Did anyone's lupus start with urticaria?
Hello, I am brand new here :)
I have been suffering from chronic urticaria for a few years now. Sometimes it flares up very badly and swells and bruises, with each individual 'hive' lasting a few days, but mainly it is the more usual sort of rash where it itches like crazy but the redness moves around and doesn't leave marks. I also have dermatographism and pressure urticaria. I have also had a photosensitive rash that itches so badly every spring for about 5 years.
After a particularly bad episode of the bruising kind of rash, I had blood tests done, which showed ANA positive speckled (I don't know what titre), and positive Ro and dsDNA.
I had a skin biopsy done which just showed urticaria, and a few white blood cells around blood vessels, but no definite vasculitis.
I also have joint pains (wrists and fingers mostly, but can be knees, elbows, and feet), these are worse in the morning, but they don't swell or go red. When the rash was really bad all my joints hurt, and my muscles, I felt like I'd been hit by a bus, I had a fever and a sore throat, and I just felt so ill. The sore throat has been coming back over and over again, for over a year, nothing shifts it.
I am fatigued all the time, to a greater or lesser extent, I spend much of every weekend asleep and don't have a social life because I just haven't got the energy. It's a major achievement to do the laundry and the hoovering over the space of a weekend!
So, anyway, I was referred to rheumatology, and they are not sure what I have, though SLE has been mentioned. The dermatologist who did the biopsy was pretty certain it was lupus and vasculitis, but obviously the biopsy didn't back that up. The rheumatologist seemed to think it may not be lupus, though. I'm a little confused about that, given other symptoms and blood work, and what else it could be?
I've read in lots of places that lupus can cause urticaria, has anyone got any experiences similar to mine?