- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Lupus Disease; How to Get Correct Diagnosis
Path to Lupus Disease Diagnosis
Lupus Disease is an autoimmune disease that affects various parts of the body, while an autoimmune disease is a process in which the body's immune system attacks its own tissues. Lupus and certain other autoimmune diseases face difficulty in diagnosis, partly due to the similarity to other diseases. Patients become very confused and frightened when they have numerous symptoms and no one can give them an answer to relieve the suffering. Often, they doctor shop, hoping to find one physician who can help them.The information presented here may assist patients and also help friends and family become more supportive and understanding of Lupus Disease.. These are some of the problems in getting a correct diagnosis.
Lupus Disease Patient with Hope
- Recognize the Problems.
One issue is the reduced time that physicians see patients, with many visits lasting only 10-15 minutes. The physician may never be aware of any Lupus symptoms,while the aware physician may refer the patient to the wrong specialist or not refer at all. Some patients with symptoms may never get to a physician due to lack of insurance. Others may not have enough symptoms to establish a diagnosis. In addition, Dr. Lisa Sanders ,Yale Medical School,. states medical schools often teach physicians to look first for the common conditions as quoted in the July-August 2011 AARP magazine article "When Your Doctor Doesn't Know." .Following are true patient stories, which typify the barriers.
- Get the Right Doctor
One physician, even though the patient had borderline Lupus from tests at a teaching hospital, stated that she would not follow through at this point, She stated there is not much treatment for autoimmune diseases, anyway. In addition, she indicated that the test result sounded more like a different autoimmune disease. This physician is probably in the minority, and basically is a good physician in other areas, The patient went to a Rheumatologist who found her negative for autoimmune disease. Another doctor discovered Lupus Disease in a patient just before her death. In another case, a physician diagnosed his patient with Lupus and treated her for years, finally discovering that she had some symptoms but not the disease. In reality, this is a success story.These scenarios are not unusual, but very stressful for patients who want answers in order to handle their diseases and complaints, . The patiient must find a good doctor, preferably a Rheumatologist. They can call their local Lupus Association for additional information, and take other steps as follows.
Organ Involvement in Lupus Disease
- Keep A Journal with Symptoms
Symptoms of lupus disease are as follows according to the Lupus Research Association.
Rash across nose
Red patches on skin
Skin rash from sunlight
Mouth or nose ulcers
ANA antibodies - a special ANA test
Four or more of these symptoms are evidence of Lupus Disease. as established by the American College of Rheumatology . Find further information about the symptoms and treatment at Lupus Research Institute.
The National Institute of Health set up in 2008 an undiagnosed diseases project where physicians may refer patients with such diseases that are serious and not diagnosed. The criteria are: thorough workups and tests before acceptance. The project covers most diseases, including autoimmune diseases. Such attenpts help the patients become successful in their quest.
Steps to Success for Patients - Conclusion
Patients who have Lupus symptoms should never give up. If your doctor tells you the symptoms are inconclusive, you have alternatives. You may certainly ask for a referral to a Rheumatologist, and not give up until you have answers. Get an opinion from another Rheumatologist. Get your medical records, and put them on a computer flash drive. No matter where you go, you will always have your records. Join a Lupus forum on the computer or go to a support group. Keep fit through exercise, take pain medicine as needed, and eat nutritious foods. Be sure to have supportive friends and family around you, and try to keep an upbeat attitude. You may never be diagnosed with Lupus Disease , and, if you are, this preparation may give you the odds to fight it and beat it.
Note: The information for this article is from the resources listed below and from the author who has medical social work background. Patients should see their physicians if they have any questions.
Lupus Association on Lupus Disease
- Lupus Research Information, Prevention, Treatment, Cure | Lupus Research Institute
The Lupus Research Institute (LRI) provides LupusResearchInstitute.org to help scientists and physicians, patients, and their families champion novel and innovative lupus research. On the homepage you will find information about lupus and the LRI as
- Life With Lupus - Online Support Group - Patient-to-patient support for people living with Lupus.
LifeWithLupus.org is an online support group for those living with Lupus.
- Misdiagnosed: What to Do When Your Doctor Doesn\'t Know - AARP The Magazine
Medical diagnoses aren't always accurate. Here are steps to follow that could help you steer your doctor in the right direction should this happen to you.
- Lupus Pictures Slideshow: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatments on MedicineNet.com
Watch this slideshow to learn about Lupus symptoms, skin rashes, joint pain, causes, diagnosis and treatments.
- The NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Program | NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine
This demonstrates that genomic tools are a powerful ally in our search to discover and understand rare diseases, says Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) | NIH Medlineplus the Magazine