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  • Lupus or not lupus or RA?

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    Old 02-14-2004, 03:57 PM   #1
    chbin
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    Lupus or not lupus or RA?

    Hello,

    My name is bina, 27 female, in Malaysia.

    My problem started sometime mid January, when I had sore throat, fever and woke up with fingers on my right hand swollen and painful. I went to see the GP and she gave me some antibiotics for my sore throat, painkillers, muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory. After five days of antibiotics, I was still having sore throat plus my fingers were swollen, taking turns, sometimes on the right hand, sometimes on the left, everyday. It really affected my work as I was unable to write and type if it happens on my right hand. My wrist feels pain and there was lack of energy? I really hoped it will go away but it didn't. On the 20/01/2004, I went to see another GP, showed him that my middle finger on my right hand is swollen and painful plus sore throat after 5 days of antibiotics. He referred me to a see a physician in a hospital, he suspected rheumatic fever or rheumatism.

    I went to see the physician the day itself as I will be travelling home for Chinese New Year the next day. The doctor said he needed to do some tests, which includes unreported ECG, some blood tests. My ECG were normal, and my blood count was normal as well. He ruled out rheumatic fever. He gave me some anti-inflammatory drug, mobic 7.5mg, one tablet twic a day. I took the medication as instructed but felt that I was not responding to it as my fingers still take turns to swell, sometimes, four fingers would swell at the same time, shifted from left to right hand, it was horrible. Mobic don't seem to work. And my hives seem to reoccur and is driving me mad (I have hives problem, that comes and go...the skin specialist said it was allergy)

    A week later, I went to see the physician again, this time, all my four fingers on my right hand side were swollen. I explained to him that mobic did not seem to work and my fingers still swell. He looked at it, didn't really say anything, some of the blood results were still pending. He managed to get the ESR blood results which were 40 mm/hr (although the ref range were 4.3-10.5), he told me it is normal, nothing to worry about. He prescribed a stronger anti-inflammatory drug, cataflam 50mg, 3 times a day. At night I took one cataflam, and the next day my face swell up!! I called him, and he said that it could be likely an allergy problem, I went to get a different prescription ... mobic 7.5mg, 2 tablets, two times a day. Throughout the week, my fingers still swell and starting to feel slight body aches all over, including my feet, wrist, shoulders, no energy to even lift up files for filling.


    On 3/2/04, I went to see the physician again, this time, I do not know why, but my fingers were NOT SWOLLEN!! but I do feel body aches. He looked at my fingers, he was impressed and said I responded to cataflam. Then I calmly told him that my face swell up and he prescribed mobic instead. I also mentioned that my fingers were swollen yesterday and body aches as well. He noticed hives on my body, he said likely to be stressed. He prescribed more mobic 7.5mg , 2 tablets, when neccessary and Zytrec for the hives. The rest of my blood tests results were out and as follows:

    Haemoglobin 13.2 g/dL
    Platlet 319 10power3/uL
    ESR 40 mm/hr
    White Blood Cell Count 5.7 10power3/uL

    Neutrophil 54.8%
    Lymphocyte 32.2%
    Eosinophil 1.5%
    Monocyte 10.7%
    Basophil 0.7%
    RA factor - non reactive
    ASO 46.7 IU/ml
    ANF - reactive

    ANF ratio - 5.67
    Intepretation of ratio results
    1.0 and less : non reactive
    1.0-1.4 : Equivocal
    above 1.4 : reactive

    The physician looked at my results and said it is ok, my ANF ratio looks ok. ratio is not too high. Nothing to worry about.

    No appointment made, see him if needed.

    My nightmare begun... the very next day, my fingers were swollen. took mobic, didn't seem to help at all. Worst still was, my body aches were getting worst, at wrist, knees, ankles, waist, shoulder. Every morning it hurts so badly that I need to drag myself to work!! I hoped it will go away... but it didn't. On the 6/2/04, I went to see the GP and complained body ache. I showed her my swollen fingers. She wanted to refer me to a physician but I said I just came back from a physician who thinks I am ok. I asked for some painkillers. The painkillers helped a little, to ease the pain.

