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Thread: questions about lab work and discoid rash and itching

  1. #1
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    Default questions about lab work and discoid rash and itching

    Hi, I am new here and am not diagnosed with lupus--intro'd myself in the new to the board space.

    I have just returned from having blood drawn, here is what is being tested:

    SED
    ANA
    Testosterone
    Cortisol
    Insulin
    DHEA

    I understand the SED and ANA tests are usual for looking at autoimmune disorders, but am unclear about the others--why would the doctor be looking at these, anyone know?

    Also, after reading this board for a few days, I think I have some symptoms that I failed to mention, but am not sure:

    Could a discoid rash be just one spot? Recently I had a big round itchy patch under my chin that looked like a spider bite, in fact I thought it was one but since it never hurt I didn't worry about it. Lasted about two weeks and was about quarter sized, flaky with a pit in the center.

    Also, I have had an intermittent sore in my nose for several years now, but it does actually HURT, and I've read that the mouth/nasal ulcers of lupus are usually not painful. This seems to get better with cortisone cream, but it takes a long time, several weeks.

    I've also had painful pimples (?) inside my ear canal recently.

    I've also had episodic itching; however it doesn't last for more than 24 hours or so, and is bothersome but not maddening.

    Just wondering if this sounds lupus-y or not? If anyone has any insight I would appreciate it. I won't know anything about the lab work until Dec. 14 and I'm nervous waiting that long.

    Thanks,

    Leslie

  2. #2
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    Default Hi, Leslie

    Testosterone, cortisol, insulin and DHEA are all hormones your body normally produces. Even though we don't usually think of women needing testosterone, women's bodies actually need it to produce estrogen. Many auto-immune diseases, including lupus, can attack the glands which normally produce these hormones. So a low level of a particular hormone may indicate inflammation or a problem with your adrenal or pituitary systems. And deficiencies of some hormones can cause health problems. So it sounds like your doctor is being thorough and trying to rule out other possible causes for your symptoms.

    Lupus can cause many types of skin lesions, including discoid (coin-shaped) lesions which may leave scars. You should let your doctor know about any skin problems because it might be related to lupus or another autoimmune problem. One key distinction with lupus is that discoid rashes often get worse when exposed to sunlight, or may actually show up for the first time after sun exposure. There are some articles from the Lupus Foundation about skin disease - you can find them at the lupus.org website - they may answer more of your questions. Hope this helps.

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    Default Thank you!

    This is good information--I feel so lost with all of this, but am glad this sounds reasonable and thorough.

    I just want an answer, and hopefully one that isn't too horrible.

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