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Could this be Lupus?

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Old 03-03-2006, 04:44 PM   #1
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Could this be Lupus?

I'm not sure where else to post this so I guess here is as good of place as any. I must warn it could be a long post as I have to explain how I got here.

I had an attack of severe upper abdominal pain that sent me to the ER back in January. All of the sudden one minute I was playing with my son the next I was doubled over in massive pain. I started sweating profusly like standing under a shower, confusion, I basically went out of it. So my husband took me to the ER. They found nothing wrong with me at the ER. My blood pressure was extremely low, I had a trace of UI infection in first urine sample but not in the second they had me do. My ct scan was normal. So they sent me home. They wanted me to see a gastroilogist (sp?) to follow up because something happened they just didn't know what.

So I went to see him and had an ultra sound which showed nothing. He suspected I had a gall stone although it didn't show on Ultra sound. He scheduled me for a endoscope because I started having other symptoms such as serve acid reflux and extreme fatigue and my stomach was very tender to touch. My endoscop showed I had severe GERD and ulcers in my throat. Everything else was fine.

I went back for a follow-up 2 weeks later because I started having very strange symptoms, My fatigue was getting worse, I had a very strange rash on my hands that would not go away it looks like a combination of chapped hands (in between the fingers) with red type dots underneath. It is also starting to scar. I've tried everything to get rid of it. I also developed a bunch of bumps all over my tongue. He though maybe I had a viral infection so he ordered a bunch of blood tests. (I'm on a bunch of pain medicine and nerve medicine due to failed fusion but we determined these were not causing any of these symptoms.)

When I called back for my results he said everything came back fine except my ESR and CRP rates were high and he wanted me to see a rhumetologist. I asked if this is something i shoud be concerned and he said he wanted me to see one right away that there is inflammation going on in my body - what the heck does that mean? The nurse said one of my tests were a 56 - does that sound familiar? She also told me my urine had protein in it.

So I go searching for the tests named above and I stumble on a Lupus site and it seems like I have a lot of the symptoms:

Rash on hands
Extreme fatigue
Morning stiffiness/body sorness
Hair loss (I've had this as long as I can remember I can run my hand through my hair and come out with quite a bit - I have very thin hair as well.)
Extreme itchyness all over especially scalp but it's not dandruff
Feel as if I'm in a fog
I get hives all the time, I have ever since I was a teenager but seem to be getting them more often lately.
Bumps on my tongue
Ulcers in my throat
loosing my voice (this could be due to in part to acid reflux but doc doesn't think the extreme at which it happens is all due to it)
I have a new sore on the side of my tongue.
My eyes are extremely sensitive to the sun so much so I can barely go out in the sun without getting a bad headache I have to make sure I have sun glasses and don't stay out too long.

Some of these seem related to Lupus but I just don't know...Could this be Lupus?

My last question is could the elavated ESR and CRP rates be because of my back irratation?


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Old 03-03-2006, 06:23 PM   #2
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Re: Could this be Lupus?

Dear galpster, Greetings & welcome! The "sticky posts" at the top of the Board explain (briefly) the diagnostic criteria for lupus. One of them, the one about test results, has a resource that explains in much more detail vrs. tests, symptoms (a HUGE range is possible!), skin problems, protein in urine, other organ issues, etc.

Your going to a rheumie makes a lot of sense. He/she should (hopefully) do the normal bloodwork (CBC, etc.) plus ANA, but also other specific antibody tests (the ones cited in the "test results" sticky post source). ANA in & of itself is not definitive, alas.

As for the specific things you mention... I'm certainly not a dr., first of all. But gallbladder problems and hives are statistically more frequent in lupus than in the general population, I've read. Thinning hair is common, too. Mouth sores are also common, but I *think* they tend to be painless.

Skin problems are common, too. There are several specific rashes that are unique to lupus, meaning if a biopsy determines it to be a lupus rash, you have lupus, in some form. Because there are *different* forms of lupus: in order of greater to lesser, they are systemic, subacute cutaneous, and discoid (plus two "extras", drug-induced & neo-natal). It takes a skin biopsy to really determine what a rash is, in most cases.

But I have read of other conditions that feature rashes, fatigue, elevated ESR, etc. Like dermatomyositis, psoriatic arthritis, etc. The rheumie (and maybe a dermie or dermatopathologist) will have to narrow down possibilities for you, alas. It's not uncommon (alas, again!) for this process to take awhile.

I hope you keep posting, in the meantime. Give another holler when the mood strikes, OK? Bye for now, Vee (Dx'ed with the intermediate SCLE form of lupus in 2000, positive anti-Ro but negative ANA; with fatigue, tingling, 8+ years of arm/back rashes, swollen joints, anemia, elevated ESR, migraines, GI & urinary problems, lower back pain, etc. Doing pretty well now, though!)

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