday morning. I don't have WBC in the urine... I have RBC.... what DOES that mean???? Is there a difference?

Well, I'll let you know where I go with it too. I really didn't want to see a urologist.... just one more new doctor to see and I'm just not up to it... but Dr. Grubb really wanted me to do the urodynamic studies - I just don't know. Any advice?

After while crocodille!

Roselover

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Guest Mary from OH

Emily,

That term I gave you is NOT our answer!! :) You also have to have lots of protein in your urine and it's a longterm kind of thing. Not our symptoms... Sorry for getting your hopes up.

Roselover,

In layman's terms (in other words - how my simple mind works!! LOL! :( )

RBC are the red part of your blood that you see. If you have any in your urine, it means that you're bleeding somewhere in your urininary tract. The WBC are the "immune fighting" part of your blood that fights off infections. They usually show up more if you have an infection of some sort. Neither should show up in your urinalysis, at least not to any noticeable degree. Hope that helps.

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Guest Mary from OH

No problem. Sometimes, knowledge is a good(?) thing?.... I hope you get your situation straightened out! It sure seems like there's an awful lot of us on here that are suffering with the same symptoms. Personally, I don't think it's coincidental. I know that the neurogenic bladder is related to POTS, but I wonder if other bladder conditions are too in general? They are still learning so much. Who knows!?

And to put your mind a little at ease. If you are not seeing blood, that's a good sign!! That means the blood that they are seeing is just in microscopic amounts. So, hopefully some kind of irritation or "tinier" (sp?) problem. Are you having any lower back pain or pain around your lower rib cage? Sometimes that can be signs of kidney stones. I know several people on here have had experiences with that. And also, kidney stones can come in varying degrees and there's something called sludge or silt where the stones aren't formed like little balls, but very tiny like grains of sand, but nonetheless quite irritating.

Anyhow, I wish you luck on your Urology journey!! Feel free to PM me anytime!! I hope your spirits and stamina are feeling better soon!! :) I've missed you too!!

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