Could this be SLE?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 147
   Posted 3/12/2008 9:55 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Folks,


I am wondering if anyone can provide some insight regarding what has been going on with me.  I normally post in the IBD forum since I have Celiac disease and potentially Crohn’s disease (final diagnosis is pending).  I recently visited my PCP because of an ongoing case of vertigo and joint pain in my toes and left side of my upper back.  I also have joint pain on occasion in my knees, hands, hips and shoulders.  My PCP ran some blood work on me and my ANA came back positive 1:320 and homogenous pattern.  He order the double strand DNA and smith antibody test and both were negative.  He referred me to a rheumatoidologist for whom I have an appointment with but not until 4/14.  I have been doing some research on SLE and I understand that a positive ANA does not mean you necessarily have SLE or even something wrong with you at all.  When I look at the symptoms of SLE I do have some of them but fairly mild.  For example photosensitivity.  When I was 14 years old I started getting this rash when I spent a few hours in strong sunlight at the beach (I spent all my summers working on the beach patrol)  It wasn’t sun poisoning and it started around my joints: hands, ankles, knees, elbows.  Each day I would go to the beach it would get worse and worse but it never migrated to my chest, back or face.  It seems the only cure was a shot of cortisone and prescription of prednisone.  After I finished the prednisone treatment I would be able to spend the rest of the summer in the sun without any problem.  The doctor I was seeing was never able to explain why I got this rash every year and why it did not come back after treatment.  Every year and to this day I still get this rash if I am at the beach for a few hours.  Outside of spending time at the beach I do not typically spend long periods of time in the sun.  I did have similar reaction while in Italy and once in a tanning salon when I used a higher powered booth.  Again I was not burned but I got a rash (and right before my wedding!).  I also seem to be running low grade fevers mostly around 100 degrees and this correlates very strongly to when I am having gastro issues.   Outside of the fevers, joint pain, sun sensitivity and positive ANA I don’t really have anything else that seems to fit the bill for SLE so I am wondering if I should really be concerned about it.  I also know my kidneys are in good shape because I had stones last year and they tested my urine several times.  Regarding the vertigo I went to an ENT and she thinks it is not an inner ear problem and that I should see a rheumatoidologist as well but has ordered a balance test and an MRI anyway.  As for the Crohn’s disease they have not been able to get a biopsy that shows positive for it only non specific chronic inflammation of the colon, however my blood work was positive for crohn’s (but again that is not enough for a diagnosis).  Can SLE cause inflammation of the colon?   I know this is a lot of rambling but I have lots on my we all do.  Thanks in advance for any responses  :-)      

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1344
   Posted 3/12/2008 10:53 PM (GMT -6)   
It is possible that you have lupus but it can be a difficult disease to disagnose in some cases.  Look at and there is a lot of good information on symptoms and diagnosis.  Check out the criteria for should have at least 4 of them to have lupus.  Severity of symptoms range from very mild to life threatening.
In answer to your question, lupus can affect your colon and the rest of your digestive tract.  It hit mine from top to bottom.
Make sure you write out your symptoms when you see the rheumy. 
Mixed connective tissue disease (systemic lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis), Raynauds phenomena, Hypertension, Barrett's esophagus.
Meds: prednisone 5mg, 50mg imuran, Lotrel 40/5mg, maxide 37.5/25mg, folic acid, potassium, aciphex 20mg, multi vitamins.
Maintain your optimism and you can beat the odds.
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."  Helen Keller

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 3/12/2008 11:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Veebo!! Welcome to the forum.

Your GI issues sound like they might be UC. UC can cause the joint pain and some of the odd issues you are having. I'm not sure if it can cause the ANA . . . but it is autoimmune.

It sounds the chicken or the egg question. The largest part of our immune system in in the gut. I am now having bowel issues as well. *sigh* Am working with a GI and having some tests to see if we can see what it causing my problems down there.

Bill is right. Make really good list of your symptoms and history. See "Lupus Resources" (link in my signature) one of the last posts there is a bit of a form there for notes to take to your doctor appointment. There is also a list of tips for new members.

Keep us posted about your doctor appointment.


In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

Psalms 139

Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum

UCTD, Hashimotos, Inflammatory Bowel, Inflammatory Arthritis

Clickable Links:  Lupus Resources    Lupous.Org   Lupus Criteria (4 of 11)   Lupus Chapter Locator

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 2244
   Posted 3/13/2008 6:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Veebo, welcome from one celiac to another. The others have given you great advise, I just wanted to stop in to say hello! Let us know how your appt with the rhuemy goes. Take care

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding ~ Proverbs 3:5 ~

DX: Hashimoto's 1999, Celiac Disease (AKA: gluten sensitivity) 2003, Raynaud's 2004, Lupus 2005 and Sjogrens 2006
RX: Imuran, Plaquenil, Methotrexate, Flexeril, Piroxicam, Levoxyl, Folic Acid, Lortab (as needed), Magnesium Citrate and magic mouthwash (as needed for mouthsores)

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