    On 12/02/04, I went to see another physician in another hospital (the earlier physician was fully-booked for the day), explained what happened and how long it has been. He looked at my blood reports very seriously. Checked my eyes, looked my swollen fingers, checked rest of my body and said it was inflammed. Looked at my scalp, see if I was losing hair. I told him mobic did not work and that cataflam may have caused my face to swell. He asked for more blood tests, this time Anti DNA, C3, C4. He said he suspected rheumatoid arthritis (said it is still possible to have RA if your RA factor is negative) or SLE. He prescribed me with prednisolone 5mg, to be taken 6tablets in the morning with food, plus Zantac 150mg. I took the prednisolone on 13/02/04 morning, and guess what it was like miracle, within hours my fingers no longer swell, I woke up the next morning, with very very little body ache. On 14/02/04, I took the same dose in the morning, but noticed last night my lips swell up? But fingers are all ok, joints are not painful just lips swell up and it is stil swelling. I took Zytrec thinking it was hives but didn't work.

    Can someone give me hints on what is going on, what should I ask the doctor the next trip, which is coming thursday....

     
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    Old 02-15-2004, 09:02 PM   #2
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    Re: Lupus or not lupus or RA?

    Hello chbin!

    I REALLY think that you have either Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis. You have a positive ANF and that means that something autoimmune is going on. And your ESR is QUITE elevated.. I don't care what your doctor told you. The fact that you have so much swelling going on in your extremities tells me that something is really going on here.. and you also responded to the Prednisone which is a God send for all of us with autoimmune diseases. I really stress that you need to stay on the prednisone until you get the answers that you need. I suspect that you have Rheumatoid Arthritis but Lupus is possible too! What other symptoms do you have? Check out the "criteria to diagnose Lupus" at the top of the forum and see if you fit. Take care and please let me know what your doctor says okay? DId your Anti-DNA and other tests come back yet? And do you know the pattern of your ANF? The pattern gives us a clue as to what disease process is causing the positive value. It would say "speckled" or "homogenous" or "rimmed" or "nucleor" etc. If you find that out I can help you out more! Take care!!

    ~Luv, Angelic

     
    Old 02-15-2004, 09:42 PM   #3
    chbin
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    Re: Lupus or not lupus or RA?

    Thanks for your kind reply angelic...

    I will be seeing the doctor on Thursday, maybe the blood results will be available by then. I will let you know...

    And yes, prednisolone works so well ... except that it makes me feel very thirsty!!!

    Seriously, I am not sure if I have other SLE symptons. I have very frequent hives attack, that drives me nuts. Once I did a test on my IgE and it was 204, normal range being 80. I do not know what causes the hives, but it would appear anytime of the day!! And yes, the sun does make me feel sick but I have always thought it is normal....

     
    Old 02-15-2004, 10:17 PM   #4
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    Re: Lupus or not lupus or RA?

    Hi again!

    The IgE indicates allergic reactions. You must be allergic to something that you are using (detergents etc) or to something in the environment. That is why you have the hives for sure. It's just the matter of getting an opinion from an allergy doctor to find otu what you are allergic to. The swelling in your fingers and all of taht could be from Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis. The sun sensitivity to me leans me more towards Lupus, but you could have an "overlap syndrome" going on here with Lupus AND Rheumatoid Arthritis. Good luck with your appt on Thursday.. I will throw in a good word for you with God Take care!!

    ~Luv, Angelic

     
    Old 02-18-2004, 05:28 AM   #5
    chbin
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    Re: Lupus or not lupus or RA?

    Hi Angelic ..

    I have just been diagnosed with active and on prednisolone..... for at least a month...

    Have not been feeling too well, plus out of energy.

    My blood tests results were out and as follow:-

    Complement C3 70.6MG/DL
    Complement C4 7.8MG/DL
    Anti DS DNA 73.5 IU/ML

    .................... I don't feel good at all...............

     
    Old 02-18-2004, 11:16 AM   #6
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    Re: Lupus or not lupus or RA?

    Hi ya!

    You have been diagnosed with active what? Active Lupus? Glad to hear that the pred is helpign though.. I hope that you feel better soon darlin!!

    Luv, Angelic

     
    Old 02-18-2004, 03:30 PM   #7
    chbin
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    Re: Lupus or not lupus or RA?

    oh angelic,

    Yeah I have been diagnosed with active lupus and i feel really bad...

    My lips swell up again, with slight sore throat, I am wondering if i should let it go away? or see the doctor. I really don't feel good at all. I dunno if this is all in my mind?

    Thanks for everything...

     
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