3 Easy Steps To Find The Right Doctor!

lifechangeWhy is the right doctor important?

You MUST want to follow your medical plan in order to have the most quality of life when you’re living with chronic conditions.  In order to do that you MUST WANT to live up to your physician’s expectations based on your treatment plan.  If he/she doesn’t have expectations of your disease and your health, then you have NO PLAN.   No PLAN?  Get one!  Here’s how:

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  1.  The Appointment

Bring the FOUR P’s for your PLAN:  Pad, Paper, Pen & a Person.

This shows you mean business.  Your here to write down your medications, the times you take them, what to do if they are causing side effects or need adjusting, to bring medical issues to your doctor’s attention (try & keep them down to 3), and to listen, learn & make a list (The THREE L’s) to bring some improvement into living with your chronic condition!

Bring someone with you to your appointment, they are your BACK-UP.  They are there to do everything you are doing & to share notes with afterwards!  Bringing someone with you to your appointment can make all the difference- some physicians may take their questions more seriously than if you asked it.  People who know you and your symptoms may not be as afraid to tell the doctors what and how intense some of the symptoms you are having REALLY ARE!

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2.  What if your doctor still doesn’t seem to be listening?  Make an appointment for one reason, and one reason only.  To talk.  Q & A time.  You can even ask the doctor to see you AT HIS or HER DESK!

“Why?” you ask?  This shifts the dynamic of the appointment in several important ways!

It puts you, the patient,  eye to eye with your physician- it reinforces that you and your doctor are a TEAM with one goal in mind:  YOUR SUCCESS at living the best life you can under the circumstances of having compromised health.

It shows your physician that you are serious about your health!  And that’s something ALL DOCTORS WANT TO HEAR!  This will not only impress your physician, but it will bring you closer together as a TEAM.

And last but not least-

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3.  The Follow Up:

Without actually following up with your doctor, all your hard work can go down the drain!

This is the time where you make an appointment with your doctor to discuss how the medications are working, the intensity of your symptoms and any new symptoms.  If you’ve done your job your physician is now attentive to you and your health goals.

The RIGHT DOCTOR can make all the difference in your efforts for quality of life.  When you have a doctor who believes in you- you will try harder!  It really makes a difference!

If you’ve spoken to your doctor and you aren’t getting that “team vibe”, and it’s more than “he seems too busy” or “he’s having a bad day” kind of thing, it may be time for hiring a new one!  Yes, your physician works for YOU.  YOU are paying HIM.  And don’t feel bad, a good fit is very important to your success.  Doctors are like night and day., they truly are.  No one is alike.  Feel free to go so far as to INTERVIEW your doctor before you commit to being a patient at his/her office!  You are ENTITLED to choose your doctor! After all, there is nothing more important to you than YOUR HEALTH!

 

 

 

 

When you get home ORGANIZE your medications.

 

Hey! Chronic Pain Patients- Fight Back!

painknuckles

My little-ole story really isn’t much.  There’s lots of pain patients just like me!

What matters is that my quality of life has improved thanks to a combo of meds & procedures. and I’m not alone! Our meds are working!  None of us expects to be pain-free. But managing is power!

Since I was recently asked my personal story- I’ll do my best not to bore you’all and share it here too.

I’m a lupus patient with multiple nerve entrapments from inflammed blood vessels and nerves-which leads to recurring uveitis, scleritis (painful eye issues), trigeminal neuralgia (cranial neuropathy), multiple peripheral neuropathies (ulnar, radial, medial & pereanol) that flare up..also degenerative discs, narrowed cervical spine issues, a slipped vertebrae at S1 L2 that causes sacroillitis, severe plantar fasciitis, extreme photosensitivity from lupus (UV causes hives and rashes-the sun is not my friend) osteoarthritis, tons of mouth sores & nose sores from lupus, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a few.

Oh yeah, brain fog too from cns issues from lupus, but nothing major. Like my father used to tell me, “Well how is everything ELSE?” LOL- “Fine” I’d say! Actually I’d have to say my achilles heel is actually my heel- I’ve had 3 nerve surgeries and a toe amputation to try and stop the horrid pain in my right foot- feels like someone is lighting a match under my toe (not a neuroma-but a pereanal nerve entrapment-who knew! lol) and like someone is cracking me on top of the foot with a ruler. Relentlessly. Sometimes for days. Only relief is strong pain medication and hot water beating down on it.

