Posted 1/13/2008 12:57 PM (GMT -6)
I saw your question to me in another posting. I can understand that you're worried about your brother. Unfortunately, lupus mimicks so many other diseases, it's difficult to be able to tell you if we think it's lupus that your brother has.
What other symptoms does he have? You mentioned swelling in his ankles/feet, and the dry eyes many years ago. That just isn't enough information for us to go on. If you check out www.lupusfoundationofamerica.com, you'll find links to the 11 criteria for a lupus diagnosis. He has to have at least 4 of them in order for a rheumatologist (lupus specialist) to even consider a diagnosis. Even is he has at least 4 of the criteria, he might not get the lupus diagnosis. It's a very frustrating and discouraging disease to have. Most of us took many, many years to finally have enough symptoms and positive blood work to get the diagnosis.
It took me over a decade to get mine. I was diagnosed when I was 26. Symptoms started in highschool with a sensitivity to fluorescent lights, joint pain, fatigue, and really messed up periods.... Over the next 10 years, I developed more fatigue, a flu-like feeling all the time, pneumonia, etc. A month before my diagnosis I had chronic severe anemia, pleurisy (inflammation of the lining of the lungs), and terrible heart palpitations (which turned out to be endocarditis - inflammation of the heart valves).
My blood work during this time came back positive for pretty much every single thing related to lupus. I had have it all! Aren't I lucky!!! LOL. But that same blood work took years to show up.
When will your brother get his blood work back? It's good to know he doesn't have rheumatoid arthritis. That is a big relief. Lymes will mimick lupus and vice versa, MS, Fibromyalgia, and other autoimmune diseases like chron's/colitis.
The dry eyes "could" be sjogren's syndrome. I have a mild case of it, and hardly ever have problems. But I have the antibody for it. So even though his dry eye episode happened 8 years ago, he could have this, just mild like me.
Is he seeing a rheumatologist about all this? That is important. Also, make sure he's keeping a daily diary of all his symptoms. Even the small insignificant ones can be a big red flag for a doctor. If he gets any skin rashes, make sure he takes pictures of them to show his doctor. My best advice is to keep being aggressive with the doctors about all this. Don't give up!
I hope this helps jdeet. I know you'll get more responses from the other members. Weekends are usually slower here.
Talk to you soon,
I can do anything through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I have learned in whatever state I am in,to be content. Phillipians 4:11-13
33 years old. Diagnosed with lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, anti-phospholipid syndrome(APS)(stroke),Sjogren's, Raynaud's, seizure disorder-(miraclulously disappeared!), Libman Sach's Endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, arthritis (neck) . Prednisone, Imuran, Coumadin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, didrocal, monopril, calcium, Cykolokapron, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6, Acidophilus