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Hi Georgi,

The short answer is that it might be lupus and it might not. There are 11 criteria doctors generally use to diagnose lupus. You can find them at: [url]www.lupusresearchinstitute.org/diagnosis.php[/url]. I myself never have had a rash (knock on wood), even tho I've been diagnosed with lupus for 3 yrs and have the marker for developing it. While only around 40% of people get the butterfly rash, around 75% do get skin rashes of some kind over the life of their disease. A positive ANA does not necessarily mean you have lupus because, sadly, it's just a nonspecific test for autoimmune stimulation. While a positive ANA is present in 95% of people with SLE, it is also present in other diseases (and, in fact, can be found in 30% of perfectly healthy people too). Your rheumatologist has to look at the whole picture in diagnosing you. Other diseases with similar symptoms (at least for a time) are Rheumatoid Arthritis, Scleroderma, Connective Tissue Disorder, and certain types of neurological diseases and cancers. The list goes on. What is your doctor telling you? Do you know if you were positive for anti-dsDNA or anti-Sm? Those are often ordered to help confirm an SLE diagnosis, altho they too are not failsafe as they aren't present in a majority of SLE patients.

When I was diagnosed, I had very similar symptoms to yours, altho my ANA was more than slightly high. It still took weeks for a final diagnosis (after years of having similar symptoms). I know how hard the indecision is. I hope it gets resolved soon so they can start treating whatever it is.

Mott





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