That all said (and it was a whopper, I know) you get the gist of it. I am not afraid to tell anyone that I take 23 meds a day (mostly for lupus) but that it includes the max of tramadol (2 50mg every 4 hours-8 daily) and that it pretty much works in the background-(I don’t even know it’s there!) and I take opiates 4 times a day for short term pain. I’d like to add that I have taken this same medication, same dosages for almost TWENTY years without an increase or a need for one & that I worked a full time job THANKS TO THE MEDS for most of those years.

I’ve worked with many doctors, and felt the sting of the stigma that comes with being a chronic pain patient. Unruly, judgemental pharmacists & techs who have stamped VOID on my prescriptions to pain docs that welcomed me to their office by saying, “if you’re here to get something to feel good you might as well walk out that office door right now”.

I’ve signed pain contracts, unsigned pain contracts, had surgeries and procedures and I completely understand if you are going through a hard time finding a pain management doctor who truly understands you!  You gotta kiss a lot of doctor frogs before you find a prince!  Don’t be afraid to find one that you have the right fit with!

My honest opinion- pain doctors are like night and day. Some are sympathetic, some empathetic, some not so much and some down right mean spirited and can treat you like a criminal or addict looking for a fix.

Lucky for me though I’ve had an anesthesiologist pain doc who gives me epidurals, radio-frequency ablations, cortisone shots and has prescribed me the pain meds that work for me for over TEN YEARS now!  He’s given me quality of life and I am grateful for his expertise.  He’s offered me procedures I didn’t even know existed!  Thanks to him I am mobile.  I had plantar fasciitis so severe I couldn’t walk without sleeping in an orthotic PF boot all night just to get a few hours to be able to be on my feet., and low and behold my favorite doc who was treating me for cervical spine issues said, “Hey, I can FIX THAT!”  WHAT?  And he DID!  Regular cortisone shots right into the connective tissue on the bottom of my feet was a miracle cure!  NO kidding!  Goes to show that you never know what one doctor knows that another one doesn’t!

A good doctor can make all the difference. I can’t say that enough to people who ask me. If you aren’t getting results with your physician, talk to him or her and if that doesn’t work- FIRE THEM and find another.

Chronic pain patients who are able to function thanks to medications aren’t who the DEA and FDA should be worried about. (why make the honest ones suffer?).. go out and catch the drug dealers of the illegal drugs and make sure teens are informed about the danger of taking drugs. Leave the chronic pain patients alone, especially the ones who are functioning thanks to the medications that give them quality in their lives. Most studies I’ve read say that true chronic pain patients do not become addicted.

Kudos to all you do to get our voices heard!

If you want to help out-here’s a petition shared with me from JGF Advocacy Project: CHRONIC PAIN PETITION-SIGN HERE!

And here’s a link to JGF Advocacy Group on fb:  Pain Is Not Addiction FB Site!

Sincerely, JJ

WHAT’S YOUR STORY?  Plz share in comments!

A Country of Drug Seekers (???)

Posted on May 23, 2017 

By Steve Ariens, PharmD., (LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE!)pain is inevitable

(Editor’s Note—For the past several years, retired pharmacist Steve Ariens has shared his thoughts about chronic pain from the perspective of both a pharmacist and a husband whose wife suffers from chronic pain. I received an email from him this past weekend which started an interesting discussion about whether chronic pain patients are “giving up”. Both of us sense a frustration. I asked for permission to republish this column he originally posted on his own site, pharmaciststeve.com. Please read it and then share your opinion on the “state of chronic pain” these days.)

There are about 4.5 BILLION prescriptions filled in the USA every year – in community pharmacies and via mail order pharmacies. –  We have some 320 million residents—doing the math that means that each person would have 14 prescriptions filled each year.

Most of the prescriptions are filled by people who are “seeking  to improve their quality of life”.

This time of year a lot of those “drug seekers” are known as ALLERGY SUFFERs–they seek out antihistamines, cortisone nasal sprays and other substances used to control their allergy symptoms and improve their quality of life.

No matter what disease state or condition/syndrome a person is dealing with.. all too many will seek out some medication(s) to help to control the undesirable symptoms from the disease.. basically.. the person seeks out to improve his or her quality of life.

Some groups try to draw a line between themselves as being chronic pain patients and those who abuse opiates.

If you take a step backwards and try to look at those who take/use opiates and controlled substances.. and consider those that take them legally and those who take them illegally– because our society will not allow them to obtain them legally you ask” Are they all that different ?

Both are typically suffering from depression, anxiety and physical and mental “pain”. Both are trying to “improve” their quality of life… just what their own opinion/definition of “improve” may be can be quite different.

