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    Old 09-29-2014, 01:18 PM   #1
    krystyia1974's Avatar
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    Question What to ask doctor? Possible SLE?

    Hi there. I have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday and was hoping someone could advise me on what I should ask my doctor about testing for SLE.

    I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about 6 years ago and I'm currently on synthroid. Even with meds, I still battle some symptoms and up until a few months ago I thought everything was due to my thyroid.

    About 3 months ago, my right foot (the top portion/toward the right side) began to hurt. I figured I twisted it or whatever. But the pain keeps coming and going. On top of it, over the last few weeks this pain has spread to other areas - my hands, my fingers (particularly the baby finger and ring finger, both hands, the top joints - there's even a bump on joints on my baby fingers), elbows, wrists, hands, knees. The pain comes whether I'm active or not, sometimes sharp, sometimes just an ache. The pain in my hands has been ongoing for over a week. Today it started in my left shoulder. I fully expect the right shoulder will follow since that seems to be how it's been going.

    It was this pain that led me to start researching and what led me to this board about lupus. In reading symptoms, I have had several for years, however this joint pain is the newest.

    I've never had the facial rash, but I do often have unexplained rashes in general. I've had 2 kidney infections in less than 6 months. I had a group A strep skin infection recently, and seem to constantly be battling UTI's. I break out in hives on and off, not sure if that's related.

    I'm tired, and sometimes even walking from one room to the next wears me out. I struggle with insomnia. I've been struggling with anxiety and depression, I've become more forgetful than usual, and sometimes just feel foggy.

    I've had persistant headaches, on and off fevers for no reason, I thought I had IBS (never went to the doctor for that), and often am nauseas for no apparent reason.

    I've had chest pains sometimes, I thought just reflux or something, but sometimes I just get sharp pains in my chest and I can't take a deep breath because of the pain. They don't last too long though, 1-2 minutes most. Sometimes I'm short of breath or feel winded with little to no activity.

    Again, the joint pain is the newest, everyting else has been on and off for years. The spreading joint pain is what made me call the doctor as I really don't know how much longer I can just live like this without knowing why.

    Should I bring up testing or wait to see if my doctor does? I don't want to look like a hypochondriac - I just don't know what to ask. I can't help but wonder why she has never looked at my medical history and wondered why I keep getting sick and infections, there must be a reason!

    I've kept most of the symptoms to myself when I can, I've not even told my husband about everything but he does know about the joint pain that prompted the call. I feel like all I would be doing is telling him, every day lately, that I feel awful.. Sometimes I do feel great, but the last few months have been hard and are getting worse and I don't know what to do anymore.

    Do these sound like potential Lupus symptoms? From what I have read, yes, but I know that some things mimic others, so I wanted to ask others that have it for advice.

    Thank you so much for reading and sorry this is so long.


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    Old 09-29-2014, 02:28 PM   #2
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    Re: What to ask doctor? Possible SLE?

    Hi Kristine and welcome. I am glad you have an appointment with your Dr. coming up, since you are not feeling well. In general, I think it is best to concisely describe your symptoms to your Dr., and let her respond as to what she thinks should be the next step. I would be sure to make a list of all the things you have listed here. If she suggests tests, you can ask what the tests would be checking for, and if lupus and similar autoimmune disorders, like RA, is not mentioned, then it would be fine to ask to be checked for those things. For lupus, a complete blood count, urinalysis, inflammatory markers like sed rate and CRP, chemistry profile and screening ANA are usually done, along with RA factor and/or anti-CCP to rule out rheumatoid arthritis. Any abnormalities are usually then followed by more extensive tests or a referral to a rheumatologist. Sometimes, a skin biopsy of rashes is helpful in establishing a diagnosis. Keep in mind that a diagnosis involves evaluating symptoms, signs, lab work, and sometimes takes time to put all the pieces together. If your Dr. has not seen your rashes in the past, taking pictures when they occur can help a great deal. Be sure to include information about your family history too, as autoimmune disorders tend to run in families. Good luck, and I hope your appointment goes well.

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    Old 09-29-2014, 06:09 PM   #3
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    Re: What to ask doctor? Possible SLE?

    Thank you. I've been writing things down since I made the appointment. I have a lot more written down than I thought. Every day I hurt more it seems, and 2 of my baby finger joints are swollen and one has a red bump on it. Whatever is going on seems to all of a sudden be progressing very quickly and I'm just exhausted.

    Fingers crossed my doctor will begin tests for me so I can finally have some answers and hopefully start to feel better.

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