You’ve noticed the symptoms for a while now. Maybe the symptoms started in your adult life, gradually becoming more noticeable. You’ve gone to your doctor but they aren’t sure what to do.
You have an undiagnosed disease. But where do you go for help? And how do you get a diagnosis? Here’s everything you need to know.
Lupus can be hard to diagnose because it has many symptoms that are often mistaken for symptoms of other diseases.
The following criteria are used to distinguish lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE) from other autoimmune and rheumatic diseases.
A person with 4 of these 11 conditions can be classified as having lupus. These conditions may be present all at once, or they may appear in succession over a period of time.
Butterfly (malar) rash on cheeks
Rash on face, arms, neck, torso (discoid rash)
Skin rashes that result from exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet light (photosensitivity)
Mouth or nasal sores (ulcers), usually painless
Joint swelling, stiffness, pain involving two or more joints (arthritis)
Inflammation of the membranes surrounding the lungs (pleuritis) or heart (pericarditis)
Abnormalities in urine, such as increased protein or clumps of red blood cells or kidney cells, called cell casts
Nervous system problems, such as seizures or psychosis, without known cause
Problems with the blood, such as reduced numbers of red blood cells (anemia), platelets, or white blood cells
Laboratory tests showing increased autoimmune activity (antibodies against normal tissue)
Positive antinuclear antibody (ANA) test
This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.