Those who are suffering from the mental health issues of addictive personalities.. they have demons in their head and/or monkeys on their back. They are just “seeking” to improve their lives by attempting to silence those demons and monkeys. Their “high” is getting some solitude from those things causing them mental pain.

Those that suffer from chronic pain are also “seeking” their own particular “high”, but their high is to calm the pain that torments them and keeps them from participating in a “normal family life”.

IMO, there are those in the chronic pain community that want to point fingers at those who our society has labeled as “addicts” and continue to point out “that is not us/me”… it is “them”..

People with mental health issues have always been “looked down upon” ..  just told to “suck it up and get over it”… our health insurance system has normally had poor coverage for seeing mental health professionals.

Is this part of the puritanical thread in our societal fabric that is still part of the “witch hunts” from the late 17th century in our country ?

Are those in the chronic pain community doing themselves any favors by agreeing with the DEA that those with mental health addictive issues are “bad people” and CRIMINALS?

Recently our previous Surgeon General declared that addiction is a mental health issue and not a moral failing http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/vivek-murthy-report-on-drugs-and-alcohol_us_582dce19e4b099512f812e9c

Does it make any sense that two different major Federal agencies and members of the Presidential Cabinet (DOJ & Surgeon General) are on opposite sides of the same coin… in dealing with people that are suffering from chronic conditions that opiates and controlled substance can help people deal with their health issues?

(Thoughts on this? And the state of chronic pain these days?—Please share in National Pain Report’s commentary section HERE: (NatPainReportCOMMENTS)

 

My Reply:

Hi Pharmacist Steve!

I’ve often wondered about the term “Self Medicating”. It’s encouraged if you have an allergy and let’s say, use benedryl and calomine. It’s fine if you take an aspirin or tylenol for a headache. It’s just dandy if you take an antihistamine for hay fever or alka seltzer for a stomach ache. Got constipation? Sure, take a laxative! No problem!
But live with chronic pain and want relief? Want to self medicate for that? OH NO, Now you’re labeled an addict!

Most of us chronic pain patients aren’t looking for a high. Like you said Steve, we’re just looking for quality of life, same as every “self-medicating” person is doing for their “acceptable” conditions. Studies say actual chronic pain patients don’t become mentally addicted…And so you gotta ask yourself..does a person with a bad cough get mentally addicted to their cough medicine they have to take to calm the cough?

In all honesty, I’m tired of the stigma attached to opiates and really tired of one set of people (who usually have never experienced chronic pain & have no medical training whatsoever) deciding for the rest of us what is good for us. We are individuals, should be reviewed individually and we should be allowed to live our lives the best way we can!

Sincerely, JJ (Lupus, TN+)

How Many Specialists Do YOU Juggle?

My LUPUS Presentation! Sign up at http://www.Brightbod.com or go straight HERE at 4pm PST Wed, May 24th! Link: https://zoom.us/j/8260195856

Lupus Event May 2 ONLINE


#LUPUS Event Tomorrow!  Webinar on Lupus & Your Brain with Q & A!  

We all get Lupus Fog..but what about these other brain issues lupus can cause?

Do you want to know if you might have Neuropsychiatric lupus?  (NPSLE)

What is Peripheral System involvement in SLE?

And the biggie question- WTH is Lupus Cerebritis & Brain Vasculitis?

PLEASE TUNE IN LIVE 

This is Patient to Patient!   #Brightbod 

Tomorrow 4pm Pacific Time

Here–> https://zoom.us/j/8260195856

You will be prompted to download ZOOM

Join Me!!!!!

Posted in Uncategorized.

Muscle Pain, Stiff Fingers & Gastro Issues, Oh My…. WHICH Autoimmune Disease Could It Be?!!!

autoimmune-picture-treeCould This Be An Autoimmune Disease?

Someone asked the following QUESTION:

My entire life has been on pause for 3.5 years, I went from being the most active person I know to someone who even getting dressed or taking a shower is a big painful struggle. I’ve seen dozens of doctors and spent thousands and thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours researching, and so far the only thing I get is all blood tests being normal and I’m told it’s no big deal. I would so so so so grateful if you can help in any way – I literally do not have a life or a future right now and spend about half my awake time in too much pain to do anything.

