"LOL! That really varies from doctor to doctor. Some insist on lab work, which is ridiculous, but that's what they do -- those are the doctors to avoid! shocked"
Right ! Of course blood work, that is auto antibodies, has an important part to play in diagnosis of the primary disease, as confirmation and additional evidence, as well as in follow ups. A doctor who goes only by blood work is a bad doctor period. The risk is they will deny any objective reports of things that can't be measured, such as pain. Lab work is important when it shows up hidden actual disease such as anemia, low white blood cells and so on.
People can be very seriously ill and not even have an elevated SED rate.
But "UCTD" is a definite diagnosis, and all that's needed for an SLE diagnosis is symptoms and an ANA. Although i am not a health care professional of any sort, my information comes from totally reliable sources such as Dr Wallace.
I hate to see people not being adequately treated, suffering probably more than is necessary because of what appears to be medical ignorance, at best misinformation