fatigue and ANA
I was diagnosed with SLE in January 2000. Luckily, only my joints and skin were involved and I never had to take more than plaquenil to manage it. In January 2006, my doctor agreed that I could even stop taking the plaquenil. For most of 2006, I felt terrific - better than I have felt since I don't remember when. The past 2 months however, I've been feeling more and more fatigued (that incredible type of fatigue where all you think about is lying down), and have had some random swollen joints. My doctor ran the usual CBC/urinalysis, and all of the results are in the normal range, except for my ANA, which was positive. Can the fatigue I'm feeling be from the lupus even though my red blood cells and everything else, except the positive ANA, are fine? Or am I just going through a seasonal down-time? Thanks for advice. I'm seeing my doctor on Friday.
Well, almost everyone with lupus (over 95%) have a positive ANA, so your ANA was likely positive when you were initially diagnosed. ANA doesn't really correlate to the type or severity of symptoms you have. But "lupus fatigue" is a very common feature of the disease and might mean you're starting to go into a flare ( a period of increased disease activity). Do you know if your doctor checked your sed rate or your complement levels - they are usually a better way to tell if your lupus is becoming active again. So you might ask your doctor about those tests at your appointment, and possibly ask about re-starting plaquenil to help your fatigue.