Symptom summary:

– muscle pain in left flank almost 24/7

– pain in left SI joint almost 24/7

– pain in lower left ab

– gastro issues (diarrhea, bloated 24/7, gasy ALL the time, stomach aches daily)

– distended areas in stomach

– right knee and right shoulder almost unuseable

– all joints popping constantly from any movement

– very cold right hand fingers and stiff fingers

– tremours/shaking in all muscles when not in rest

– different pains in different body parts daily, seemingly random

My ANSWER

I’m not a medical pro- just someone with systemic lupus & reactive arthritis.  But here’s my best guesses & suggestions:

Have you had an MRI or cat scan during a flare-up of your si joint?  I’d get that done during a flare and see if it shows inflammation.  Your gastro symptoms and si joint (sacroillitis) could be related to reactive arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis (and yes, it can be chronic) (& painful).  You can get checked specifically for the HLA-B27 gene by a rheumatologist who knows what to look for.  Here’s some info:  How Is Ankylosing Spondylitis Diagnosed?

A diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis is based largely on the findings of a medical history and physical exam. Radiologic tests and lab tests may be used to help confirm a diagnosis, but both have some limitations.

Medical History

The medical history involves answering questions, such as the following:

How long have you had pain?

Where specifically is the pain in your back or neck? Are other joints affected?

Is back pain better with exercise and worse after inactivity, such as when you first get up in the morning?

Do you have other problems, such as eye problems or fatigue?

Does anyone in your family have back problems or arthritis?

Have you recently suffered from a gastrointestinal illness?

Do you have any skin rashes such as psoriasis?

From your answers to these questions, your doctor can begin to get an idea of the diagnosis.

Physical Exam

During the physical exam, the doctor will look for signs and symptoms that are consistent with ankylosing spondylitis. These include pain along the spine and/or in the pelvis, sacroiliac joints, heels, and chest. Your doctor may ask you to move and bend in different directions to check the flexibility of your spine and to breathe deeply to check for any problems with chest expansion, which could be caused by inflammation in the joints where the ribs attach to the spine.

Radiologic Tests

X rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used in making or confirming a diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis, but these tests have limitations. X rays may show changes in the spine and sacroiliac joints that indicate ankylosing spondylitis; however, it may take years of inflammation to cause damage that is visible on x rays. MRI may allow for earlier diagnosis, because it can show damage to soft tissues and bone before it can be seen on an x ray. Both tests may also be used to monitor the progression of ankylosing spondylitis.

Lab Tests

The main blood test for ankylosing spondylitis is one to check for the HLA-B27 gene, which is present in the majority of Caucasians with ankylosing spondylitis. However, this test also has limitations. The gene is found in much lower percentages of African Americans with ankylosing spondylitis, and in ankylosing spondylitis patients from some Mediterranean countries. Also, the gene is found in many people who do not have ankylosing spondylitis, and will never get it. Still, when the gene is found in people who have symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis and/or x-ray evidence of ankylosing spondylitis, this finding helps support the ankylosing spondylitis diagnosis.

My other guess would be Crohn’s, (or IBD) maybe.  But the joint involvement tells me it’s more systemic than Crohns or IBD.  Do you have any eye issues?  Recurring uveitis is a biggie with AS (I hate it and get it all the time). It’s inflammation in the iris.  You don’t have to have it tho to have AS (ankylosing spondylitis)

As far as Rheumatoid arthritis, I’m sure you’ve had an RA Factor and an anti-CCP antibody test for dx.  I’m assuming you’ve seen rheumatologists..

Your cold hands sound like Raynaud’s Phenomenon, common with mixed connective tissue diseases.

Also as far as mixed connective tissue disease, they often overlap, and the best test to have is a Direct ANA Panel which will separate the antibodies and give your rheumie info on where your disease is pointing.  Most people get just the one ANA test-a TITER test, but I’d like to suggest you have the PANEL done, as it’s much more specific and you can be negative on the titer but positive on the panel.  Also remember these proteins of autoimmune disease don’t always show up right away in your blood.  Sometimes it takes testing over and over to hit it at the right time.

You should also have a CRP (C-Reactive Protein) test to look for inflammation in your blood and an ESR (sedimentary rate) also to check for inflammation.  Testing your C3 and C4 complements in your blood is also helpful to show if you have something autoimmune going on.

And DON’T GIVE UP!  Lots of us wait long long times for a dx.  Hang in there.  All doctors

autoimmunemantra

Lupus & Urinalysis : What do the results mean?

