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Not to get off subject rtmc but how long till your next app? I cant get in to see Rheumy for 2 months and if we start all over with blood tests who knows when I can get a second app. Is it really that hard of a diesease to diagnose. Or is it they just dont want to. If one has all the symptoms and blood work to support it what is the problem? Any help Veterans?
Hello NC,

It truly must be such a frustrating time for you and everyone else who is in the process of trying to get diagnosed. This is just some helpful, I hope, information that might just shed a little light on why things can take so long. I know it won't help you personally, but if you think that a wrong diagnosis could lead to such a devestating impact on a persons life, then maybe it will help to know that all the care that has to go into making the right diagnosis is of the utmost importance.

SLE is a multi-system disease, & before a multi-system disease can be diagnosed, there have to be symptoms in many parts of the body & lab work (blood tests) that supports the presence of this.

SLE is also difficult to diagnose because it is a disease that does not typically develop rapidly, but develops slowly & evolves over time. Symptoms come & go, it can take time for the disease to show up in blood tests, which one time can be positive & the next be negative again. It can take months or even years for enough symptoms to show up for the doctor to be able to make an accurate diagnosis.

SLE is known as a great imitator, because it mimics so many other diseases & conditions, which often have to be ruled out. It is difficult to diagnose because there is no one diagnostic test for lupus, the doctor has to do a full examination of the patient & do various tests, before looking at all the evidence & coming to a conclusion.

Physicians have to gather information from a variety of sources- past medical history, lab tests & current symptoms. They use a list of 11 criteria to help diagnose SLE. Generally, a person needs to satisfy at least 4 out of the 11 criteria before a diagnosis can be made.

As I say it doesn't help to know that it might take time, but the care needed to "do it right" as it were, is admirable I personally feel.

Hope this bit of information helps to assure you that only the best care is taken when trying to make a diagnosis.

goldenwings :angel:

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