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Hi & welcome. I'm sorry you're struggling. Re: lupus and its "close cousins", could you add a little more? i.e., which specialized tests were run, plus abnormalities on your standard labs and urinalysis. While we're only patients, maybe somene who's had similar findings can suggest things to discuss with your drs, or mention tests you haven't had.

Were thyroid levels checked? Skin rashes, joint pain, fatigue, etc. are also possible in thyroid disorders. (Also in some GI conditions, for that matter... and probably in other areas of medicine, too.)

Have orthopedists ruled out hip-specific problems? Also, were you evaluated for Rheumatoid Arthritis? (RA has its own set of diagnostic criteria.)

"Christmas tree rash" is a new one on me! Did he mean a reaction to being jabbed with pine needles or brushing against sap? By any chance, had you vacationed in a sunny climate?

I don't think a single set of tests for lupus, its "close cousins", thryoid conditions, and ETC. are necessarily conclusive! For lupus and other AI's, picture an immune system that's (mistakenly) churning out auto-antibodies. But because these come & go as the immune system fires up & then quiets down, abnormal findings can be hard to trap on labs. (Envision labs trying to hit a moving target.) These conditions can come on rapidly, with severe & dramatic symptoms, in which case they're definitely easier to diagnose. "Slow evolvers" are far more difficult to figure out. If symptoms persist or worsen or broaden, then repeat tests are usually done. I'll say bye for now, with hopes that you post more soon. Warm wishes, Vee

P.S. I had a slew of signs from early childhood but wasn't diagnosed with lupus for decades. I'll never know whether I was a "slow evolver" or whether it was present for some of those years. Have you read the sticky posts (permanent info posts) located above the user threads? You should scan those to see if anything pops out. When I first read the "alternative criteria", I nearly fell off my chair b/c I matched on roughly 11, yet had been totally clueless about lupus. So keep reading, it can only help.

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