I get asked about this alot.  Lupus patients are prone to inflammation and infection.   Many of us have kidney issues, bladder infections, uti’s, cystitis & other urinary tract issues.  
Our rheumies check our urine every 3 months looking for proteins or red or white blood cells that can cause inflammation or indicate infection.  So what does it mean if you have an elevation in proteins, blood cells or leukocyte esterase in your urine?

Could be anything from a simple UTI to kidney lupus  involvement.  Here’s the scoop from Johns Hopkins:

A complete urinalysis evaluates several different aspects of your urine through physical, chemical, and microscopic examination. In lupus treatment, a urinalysis is often used to monitor protein leakage and identify and assess urinary tract infections (UTIs). Most people with kidney lupus (lupus nephritis) will have an abnormal urinalysis. 

Protein, urine casts (especially red blood cell casts), red blood cells, or white blood cells in the urine can indicate serious kidney involvement; leukocyte esterase or indicate a bladder infection.

Chemical Analysis

The chemical examination measures several features of the urine. Most laboratories use chemical test strips (“dipsticks”) that change colors when dipped into the urine. Either the laboratory technician or an automated instrument will then read the reaction color for each test pad to determine the result for each test. The use of automated instruments helps to eliminate discrepancies that arise with human interpretation.

  • pH: Usually, the pH of urine is between 4.5 and 8.0. The kidneys regulate this acid-base chemistry by reabsorbing sodium and secreting hydrogen and ammonium ions. When the body retains excess sodium or acid, urine becomes more acidic (i.e., the pH is lower). Highly acidic urine can occur with uncontrolled diabetes, diarrhea, starvation, dehydration, and certain respiratory diseases. When your body retains excess base, your urine becomes more basic, or “alkaline” (i.e., the pH is higher). This can occur with urinary tract infections and certain kidney and lung conditions. Certain foods can also alter the pH of your urine. For example, eating excessive protein or cranberries can make your urine more acidic, whereas eating a low-carbohydrate or vegetarian diet can make your urine more basic. Sometimes people are asked by their doctors to regulate the pH of their urine through diet in order to manage certain diseases or medications. For example, kidney stones can occur if urine pH is too high or too low.
  • Protein: Excessive protein in the urine (proteinuria) is a sign of kidney involvement in lupus. Usually, your kidneys prevent protein from passing from your blood into your urine: loops of capillaries (glomeruli) that filter blood allow small particles to pass into the urine while retaining larger particles, such as protein, and kidney tubules reabsorb the smaller proteins that were able to escape. Large amounts of protein in the urine suggest that these glomeruli and tubules are inflamed or damaged in some way.
  • If there is a large amount of protein in the urine, your doctor may request that you give a 24-hour urine sample or obtain a random protein to creatinine ratio. These two tests are used to monitor lupus affecting the kidneys (lupus nephritis).
  • Glucose: Your urine should not contain glucose. If it does, your doctor will order further bloodwork and urine tests to determine the cause. Glucose in the urine is called glucosuria; it can occur in people with diabetes that is not properly regulated with insulin, in people with kidney problems that affect the absorption of glucose, in pregnant women, and in people with liver abnormalities or hormonal disorders.
  • Ketones: Ketones in the urine (ketonuria) indicate that your body is metabolizing its fat reserves instead of carbohydrates to obtain energy. This can occur in people on low-carbohydrate diets, people who are malnourished, or people who have a problem properly metabolizing carbohydrates (e.g., people with diabetes).  It can also occur with excessive exercise, loss of carbohydrates due to vomiting, or exposure to cold. In people with diabetes, ketonuria may indicate insufficient management with insulin.
  • Blood: The chemical examination of urine also measures the amount of red blood cells in the urine sample. The presence of red blood cells in the urine is known as hematuria, and the presence of hemoglobin (from red blood cells) is known as hemoglobinuria. Usually people have very small amounts of red blood cells in their urine, but even a minute increase can indicate a problem, such as a disease of the kidney or urinary tract, trauma, medications, smoking, or intense exercise (e.g., running a marathon). When the chemical test for blood in the urine is negative but the microscopic assessment shows the presence of red blood cells, the laboratory will usually check for the presence of vitamin C, which can interfere with test results. [It is important to also note that contamination of the urine sample with menstrual blood or hemorrhoids cannot be distinguished from the presence of red blood cells in the sample. Therefore, it is very important to tell your physician if you are menstruating or are experiencing any other condition that could contaminate your urine sample. It is also very important that you speak to your lab technician about proper aseptic technique when giving a urine sample.]
  • Leukocyte Esterase: Leukocyte esterase is an enzyme present in your white blood cells. Therefore, the presence of this substance in the urine indicates the presence of white blood cells (leukocyturia). White blood cells in the urine may indicate inflammation of the kidneys or urinary tract due to bacterial infection. It is important to note, however, that contamination of the urine can also cause the presence of white blood cells in the urine, so remember to practice proper aseptic technique when giving the sample.
  • Nitrite: Bacteria can convert nitrate to nitrite; therefore, the presence of nitrite in the urine usually indicates a bacterial infection (i.e., a urinary tract infection). However, not all bacteria can convert nitrate to nitrite, so it is possible to have a urinary tract infection while also having a negative nitrite test.
  • Bilirubin: Bilirubin is made by the liver from old red blood cells; it is then processed by the intestine and excreted from the body. Therefore, healthy individuals do not have bilirubin in their urine. The presence of bilirubin in the urine indicates that the liver is allowing the substance to leak back into the blood. This can be an early indication of liver disease, even when other symptoms, such as jaundice, are not present.

