Diagnosis of Systemic
Lupus is one of the most difficult diseases to
diagnose. Prior to seeing a doctor, you should construct your
medical history and all possible symptoms, even if they may seem
unrelated, complete with the dates in which your symptoms started
and any changes in the symptoms or severity. If your symptoms
come and go, or if there are flare ups in which they are exceptionally
bad, be sure to write this all down for your doctor. It will be
difficult to remember everything once you are in the doctor's
office, so write it down in advance.
is no such thing as a lupus test, but there are a variety of tests
that when results are combined will tell a doctor whether or not
you have lupus. The best determining tests check and see if there
are certain antibodies in the blood. The antinuclear antibody
test may indicate the presence of lupus, but other diseases may
cause that test to give a positive result as well. Any test will
give your doctor another clue that what you may have is lupus.
Other possible tests are biopsy of the skin and kidney and anticardiolipin
antibody tests. Your doctor may also use urinalysis, blood count,
erythrocyte sedimentation rate, compliment levels, blood chemistries,
and other tests.
Diagnosis can be difficult in many people because
they may have additional ailmnents that are not related to lupus,
which complicate the diagnosis. This is another reason why it
is critical to prepare a written medical history for your doctor.
Do the best you can with remembering past symptoms, and write
down your current ones as they occur.