Your complaints ARE significant. I didn't mean to minimize. Just knowing there is 'something' going on is very distressing.
Your alopecia IS a big deal . . . IF it is from autoimmune issues, it may respond well to Plaquenil, a first guns med for lupus and arthritis. This might also treat your joint pain. The bummer is, that it can take from weeks to months to build sufficiently in your system to help . . . . but it is very helpful to lots of us and it is a pretty safe drug and has been used for many years (I think this one is over 40 years old).
More specific info on what your ANA test might mean:
The homogeneous (smooth) pattern is found in a variety of connective tissue diseases as well as in patients taking particular drugs such as certain anti-arrhythmics, anti-convulsants or anti-hypertensives. This pattern is also the pattern that is most commonly seen in healthy individuals who have positive ANA tests.
The speckled pattern is found in SLE and other connective tissue diseases, while the peripheral (or rim) pattern is found almost exclusively in SLE. The nucleolar pattern is found primarily in patients who have scleroderma.
The above post was taken from "Lupus Resources", link in my signature. Make sure you hang on to all your labs and start a file with all of your symptom diaries and comments.
If you can't get a rheumatologist referral, you may be able to get some quick help from a dermatologist. Did you have a discoid rash where your hair patches fell out? Or did they fall out randomly w/o rash? If it is form the discoid rash, you may have Discoid Lupus and you really should have a derm treat you soon. Sometimes the hair loss can be permanent. I don't want to scare you, but I also wouldn't want you to lose any more hair. That is a significant symptom.
If you have rashes or mouth sores . . . make sure to take pictures so you will be able to show the doc when you finally get in to see them. Of course, the rashes could disappear before your next appt and you'll have the pics to help make your case.
I hope you get some other responses.
Glad you found us.
In His Grip
AlwaysRosie "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"
Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum
UCTD, Inflammatory Arthritis, Diverticulosis, (recent dx - Sjogrens, Crohn’s 4/08)
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