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Urology/Lower back cramping - feels like menstrual cramps

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Hi

I have been trying to diagnose what's wrong with me for about a month now. It started with a UTI that I took Amoxycillin 5 days for. While this got rid of the horrible burning pain when I urinated, it didn't fully clear it up. Then I took 5 days of ciproflaxin. Same story, mostly gone but still left with symptoms of tenderness in the bladder area.

This is all self medication as I live on Zanzibar and don't trust any of the local doctors. I then ran into a gyny on holiday who recommended that I start on Nitrofurantoin which i did, but this produced (maybe coincidentally) stomach pain (felt like I needed a bowel movement) straight after I took it. after 2 days of this (and no improvement) I suddenly got severe pain (couldn't stand up) first in my stomach then moved to my back. Worried that I might now have a kidney infection I went to a danish doctor that I found who prescribed me pivmecillinamhydrochlorid. However she said if the pain in my back (which had now become a crampy ache that comes and goes in the mid to lower back) didn't go, then I had to go to a hospital.

2 days later it hadn't gone (or changed) so I came to a private clinic in Dar es Salaam for some tests. They tested my blood, urine, stool and did an ultra sound. Urine and stool came back ok. Ultra sound on my kidneys, bladder and urinary tract all clear but showed an excess of gas. However my red blood cell count was down to 11.5. So they concluded that I may have worms in my intestine creating the pressure on my bladder and accounted for the tenderness and back pain.

3 days later I still have a slight tenderness in my bladder and especially when I urinate, but no pain, however the back pain persists, and occasionally seems to move up and then back down again. My period started yesterday and I had menstrual cramps and lower back cramps alternating with each other all day which was v uncomfortable!

The pain isn't so bad that it keeps me awake and doesn't seem to change much but wont go away. I'm worried that it may have something to do with my ovaries? It's a pain I can cope with as long as I know it's nothing to worry about but I'm scared that it my be serious.

I'm having way too much time off work (I work as a scuba dive instructor) and spending way too much money to have not really discovered anything, I really hope you can help.

Many thanks

Amanda

Answer
Amanda:

Obviously I am not going to be able to make a diagnosis in a complicated case when several local physicians have been unable to.

An infection with odd or unusual germs is certainly one possibility.  Another one is interstitial cystitis.  Unfortunately, there is no specific test for interstitial cystitis, but a good urologist may be able to make the diagnosis.

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Stephen W. Leslie, MD

Expertise

Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.

Experience

Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

Organizations
American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Publications
Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Education/Credentials
Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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