I began having problems with kidneys stones and frequent UTIs about a year and a half ago. I saw a urologist who treated them as each passed. Then twice, I ended up with multiple stones connected together, far too large to pass and needed to have them blasted. As far as I know from everyone I've spoken to, including the hospital, afterwards you strain the urine for fragments so they can figure out what is causing them to form. Well I too several good sized bits of stone to my doctor and he said , "Oh I don't need that, just drink more water." Finally I insisted that he run a test to find out what was causing this sudden development of stones out of nowhere. He caved and ran a 48 hr urine collection. The test results would take 4 weeks.
Meanwhile, during a trip to visit friends I stepped off a bleecher and fell to the ground. All the bones in my lower left leg had fractured, I spun as my body gave way and my foot literally snapped off my leg. Only skin and ligaments held me together. After surgery, my doctor said he was concern that the plates and screws may not hold because my bones were so soft. He referred me over to an endocronologist. He did blood work and found that I was seriously low on vitamin D. But before treating me he was concerned about the kidney stones.
Finally the urologist calls and says, I'm so sorry but you have two very serious problems - extremely low citric acid levels and low urine production. It's not life threatening but I want you to see a nephrologist immediately.
Well that doctor couldn't fit me in for a month and a half. Great medical system we have!
I walked in with my husband. God bless him. He's a medical research scientist and he had been studying up on what my problem probably was from the day I was told I had soft bones.
The doctors office did not have me fill out a history or any paper work. He just walks in the room and says "what can I do for you?" I start to explain about the kidney stones and soft bones and he quickly intertupts me and assures me they have nothing to do with each other, tells me to just push fluids, and gets up to leave. I then tell him about the test results which he doesn't have with him. He goes to his office for about ten minutes or more.
When he returns, he shows me my results and explains each. When he hits citric acid he says he had to research it on his computer. He had never seen a result as low as mine. He had to contact his professors from his medical school to figure it out. I had Renal Tubular Acidosis. Anyone can look that up on the intertnet. It's simple and the symptoms are all there. That's exactly what my husband had told me I most likly had. The doctor said it is very rare and he needed to do more research on it but for now I was to start taking potassium citrate right away and go for some blood work when I had the chance. Oh and by the way, the disease causes your blood to turn acidy therefore softening your bones leading to fractures.
I went for the blood work a few days later and when he got the results he called, confused. My levels were much better. My husband asked him if taking the supplement would have an affect right away and he said yes. The fool should have ordered the blood work before I began the medication.
Good thing we held off on mega dosing me on vitamin D. That would have thrown me into renal failure. In fact, letting the disease go on much longer than it already had could have put me there too or killed me.
Now I'm in physical therapy and walking again after 3 1/2 months in a wheel chair. There's still something going on and we can't put our finger on it. RTA is usually a symptom of another disease, usually autoimmune. Next stop - Rheumatologist. If only this was as easy as it is on the show "House".