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Here is another question I have can lupus cause a cough, I cough constantly a dry hacking cough for no apparent reason just wondering I see the rheumi wed.
4-5% of people with lupus have negative test results, and a larger number, as much as 40% of people with RA have neg blood tests for it. Both lupus and RA can cause a cough. Since this started with muscle pain, I would also ask to have your CK levels checked on your blood, which is elevated in myositis (muscle inflammation). Since your sed rate is high, there is definitely something going on, and the rheum will run more tests to try to pin it down. Some people develop symptoms of autoimmune diseases before their labs show anything definitive, so it can take awhile to get a diagnosis. I hope the rheum has some answers for you and starts you on some treatment to help ease your pain.
Peggy, just tell yourself and others, if you want, that you have an autoimmune disease. That is safe to say at this point, and in time something will show up that will define it further. did chest X-ray show anything. For the cough, a chest CT scan might be better and pulmonary function tests might aid in getting to the bottom of it. Are you on an ACE inhibitor for BP by any chance? Those are notorious for causing a dry hacking cough as a side effect, and the cough goes away when drug is stopped. Interstitial lung disease develops in many RA and some lupus patients, and by the time it shows up on X-ray, it is advanced. I would see a pulmonologist for the cough. Could be asthma too, but it should be checked out, so it can be treated before it gets worse. An MRI of your worst joint might yield a diagnosis if erosions show up (RA).Mri will show erosion before an X-ray does. Your Dr may be willing to pursue these things, since she obviously is aware that not having a more definite diagnosis is difficult for you. More specific treatment will be forthcoming once there is a name to this so getting to that point is important for treatment to start early rather than late in the course of illness. good luck and keep us posted on your progress.

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