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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,241
Registered: ‎03-28-2015

A friends daughter (30's) started having health isssues and she is very fit.....runs and excersizes. Her hair started falling out and she got very tired when she went to the gym. Ran tests and treated her for fluid around her heart and said her hair falling out was a Thryroid problem.

 

When she wasn't getting much better....she went to another Dr who said she might have Lupus....The first Dr still tells her it is a Thyroid problem.

The second Dr wants to start her on meds for Lupus

 

Isn't there a test to determine exactly what she has?

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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎12-09-2010

Re: Is Lupus hard to diagnose?

Unfortunately, auto-immune diseases are difficult to diagnose and many symptoms mimic those of other conditions.  I am certainly not a medical professional, but I wonder if she could get additional help from a functional medicine doctor.  They're usually great at delving into underlying problems and getting to the bottom of things.  Good luck to your friend's daughter - I know it can be so frustrating.

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,877
Registered: ‎07-26-2014

Re: Is Lupus hard to diagnose?

Yes

"Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference."
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Honored Contributor
Posts: 20,485
Registered: ‎05-22-2016

Re: Is Lupus hard to diagnose?

[ Edited ]

It is difficult to diagnose. But there is a basic screening blood test, ANA (anti-nuclear antibody). If that is positive then another kind of test is done to further differentiate a cause. That test is called AVISE and it can help confirm if someone has lupus or another similar AI condition.  AVISE is often used prior to treating the symptoms of lupus.

 

ETA - The AVISE test was released in 2016. So it's relatively new. 

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 18,415
Registered: ‎11-25-2011

Re: Is Lupus hard to diagnose?

@Nataliesgramma 

Google 'Dr. Brooke Goldner' to learn more about Lupus & treatments.

She was diagnosed and treated.

HTH

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,814
Registered: ‎03-19-2010

Re: Is Lupus hard to diagnose?

She needs to see a hematologist who can find out these answers.  I know from experience.

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Valued Contributor
Posts: 973
Registered: ‎08-20-2014

Re: Is Lupus hard to diagnose?

[ Edited ]

I was tested for it (thankfullynegative) so yes, there is a lab test.  Only a certified rheumatologist can make the ultimate diagnosis.

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 22,619
Registered: ‎05-10-2010

Re: Is Lupus hard to diagnose?

I know from personal experience with my sister and myself that it can be hard to diagnose.  There's no specific blood test that identifies Lupus, they use several different blood tests that taken as whole along with the patient's physical complaints and body issues  indicate the person "likely" has Lupus.  This happened with my sister and they treated her for Lupus for years but she actually didn't have it, she had something different that because of the bad diagnosis went untreated.  Long story.  I had a tentative diagnosis of Lupus but after my sister's experience, hubby (he's an RN) and both questioned it and I went for 2nd and 3rd opinions and it wasn't Lupus, I had other autoimmune diseases but not Lupus.  The short answer is that Lupus is difficult to diagnose.

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,758
Registered: ‎10-03-2014

Re: Is Lupus hard to diagnose?

When a positive ANA, antinuclear antibody test, is accompanied by several other tests and clues, doctors think of lupus.

 

Hair loss and thyroid tests can be abnormal in lupus, as well as, hypothyroidism.  

 

Maybe, she needs to see a specialist, Rheumatologist, for a definitive diagnosis.  

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Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,139
Registered: ‎09-08-2010

Re: Is Lupus hard to diagnose?

Yes absolutely. There are many different types of thyroid tests out there (more than just TSH), plus inflammation markers for Lupus.