Lupus Symptoms (?)
I am desperate for some insight!
I am 28. About 2 months ago I began experiencing low grade fevers, night sweats, pressure in my left side, headaches, knee and hip pain, severe fatigue and muscle spasms. Until that point, I have been quite healthy. I have had 2 trips to the E.R., and countless trips to my P.A., ( who treats me as if it's all in my head, ops: nevermind that I am famous for my excuses NOT to go to the doctor!) My life has changed drastically, yet no one seems to know what's wrong- I am very tired and feeling short of hope! I am scheduled for a visit with a rheumatologist- in THREE months! My P.A. says that it can't be Lupus because my ANA ( ran once) was negative. I am not so sure.
If anyone has any insight, please reply! Thanks for your time!
A positive ANA is not an indicator of LUPUS by itself. While up to 98% of people with SLE have a positive ANA, its numbers can go up and down during the course of the disease.
Your symptoms could also be the result of other connective tissue diseases or auto-immune diseases.
Your PA was right to refer you to a rheumatologists. It is very unfortunate that you have to wait three months!!!
Lupus symptoms can mimic other diseases. But here are some of the most common ones and the percentage of LUPUS patients that experience them:
95% Achy joints (arthralgia)
90% Fever over 100 degrees F (38 degrees C)
81% Prolonged or extreme fatigue
90% Arthritis (swollen joints)
74% Skin Rashes
THE ELEVEN CRITERIA USED FOR THE DIAGNOSIS OF LUPUS
1) Malar Rash
Rash over the cheeks
Red raised patches
Reaction to sunlight, resulting in the development of or increase in skin rash
3) Oral Ulcer
Ulcers in the nose or mouth, usually painless
Nonerosive arthritis involving two or more peripheral joints (arthritis in which the bones around the joints do not become destroyed)
6) Pleuritis or pericarditis
7) Renal Disorder
Excessive protein in the urine (greater than 0.5 gm/day or 3+ on test sticks) and/or cellular casts (abnormal elements the urine, derived from red and/or white cells and/or kidney tubule cells)
(convulsions) and/or psychosis in the absence of drugs or metabolic disturbances which are known to cause such effects
Hemolytic anemia or leukopenia (white bloodcount below 4,000 cells per cubic millimeter) or lymphopenia (less than 1,500 lymphocytes per cubic millimeter) or thrombocytopenia (less than 100,000 platelets per cubic millimeter). The leukopenia and lymphopenia must be detected on two or more occasions. The thrombocytopenia must be detected in the absence of drugs known to induce it.
Positive LE prep test, positive anti-DNA test positive anti-Sm test or false positive syphilis test (VDRL).
Positive test for antinuclear antibodies in the absence of drugs known to induce it.
Make sure that your Rheumatologist runs all of the tests for LUPUS. Be aware that the tests are extensive and can take months before a diagnosis is made! In the meantime, educate yourself and you PA and do not allow anyone to tell you that it is all in your head. Be aggressive in your dealings with your doctors and insist that they take you and your symptoms serious and that they treat you!!
I wish you the best of Luck!! Keep me posted