From your symptoms, I have to agree that there is some type of auto-immune issue going on. In fact, it sounds as if there might be overlapping issues. In auto-immune diseases, it is quite common for us to suffer from more than one illness at the same time. For instance, I have mild Lupus, but very active Fibromyalgia, active Raynaud's Syndrome, active Irritable Bowels Syndrome (a symptoms of Fibromyalgia), recurrent migraines (due to Lupus and Fibromyalgia), extremem fatigue (due to Lupus and Fibromyalgia), widespread pain in my muscles (Fibromyalgia), chronic pain and inflammation in my joints (Lupus), extreme sensitivity to cold (Lupus and Raynaud's Syndrome), extreme sun sensitivity (Lupus), etc. I could go on with my symptoms, but you get my drift.
At any rate, it appears that you and your doctor will have to learn about Lupus and its many, many overlapping illnesses so that you can learn that THERE IS SOMETHING THAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THE SYMPTOMS! The cornerstone treatment for Lupus (and other auto-immune diseases) is Plaquenil, Prednisone, and NSAIDs.
1) Plaquenil: Used for the arthritic pain in Lupus. Also used to treat cutaneous manifestations of Lupus (rashes, mouth and nose ulcers etc.). Also, helps with fatigue.
2) Prednisone: Lupus is a disease that causes inflammation throughout the body. This is partially due to the over-active immune system (the body attacking itself and destroying healthy tissues etc. and making harmful antibodies). The immune system protects against foreign bacteria and viruses. In some illnesses (such as Lupus), the immune system produces antibodies, which become overactive and cause undesirable symptoms. These illnesses are referred to as "autoimmune diseases".
Prednisone suppresses the production of these antibodies. This suppression can make it slightly harder for you to fight off infection but also stabilizes the immune system if it is overactive with an autoimmune disease (such as Lupus).
3) NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs): Pain and inflammation are common in people with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and in people with other auto-immune diseases. Sometimes these symptoms indicate serious organ involvement which may require powerful anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs, such as steroids (cortisone, prednisone).
At other times, the inflammation is not as severe or does not affect major organs, and a less potent drug is indicated. In these cases, other milder anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs can be used, especially a group of drugs called the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). There are many different types of NSAIDs, available either by prescription or over the counter. Traditional NSAIDs-ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Naprosyn, Alleve), and piroxicam (Feldene), to name a few-inhibit both cox-1 and cox-2 prostaglandins. Many of the undesirable side effects of using these non-selective NSAIDs result from inhibiting the cox-1 "maintenance" prostaglandins.
The beneficial effects of the newer NSAIDs result from inhibiting, or limiting, only the cox-2 "inflammatory " prostaglandins. These specific NSAIDs are effective for treatment of musculoskeletal pain and are without many of the side effects associated with the traditional agents.
Since it does appear that there is some type of atuo-immune issue happening with you, perhaps you can discuss your symptoms and the above mentioned treatments with your doctor.
There are times when doctors will say that they have to wait for more symptoms to develop before they will make a definitive diagnosis. However, this DOES NOT mean that the symptoms that you are currently suffering should go untreated.
I wish you the very best and please know that you can come to us with all of your questions or concerns and we are always here to help you as much as we can.
Peace and Blessings
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