View Full Version : Can Lupus come on suddenly and what tests do you have done?
01-26-2009, 08:43 AM
Okay, I hope its okay to post here even though I haven't been tested yet for Lupus or not even sure I have it but it worries me.
One night I went to bed feeling fine, hardly ever sick except for IBS, and the next morning I woke up feeling like I got hit by a freight train overnight. I had stiff, sore, painful, achy joints (elbows, knee caps, ankles, toes, and fingers), my hands and feet were puffy and swollen, extreme fatigue to where if I did the littlest household chores I would have to sit down only to find that rest didn't relieve the fatigue and made my joints hurt worse, nausea, itchy feet, and light sensitivity. This is what I woke up to.
I went to the dr. after 4 days of feeling like this and he told me I had a bacterial infection in my bones and the way he described it was, I could have had bacteria just sitting there dormant and some kind of stress can make it come out and attack, HUH?? I've never heard of that and he didn't say if it had a name or not. I started googling my symptoms and it kept coming up with Lupus. Anyways, my dr. didn't take any blood work or anything and just prescribed me an antibiotic called " Levaquin" and told me that should take care of it. He said there is no way I have Lupus that I just have an infection. Well, how does he know without any blood tests done? I have been on Levaquin for 4 days now and am finding no relief. I'm scared that I really do have Lupus but then again I am hypochondriac with any pain or symptom thinking I have a disease so maybe I'm getting worked up for nothing but the medication should be working by now I would think. What are the first tests some of you had done initially that led to the diagnosis of Lupus? Should I wait it out and see if this med kicks in or should I start to worry? I don't know what to do and any advice would be appreciated. Thanks :)
01-26-2009, 09:44 AM
What concerns me most about your post is the fact the doctor didn't perform a culture... tests before prescribing an anti-biotic...I would question that, definitely.
as per drug site...http://www.rxlist.com/levaquin-drug.htm
LEVAQUIN® should be used only to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by susceptible bacteria.
As for Lupus....
Diagnosing lupus can be difficult. It may take months or even years for doctors to piece together the symptoms to diagnose this complex disease accurately. Making a correct diagnosis of lupus requires knowledge and awareness on the part of the doctor and good communication on the part of the patient. Giving the doctor a complete, accurate medical history (for example, what health problems you have had and for how long) is critical to the process of diagnosis. This information, along with a physical examination and the results of laboratory tests, helps the doctor consider other diseases that may mimic lupus, or determine if the patient truly has the disease. Reaching a diagnosis may take time as new symptoms appear.
No single test can determine whether a person has lupus, but several laboratory tests may help the doctor to make a diagnosis. The most useful tests identify certain autoantibodies often present in the blood of people with lupus. For example, the antinuclear antibody (ANA) test is commonly used to look for autoantibodies that react against components of the nucleus, or "command center," of the body's cells. Most people with lupus test positive for ANA; however, there are a number of other causes of a positive ANA besides lupus, including infections, other autoimmune diseases, and occasionally as a finding in healthy people.
The ANA test simply provides another clue for the doctor to consider in making a diagnosis. In addition, there are blood tests for individual types of autoantibodies that are more specific to people with lupus, although not all people with lupus test positive for these and not all people with these antibodies have lupus. These antibodies include anti-DNA, anti-Sm, anti-RNP, anti-Ro (SSA), and anti-La (SSB). The doctor may use these antibody tests to help make a diagnosis of lupus.
Some tests are used less frequently but may be helpful if the cause of a person's symptoms remains unclear. The doctor may order a biopsy of the skin or kidneys if those body systems are affected. Some doctors may order a test for anticardiolipin (or antiphospholipid) antibody. The presence of this antibody may indicate increased risk for blood clotting and increased risk for miscarriage in pregnant women with lupus. Again, all these tests merely serve as tools to give the doctor clues and information in making a diagnosis. The doctor will look at the entire picture-medical history, symptoms, and test results-to determine if a person has lupus.
Other laboratory tests are used to monitor the progress of the disease once it has been diagnosed. A complete blood count, urinalysis, blood chemistries, and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) test can provide valuable information. Another common test measures the blood level of a group of substances called complement. People with lupus often have increased ESRs and low complement levels, especially during flares of the disease. X rays and other imaging tests can help doctors see the organs affected by SLE.
Diagnostic Tools for Lupus
• Medical history
• Complete physical examination
• Laboratory tests:
o Complete blood count
o Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)
o Blood chemistries
o Complement levels
o Antinuclear antibody test (ANA)
o Other autoantibody tests (anti-DNA, anti-Sm, anti-RNP, anti-Ro [SSA], anti-La [SSB])
o Anticardiolipin antibody test
• Skin biopsy
• Kidney biopsy
I wish you wellness...be well.
Oluwa has given you some solid info, so I won't repeat what she's already written. I would consider getting a second opinion. To prescribe you antibiotics without verifying some sort of bacterial infection is irresponsible. To tell you "there's now way you have Lupus" without any attempt to begin testing you to see if you possibly meet any of the criteria for a Lupus diagnosis is absolutely ridiculous. At first glance, what happened to you sounds very much like what we call a Lupus flare. I have good days when my Lupus is not very noticeable, and then, sometimes with no apparent trigger, I have a "flare" where I get joint pain, opressive fatigue, cognitive problems, and many other symptoms. It comes on fast, and hits me like a load of bricks.
I don't know if you have Lupus, I certainly hope that you do not. But you believe that it's a possibility, and you deserve to have a Dr. or Rheumotologist listen and take your concerns seriously. And don't be too quick to label yourself a hypochondriac. You sound to me like a person who has had a genuine health problem, and is concerned enough to find out what that problem was, or is.
There are no rules here in regards to who can or cannot join. We have people who have no diagnosis at all and we have veterans who've had lupus for many years. You are very welcome to ask any questions you want to here. We're here to help. I hope you can find the answers, and the peace of mind you need and deserve.
01-26-2009, 01:02 PM
Welcome to the site. My name is Kathy. I can't believe that they would just give you an antibiotic without culters or even a cbc to see if your white cell count is elevated indicating an infection. I think that you need to request to see a Rheumatologist from your PC and have them check you out for Lupus. I hope that you keep posting.
01-27-2009, 05:36 AM
you have already been given some great advise. I agree, you need to see a rheumatologist, and I hope you can find a dr. that won't just pass out drugs and send you away after taking your money.
Anyway, I just wanted to say hi, and welcome.