Microscopic Analysis

The microscopic examination uses a microscope to identify and count cells, crystals, bacteria, mucous, and other substances that may be present in the urine. The amount of a substance present is reported one of two ways: as a count with the microscope strength used to view the substance [“per low power field” (LPF) or “per high power field” (HPF)], or as an approximate amount (“rare,” “few,” “moderate,” or “many”).

  • Red Blood Cells: The microscopic examination looks at how many red blood cells are present per HPF. As discussed above, the presence of red blood cells in the urine can indicate a problem, such as a disease of the kidney or urinary tract, trauma, medications, smoking, or intense exercise (e.g., running a marathon). However, contamination of the urine sample with menstrual blood or hemorrhoids cannot be distinguished from the presence of red blood cells in the sample. Therefore, it is very important to tell your physician if you are menstruating or are experiencing any other condition that could contamination your urine sample. It is also very important that you speak to your lab technician about proper aseptic technique when giving a urine sample.
  • White Blood Cells: A high number of white blood cells in the urine indicates inflammation of the kidneys or urinary tract. Like the test for red blood cells, this test can be misread if the sample is contaminated; in this instance, contamination can occur from vaginal secretions, which are high in white blood cells. Therefore it is important that you speak to your lab technician about proper aseptic technique before giving a urine sample.
  • Epithelial Cells: The tissue that lines the surfaces of cavities and structures in your body is called epithelial tissue. In healthy individuals, epithelial cells from the bladder and external urethra are normally present in the urine in small amounts.  However, the amount of epithelial cells in the urine increases when someone has a urinary tract infection or some other cause of inflammation. Your doctor will evaluate the source of the problem by evaluating the type of epithelial cells that are present. For example, the presence of renal tubular epithelial cells (from your kidneys) may indicate kidney involvement. The presence of squamous epithelial cells may indicate contamination of the urine specimen.
  • Casts: Casts are formed in the tubules of they kidney when the tubules secrete a protein called Tamm-Horsfall protein. The origin of the casts causes them to take on a tubular or hotdog-like shape. These casts are known as hyaline casts and can be present in normal adults on the order of 0-5 per LPF. Strenuous exercise can cause more hyaline casts to be present.  However, casts made from red or white blood cells indicate problems in the kidney.  Red blood cells that stick together and form red blood cell casts usually indicate problems with the glomeruli, tiny ball-shaped structures in your kidneys that help filter blood and prevent the loss of valuable substances, such as blood cells and proteins. White blood cells casts indicate inflammation in the kidney. Cellular casts that remain in the nephron of your kidney for a long time before they are flushed out become granular casts and eventually waxy casts.
  • Bacteria: Bacteria in your urine can suggest infection, especially if you have other suggestive symptoms. If your doctor suspects that you may have a urinary tract infection, she/he will most likely order a culture or count of the bacteria. However, bacteria on the skin can also contaminate the urine sample and skew the results, so it is very important that you understand proper aseptic technique when giving a urine sample.
  • Crystals: Crystals can be present in the urine of healthy individuals; these crystals form when the pH, solute concentration, and temperature of your urine are within a specific range. If these crystals are made of substances that are supposed to be in urine, such as calcium oxalate or phosphate, then they are considered to be normal. Crystals made of substances that are not usually present in urine, such as cystine, tyrosine, or leucine (amino acids), are uncommon and usually indicate liver disease or some other abnormal process.

via:http://www.hopkinslupus.org/lupus-tests/screening-laboratory-tests/urinalysis/