11 Signs Used to Diagnose Lupus

11 Signs Used to Diagnose Lupus

Articles Blog

11 Symptoms Used to Diagnose Lupus The American College of Rheumatology says
that if a patient has at least 4 of these 11 signs (though not necessarily all at the
same time) they can be diagnosed with lupus. Butterfly rash A persistent rash across the cheeks and nose,
in the general shape of a butterfly, is “very characteristic” of lupus, says Dr. Gary Gilkeson,
MD, a professor of medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. While about 30% of lupus patients typically
get this rash, it can also be due to rosacea or other skin conditions, and this symptom
alone is not enough to make a diagnosis of lupus. Sunlight triggered rash Exposure to sunlight or other sources of ultraviolet
light (even artificial) can worsen a lupus patient’s butterfly rash. It can also trigger sores on other parts of
the body, usually on sun-exposed areas, and lead to joint pain and fatigue. Fair-skinned patients tend to be most affected. However, Dr. Gilkeson warns that this symptom
can be overused in diagnosis: “It is a confusing one,” he says. “A lot of people say that they are sun-sensitive.” Mouth or nasal sores Mouth ulcers are one of the most common symptoms
of lupus. But what makes a lupus mouth ulcer unique,
says Dr. Gilkeson, is that it usually comes pain-free. And rather than developing on the sides of
the mouth or gums, these sores typically reside on the roof of the mouth. Lupus-related ulcers can also appear inside
the nose. Joint swelling Joints that are red, warm, tender, and swollen
may signal lupus. Aching and stiffness alone aren’t enough;
the joints have to be affected by arthritis and these other “cardinal signs of inflammation,”
says Michael Belmont, MD, director of the lupus clinic at Bellevue Hospital and medical
director at the New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York City. Dr. Belmont notes that at least two joints,
typically smaller ones, have to be persistently affected for at least six weeks for the symptom
to qualify as one of the four diagnostics. Inflammation of the lining of the heart or
lung Inflammation of the lining around the heart
(pericarditis) or lungs (pleuritis) can be a sign of lupus. But both conditions are more commonly due
to viral illnesses, says Dr. Belmont. Even though the inflammation rarely affects
the functioning of either the heart or lungs, it can cause sharp chest pain especially when
a person is coughing or taking a deep breath and may occasionally spark shortness of breath. Urine abnormalities Microscopic blood cells and proteins that
are not normally found in urine can appear in the urine samples of some lupus patients. Yet again, a lot of other illnesses can be
to blame, including urinary tract infections and kidney stones. A healthy kidney filters proteins out of the
blood as it creates urine, explains Dr. Belmont. But if the kidney is inflamed and not functioning
properly, as can be the case with lupus, proteins may sneak into the urine. These abnormalities don’t usually cause
symptoms. However, if the loss of protein (specifically
albumin) is substantial, the feet may swell. And if someone has progressed to kidney failure,
he or she might have some nausea and weakness. Seizures or psychosis Lupus can trigger a variety of brain and nervous
system problems, including nonspecific symptoms like anxiety, headaches, and vision problems. However, two additional concrete symptoms
make the list: seizures and psychosis, which is a break from reality and can include delusions
and hallucinations. For less specific symptoms like headaches,
it can be difficult to tease apart whether they are caused by lupus, the medications
used to treat it, or the stress of living with the disease. Anemia Anemia, or an inadequate number of circulating
red blood cells, is very common, especially in lupus’s target population: women. Iron deficiency anemia, for example, is frequently
present during menstrual cycles. More specific to lupus, however, is a disorder
called hemolytic anemia. “It’s not just a low blood count. The condition is actively destroying the cells,”
explains Dr. Gilkeson, adding that certain lab tests can tell the types apart. Discoid rash A discoid rash is “fairly classic” in lupus,
says Dr. Gilkeson. The disc-shaped patches appear red and raised,
and typically develop on the face, scalp, and neck. They often leave scars. While relatively common in SLE, discoid rashes
can also stand alone in a diagnosis of discoid lupus, a type that affects only the skin. The singer Seal has been diagnosed with discoid
lupus and has facial scars as a result. Positive ANA test The antinuclear antibody (ANA) test is the
go-to screening test for lupus. If the result is negative, says Dr. Gilkeson,
you can “almost guarantee” that a patient doesn’t have lupus. On the other hand, a positive result is much
less clear; 90% to 95% of people who have a positive ANA test don’t have lupus. ANAs are proteins made by the body that can
attach to DNA and other substances inside cells. But just because they are present in the body
doesn’t necessarily mean they will attack these substances. These antibodies are found in at least 5%
of the general population, so there are “many more people walking around with ANAs who are
perfectly healthy or have some illness that has nothing to do with lupus,” adds Dr. Belmont. Other antibody tests To unravel which people with positive ANA
tests actually have lupus, additional blood work can be done. Doctors look for other potentially troublesome
antibodies, so they will test for anti-double-stranded DNA and anti-Smith antibodies. These tests are less likely to be positive
unless a patient truly has lupus. However, a person who has negative test results
could still have lupus, even though this is not so in the case of ANA tests. “These confirmatory antibodies are very critical
to the accuracy and reliability of the diagnosis,” says Dr. Belmont. The series of tests, combined with the ANA,
he adds, will usually provide a fairly reliable answer.

1 thought on “11 Signs Used to Diagnose Lupus”

  1. Hey everyone, they are contaminating the vaccines with syphillis, lupus and syphillis symptoms are identical. The vaccine inserts say "may cause lupus like syndrome"…did you get a GARDASIL vaccine? Many are contaminated, not just gardisil. Please get tested, drs are being told to ignore the pos syphillis tests, to cover up the contamination. Dr Jennifer Daniels is talking about this on here. Please research it, it came from the Tuskegee experiment yrs ago, the end of that, landed their "1st case of auto immune disease/Lupus".
    Show less

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *