I was tested for RA five weeks ago which was negative. I now think i have Lupus. Would this have shown in the RA test and if so could Lupus maybe have developed within the last five weeks?
Hi, please try and remember that blood tests aren't always 100% accurate. So if you have got RA, it may not always sure until the illness starts progressing further. Lupus also, as far as I know has various sub-stages in which it can remain "hidden". You will find eventually that the blood tests will reveal all. The trouble is, Doctors like to wait for the bloods as evidence before they even decide its an "auto-immune disorder". What symptoms do you have at the moment? Perhaps that will enable us to try and help a bit more.
Ok i will try and give you a little history. My Mum died of lung cancer with secondary brain tumours 3 years ago. I was always pretty healthy until then. About six months after she died i started havin problems with my bowel, the doctor diagnosed me with IBS A and gave me prozac. I stayed on the prozac for about six months and started feeling really good so came off it. About a year later i started getting really anxious again thinking there was something seriously wrong. General aches and pains IBS flare and headaches. So back to the doctor i went, he ran bloods which were normal, urine was normal and stools were normal. He gave me Lofepramine and sent me on my way. This drug gave me terrible constipation and major piles but was excellent for the anxiety. Anyway, almost six weeks ago i had a fall and broke my wrist. Three days later i developed a serious hives rash which made my tongue swell and i ended up in hospital. They gave me some steroids which got rid of the hives. I went back to my doctor becuase i was getting a different blotchy rash and itchy chest and arms. He took me off the Lofepramine (dont know why) and gave me Zoloft. I have been taking this for three weeks now. I have terrible stomach pains, still the blotchy rash, petechiae blood spots, back pain which radiates down my legs and arms, pain in my knees. New symptoms are still occuring now and after three weeks on Zoloft i am not putting them down to that. I get headaches on an almost daily basis. I am constantly worried there is something wrong with me and hunt the internet in search of my symptoms always fearing the worse. Oh forgot to mention i had bloods taken whilst in ER (five weeks ago) they wanted to test for RA due to hives rash and pain in knees and ankles. My doctor things i am mad and seems to just send me out of his office with new pills. No sympathy what so ever. He cared for my Mum when she was dying so you would think he would have a little more compassion! So after all that i have now convinced myself i have Lupus!!!
Yes, lupus could have developed in the last 5 weeks. All illnesses have a starting point, and just because your RA tests were negative, and also didn't show up anything pointing directly at lupus, it doesn't mean that it wasn't there.
Bearing this in mind, lots of painstaking tests need to be carried out before you are diagnosed within any one of the lupus groups. Quite a few of the things you mentioned "could" have a bearing on a lupus diagnosis. You need to be referred to a lupus specialist if you feel that you are showing symptoms of lupus.
In the meantime if you need any help, you have certainly come to the best place here. You will get the support you need. All of us have different stories to tell about our diagnosis, our subsequent treatment and so on.
The thing is I personally am not medically trained so I would not dream of making a guess. I have had SLE for over 30 years and I only share my own experiences of living with lupus and learning more about it.
Just one thing. If it is possible could you change your doctor? It doesn't matter what you feel is wrong with you and what eventually is proven to be wrong with you, you should be extended the courtesy of being taken seriously. The emotional issues of having any type of illness need to be taken into account, you need help and this doctor needs to know this.
I am not a medical doctor, I only speak from my own experience of the illnesses I discuss here.
Last edited by goldenwings; 05-04-2005 at 02:05 PM.
I am not a lupus specialist by any means, but in reading posts here and other linfo, I wondered if you could possibly have drug induced lupus!
Good luck with your diagnoses and I hope you feel better soon.
I was just about to write to you & say the same thing as hypokelly just posted. I also wondered about a drug-induced SOMETHING.
In addition to drug-induced lupus, I also thought of run-of-the-mill allergic reaction. Rashes, hives & swollen tongue all conjure up that thought to me (but I'm sure no dr.!) Have you looked up Lofepramine & Zoloft? I didn't find anything at all on Lofepramine. But I looked for it with U.S. drug info, and maybe it's not used in the U.S.?
On your question about RA testing: in many patients with joint pain, etc., drs. often look for evidence of RA OR lupus. I think ANA is done for both diseases. But for *lupus*, the dr. would probably call for other autoantibody tests like anti-ds-DNA, anti-Sm, anti-Ro, anti-La, anti-RNP, etc. Also at various serum complement levels, which can become depressed in lupus.
For inflammation: CPK (for muscle inflammation); and Westergren sed rate or CRP, other tests for inflammation.
For antiphospholipid syndrome: VDRL, anticardiolipin, lupus anticoagulant, and PT or PTT (for clotting speed).
Etc... There are more, but these at least give some idea of the additional tests that are more geared to lupus & its companion & related problems/syndromes.
Hope this helps a little & that things are settling down! Sincerely, Vee