Providing education and support for people with Lupus. Someday, we will find a cure.

Diagnosis of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

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.

There 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.

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