“Ur In” Luck- UTI’s and Autoimmune Conditions


With Reactive Arthritis and Systemic Lupus-UTI’s are common.  So is inflammation in your kidneys (glomerular nephritis), bladder (interstitial cystitis), and pretty much any mixed connective tissue anywhere is fair game.

After many years of being in remission from lupus nephritis (chronic kidney disease stage 3b)- I seem to be having issues again.  My doc thinks kidney infection but I’m not convinced.   With lupus it’s possible to have a crazy amount of white blood cells in your urine but no signs of infection (fever, vomiting, no nitrates or bacteria in your urine, etc) and that can mean simply destructive inflammation.

In cases like mine (and I’m certainly not alone with this issue) -further testing is indicated.  That flank pain and lower pelvic pressure can have several causes.  This coming up week I’ll have a cat scan and kidney biopsy and that will tell us more.

So if your having many UTI’s without bacteria showing up-your likely looking at inflammation!

Here’s some info on pelvic inflammatory conditions:

Interstitial Cystitis Facts:
From medicinenet.com

PBS/IC is an inflammatory disease of the bladder that can cause ulceration and bleeding of the bladder’s lining and can lead to scarring and stiffening of the bladder.The symptoms of PBS/IC are pelvic pain as well as urinary frequency and urgency.

PBS/IC has a variable clinical course, meaning that symptoms can appear and disappear over time. Moreover, the intensity of symptoms varies among individuals and even within the same individual over time.

The cause of PBS/IC is unknown, but abnormalities in the leakiness or structure of the lining of the bladder are believed to play a role in the development of PBS/IC.

The diagnosis of PBS/IC is based on the symptoms, an abnormal potassium sensitivity test (PST), and elimination of other conditions that may be responsible for the symptoms.

Treatment for PBS/IC most commonly utilizes heparinoid drugs to help restore integrity of the bladder lining along with other oral medications. Bladder distension and intravesical drug therapy are other treatments that may provide relief in PBS/IC.

Kidney Inflammation Facts:

There are different kinds of kidney inflammation.   Here are a few from Healthline.com:

Think of your kidneys as your body’s filters, a sophisticated waste removal system comprised of two bean-shaped organs. Every day, your hard working kidneys process 200 quarts of blood in a day and remove two quarts of waste products and excess water. If the kidneys suddenly become inflamed, you will develop a condition called acute nephritis. Acute nephritis has several causes and can lead to kidney

Interstitial Nephritis

In interstitial nephritis, the spaces between the renal tubules that form urine become inflamed. The kidneys swell from the inflammation.


Pyelonephritis is an infection in the bladderthat travels up the ureters and spreads into the kidneys. Ureters are two tubes that transport urine from each kidney to the bladder, the muscular organ that holds urine until it passes out of the body through the urethra.


This type of acute nephritis produces inflammation in the glomeruli. Glomeruli are the tiny capillaries that transport blood and behave as filtering units. Damaged and inflamed glomeruli may not filter the blood properly.

In any case, with autoimmune disease be aware of your symptoms,  get regular urinalysis and blood work done, and see your doctor regularly.   🙂

Here’s a good video on Glomerulonephritis-



Going Down the TUBES with “Reactive Arthritis”-

Fallopian tubes that is!


Salpingitis-Inflammation in Fallopian Tubes


See the red circle around the color part of my eye (the iris) . That indicates uveitis-which is inflammation of the iris. There are two types, posterior & anterior. Mine is anterior, which is the one that causes lesser damage.


Conjunctivitis- Every six weeks-sometimes it’s so bad I have to rest my eyes with cold compresses for two or three days at a time. Ya never realize how valuable your sight is until something interferes with it!

julie wbc eyesjulieeyestwo

 Spondyloarthropathy.  It’s flared much more often than it used to.  Dx’d with it Dec 2012.  Positive for the HLA-B27 Antigen.  Was a matter of genetics and environment & I got LUCKY!  While on immunosuppressants an infection slipped in-and although the infection was just a matter of noticing unusual blackened stool and some unusual stomach and colon-type discomfort-what came on in the following weeks that December was horrendous.  Two full weeks of full blown sacroilliitis.  I could not sit up or get up on my own.  I could not lay on either side.  You could not touch my lower hips (si joints) without me yelping like a hurt puppy.  Walking was SO painful I could not walk at all for almost a week.  I’ve had recurrent flare ups of varying degrees of sacroilliitis since, but it has never gotten as bad as it was that December.  I get regular cortisone shots into my si joints and L5-S1 spine-and it is my saving grace!  TY Dr. Todd Turley.  Not only does he keep me mobile by giving me cortisone & glycol right into the plantar of my feet for plantar fasciitis, but he keeps the really nasty can’t walk wanna cry sacroilliitis AWAY.  TY TY TY!

I’ve got the Reiter’s Trifecta AGAIN.  With the addition of a new symptom-salpingitis.  Aka-inflammed fallopian tubes.  Hot lower insides on fire aching period-like cramping sort of pain.  Sex is very painful and there is a slight discharge that is uncomfortable.  The Reactive Arthritis Trifecta – First came sacroilliitis, then came conjunctivitis (no uveitis this time, thank goodness!) and now for the finale-salpingitis.  Yep-that’s how my spondyloarthropathy rolls.

Approximately every six weeks I get conjunctivitis.  It’s a real PITA (pain in the as_)  Dry eye drops are usually sufficient unless it’s uveitis (and I always know-you can tell the difference in the way it feels and looks).  And for uveitis I take prescription steroid eye drops.  One time my opthamologist had to give me shots in my EYES.  That was horrible.

The fallopian tube inflammation requires surgery to have the tubes out and I’m waiting for a surgery date and insurance approval now.  I hope it comes soon.  It’s very stubborn and I’ve been a bit crabby.

For all you guys out there with Lupus-I “get” YOU and identify with YOU!  Reiter’s is a man’s disease-so I know how you feel when you tell people you have systemic Lupus.

I will likely need to be on biologicals according to my rheumatologist.  I avoided them so far-I’ve been on Cellcept (plaquenil, meloxicam & prednisone) for Lupus-which up until now has worked out pretty well for me.  Definitely minimizing my photosensitivity, hives, rashes, and other lupus symptoms.  I’ll update this post when I’m on biologicals so you can see what works for me.  Ya never know when someone will say- “Eureka!  Maybe that’ll work for me too!”

Personal Note:  How the heck an infection gets into your si joints and effects your EYES, joints and fallopian tubes boggles my mind.  You’d think with systemic lupus I’d be very coherent of how the immune system can attack ITSELF.  But these “targeted” attacks are really bizarre to me., lol.

I likely haven’t said so lately, but if you made it this far down the post, I thank you for reading it.  If even one person sees it and says “Me Too” and can get to feeling that they are not alone with these strange autoimmune diseases, then it’s all worthwhile.