Posted 8/28/2008 11:25 PM (GMT -7)
Domanique, I can't decide if I'm the smurf, the hair raising guy or the devil in the photo above. I can be many. Anyway, no there isn't one test. Even tests for antibodies ds-dna arent definitied because several diseases and medicines cause the development of ds-dna autoantibodies and many people with lupus don't have them or they go up and down. New research is focusing on all autoimmune diseases, scleroderma, vitiligo sjogrens, lupus and more as being manifestations of a single condition "autoimmunity", and there has been positive research showing a variety of causes. A high ANA or CRP or other inflammatory markers show autoimmunity, my ANA is always high, but can also be a sign of immune problems due to chronic illness of another sort, like a festering infection, in my case TB. TB also can cause the formation of anti ds-dna to the central nervous system ( usually dx as CNS lupus) and TB has been found active in the core of sarcoid lesions. I would make sure your docs make sure you don't have any kind of other illness or disease before they label you with an autoimmune conditions, simply because they may fail to treat a treatable condition that could get worse with steroids and immunosuppressants. If they've tested you for all the likely suspects and treated any active conditions and you still show problems then they may feel better about labeling you as having an autoimmune disease. Family history also plays a role. Even so, people with lupus get sick too, and its important they take care of any other problems as well. That's why it takes so long. If you've had any problems with infections or diseases in the past, its important to mention them to your rheumie. Lots of diseases can cause autoimmune symptoms and problems that can go away with the treating of the disease. Take care.
--Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us. Bill Watterson (1958-) cartoonist "Calvin and Hobbes"
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus-like AI Disease, Hashis, Vitiligo, spinal stenosis/fusion with plate, salivary/lymphectomies, Diabetes, NAFLD, COPD, RLS, neuropathy, trigonitis, hystero, diffuse brain atrophy, GI nightmare
Meds--Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, Estradiol patch, Prosed, Detrol, Klonopin, Ultram, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol, steroid injections and pred prn