I have been literally suffering for years from crazy symptoms that I have always found a reason for, I don't go to the doc for fear of sounding crazy. I Have been to a cardiologist, GI doc, and an ENT doc. finally the ENT doc did blood work and said my ANA is positive with a 1:640 titer homogenous. He is sending me to a rheumatologist for possibly lupus. As much as I would rahter not, I need to know if lupus can explain my my pain and burning and tingling in my whole body, my nose will get red and swell with sometimes these little blister like things, I am sooo tired, achy, I get sores in mt mouth, protein in my urine, my memory has gone to crap, these are to just name a few. I am 28, and I can't live like this...
Osters, I want to say welcome & that I'm sorry you're having problems. See at the top of the thread list various post names that start with word "Sticky"? Those are permanent info & are a good place to start.
You'll see diagnostic criteria, but they're a bit deceptive because they describe things that differentiate lupus from other conditions, instead of its most common symptoms (but you'll find common symptoms separately listed).
Of all the criteria, perhaps ANA is the most misleading. In & of itself, it doesn't diagnose anything, because it may elevate in a variety of conditions, including multiple conditions in rheumatology & also in completely other disciplines.
Another strange thing is that there are only two autoantibodies, anti-ds-DNA and anti-Sm, that are considered "diagnostic" of lupus. BUT there are maybe 12 or 13 others that can be seen as well. (For example, I'm an anti-Ro lupus patient.)
While I'm guessing lupus OR some of its "close cousins" could explain your symptoms, only a rheumatologist could say for sure. Also, dermatologists or dermatopathologists can help with the Dx if you have skin rashes that can be biopsied. That's because subjecting lupus-specific rashes to immunofluorescent stain tests can produce a pattern seen ONLY in lupus.
I'm going to quit, to give you a chance to read the basics. But I hope you post more afterwards. Meanwhile, sending my best, sincerely, Vee