Re: Tired, achey back, numbness in hands rashes & very low iron
Hi. I'm only a patient, meaning only qualified doctors can determine if your sister-in-law's symptoms in any way point to one of the types of lupus.
Have you read the three "sticky posts" ( = permanent informational posts) at the top of the Board? They discuss "classic" SYSTEMIC lupus (SLE); also antiphospholipid syndrome, a clotting disorder seen in lupus or "standalone".
But there are also other types of lupus: SCLE (subacute cutaneous LE); DLE (discoid LE), DILE (drug-induced), and neo-natal (seen in infants). And different lupus rashes, meaning not the butterfly, are "featured" in these.
Has her GP or rheumatologist run FULL bloodwork? Meaning special tests such as ANA, anti-ds-DNA, anti-Sm, anti-Ro, anti-La, etc.? One of the "stickies" has a info resource for these blood tests.
Dermatologists can be invaluable, because certain rashes are "lupus-specific". If someone has one of these, that person has lupus of SOME KIND, maybe one of the lesser forms instead of full-blown "classic" SLE. Lupus rashes have certain features under the microscope, but there's a second level of testing, called immunofluorescent testing, that can seal it; in these, lupus rashes appear in a completely unique & characteristic way.
I had recurrent nonscarring targetlike rashes on my upper arms & torso, and I was treated for Lyme (wrongly). I also had anemia & back pain & tingling (plus fatigue & other things, too). And I'd become photosensitive. After years of trying locally, I took myself to a teaching hospital rheumie & dermatopathologist and was Dx'ed with SCLE.
But while anemia & rashes ARE common in lupus, I think having both doesn't necessarily mean you have lupus. i.e., each could have some OTHER cause... Which is why she needs to keep trying with real doctors! But I hope there's something here that's useful & that others chip in more. Bye for now, with best wishes to you both, from Vee