Could I have Lupus?
Hi, I'd really appreciate any opinions you may have on my situation.
I guess it all started about a year and a half ago when I was about 6 months pregnant. I started getting a rash on my upper arms and thighs. My OB attributed it to one of those "weird pregnancy rashes." Anyway, I still have it. Sometime in my pregnancy I also started having redness across my nose and cheeks. As an aside, I also had bad carpal tunnel during my PG. Toward the end of my pregnancy my BP started to climb. It eventually skyrocketted and I ended up with Preeclampsia. Luckily I was almost 37 wks and my son was fine. It took me several months, however, on BP meds to get that back to normal.
When my son was about 6 months old I started having a lot of joint pain - specifically in my hips and shoulders. It was so bad at times that I couldn't sleep.
I started putting some of my symptoms together - rashes, joint pain, preeclampsia with my pregnancy - and wondered if I could have Lupus?
I saw my family Dr. She did bloodwork for Lupus - ANA I guess? as well as labs for Lyme disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis. They were all negative. So she gave me a cream for my rash (didn't do a thing) and sent me on my way.
My joint pain has since gotten much better, but I am extremely exhausted all the time. But I know that some of that is simply from chasing a toddler around all day.
I also just can't seem to focus or concentrate on anything anymore. And lately I have been noticing a frequency of ulcers in my mouth - although I have always had a tendency toward these...
I guess since my lab work was negative the likelyhood of it being lupus is pretty low? But I can't help but think that something is wrong.
I'm sorry that was so long. Thank you for taking the time to read.
As I said, any thoughts would be appreciated!
Hi, Wendy. Although it is rare, it is possible to have lupus with a negative ANA, although there are usually abnormalities in other tests that point to lupus. Lupus can be very complex to diagnose, because the symptoms can look like literally dozens of other diseases. Although the negative ANA makes the likelihood of lupus low, it doesn't rule it out completely. And it certainly sounds like something is going on. Have your thyroid levels, hormone levels, and blood glucose all been tested? All of those things can change during pregnancy, and sometimes they don't go back to normal after delivery. I would really encourage you to go back to your doctor, explain that your symptoms haven't improved, and push for some additional tests to rule out problems other than lupus.
Thank you. I have not had those things (hormones, thyroid, etc) tested recently. I have an appt next week with my OB/GYN for my annual appt, so I will talk to him about my symptoms and hopefully he will agree to more investigation.
biopsy the rash spots
When I was diagnosed I did have a positive ANA but my sed rate was 3. This means I had no inflammation, try telling my body that! We really have lousy diagnostic tools for Lupus but having the rash (that was circular and red, scally on my upper arm) biopsied in dermotogy clarified the diagnosis...my was positive for the auto-immune patterns of Lupus, my symptoms would of been ignored, in fact they were already saying things like Fibromyalgia. I would push for the biopsy.