Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Looks like Lupus but...

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 1 Replies
  • Posted By: through_the_fuse
  • March 20, 2009
  • 09:20 PM

I'm helping a dear friend who's 35, female, and has been suffering for years of an undiagnosed condition. I'm skeptical that it's really so difficult to diagnose. She's been shuffled between doctors, rheumatologists, neurologists; each one sending her back to another specialist.

Her symptoms started 4 years ago with an excruciating pain in her elbow, followed by dizziness and nausea.

- All of her glands are swollen
- She is extremely light sensitive
- Fevers
- Severe nerve pain, joint pain, migraines
- She gets confused, deals with immense depression
- Unable to sleep well


I suggested she request more blood tests, specifically retesting ANA and others to test for Lupus. The doctors can't pin a diagnosis on her, and they have tested her for many autoimmune diseases. I'm not sure why they're having such a difficult time with her condition. Her symptoms are wide spread, revolving around nerve and autoimmune problems.

Are there any questions I can ask her to narrow things down?

If anyone could help, or suggest an approach we can take to get a diagnosis and treatment, it'd be greatly appreciated.

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1 Replies:

  • You mentioned the ANA testing for Lupus. I was tested for this yrs ago and was borderline positive and was told I "might" have Lupus due to some joint pain I had. After becoming depressed from this possible diagnosis, I saw a specialist who told me that many healthy people can test borderline positive for the ANA test. It does not necessarily mean that a person has Lupus. It could suggest that they have some autoimmune thing going on, such as arthritis, or any number of things. But she told me that it's just one of many markers they look for. Does your friend have the classic butterfly rash on her face? This would be more of an indication of Lupus, as well as other things. Anyway, I'm not suggesting that I know anything about Lupus. Luckily, I don't have it as one Dr. told me. I just wanted your friend to know that even if she tests positive for the ANA test, it doesn't mean she has Lupus necessarily. In other words, I know I have some autoimmune problems myself, but Lupus isn't one of them.I wish your friend luck in finding a diagnosis. She's lucky to have a friend like you ;-)
    motwinsplus1g 5 Replies Flag this Response
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