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Old 01-26-2013, 06:49 AM   #2
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Re: Does this sound like lupus?

Hi and welcome! Because lupus overlaps so much with other conditions, one might say, "This looks like lupus", then it could turn out to be something else entirely. That's why it's good you saw a rhemuatologist to be evaluated for lupus & similar conditions, thyroid, etc.

You can read the 11 criteria for systemic lupus (SLE) in one of the "sticky posts" (permanent info posts) located above the user threads. Generally (not always), you must meet 4 or more of the 11, not necessarily simultaneously, meaning they may be met over time.

I'm only a patient, but offhand several things you list *seem* possibly close to some criteria. Maybe butterfly rash. Maybe sun sensitivity. Maybe oral/nasal ulcerations. Maybe arthritis. Maybe serositis (inflammation of lining of heart &/or lungs). But only a doctor could say for sure.

You'll see that 3 criteria are about labs. The rheumie hopefully ran all these, and more, actually. (There are many autoantibodies seen in lupus, more than appear on the criteria list. And "close cousins" to lupus share some of the same autoantibodies &/or have some of their very own.) BTW, when your labs come back, you should ask for copies.

The other "stickies" have useful info, too.

Not urinating often is something to tell your doctors bluntly & loudly. I bet there are many possible causes, but it's not something to ignore or hide.

I had episodic problems from childhood that took years to crystallize into a milder form of SLE. Pain, fatigue, low-grade fever, hair loss, weight loss, depressed WBC, elevated ESR, migraines, B-12 anemia, prolonged periodic bleeding, neuro-like tingling, and chronic GI problems. Last, a photosensitive nonscarring lupus rash diagnosed as SCLE (not the discoid or malar rashes you see in the criteria). Anti-Ro & anti-La autoantibodies were found. Dx: subacute (mild side) SLE. I take Plaquenil and avoid sun.

I hope this gets you started, that others add more, and that your labs come back with really useful info. Hang tough, OK? If this does turn out to be lupus, with proper diagnosis, treatment and followup, in this day & age many patients are able to lead pretty normal lives. Anyway, I'm glad you found us & hope you post whenever the mood strikes. Hugs, Vee

P.S. Some meds, including certain antidepressants, can trigger flares in people with lupus, or induce a form of lupus in susceptible people called DILE (drug-induced lupus erythematosus). So you should make sure your dr. knows your timeline of meds & symptoms. You could maintaining a timeline until you get answers & help. Short & sweet & punchy is best, like a bulleted list with sentence fragments.