Redruby, I have lupus and am gluten intolerant. Don't have celiac but feel much better and many of my lupus symptoms improve when I'm gluten-free. By improve I mean my joint pain decreases, my fatigue decreases, and I feel better overall. I haven't yet figured out the magic combination to make me feel 100%, but better is better. The flu-like symptoms, joint pain, and fatigue you describe are exactly what I have. I also have redness across my cheeks and nose, and it gets redder when I flare, but like you, it's nothing like the pics I've seen on the web.
The first of February I am going to take a class on the body ecology diet. The instructor asked me to purchase the book and start eliminating sugar from my diet prior to the class starting. I haven't received the book yet so I'm not too knowledgeable about the diet, but it eliminates sugar, gluten, artificial sweeteners, and sodas (cokes, etc.) from the diet. She is going to have food prepared for us to eat at the classes.
My body, as is yours, is good about telling me that what I eat affects how I feel. For now, I'm simply trying to figure out what it is that I need to eliminate from my diet.
I'm with Stacie in recommending that you see a rheumatologist. From what I know, celiac and autoimmune diseases often go hand in hand and it sounds like you need to find out what's going on with your body. Keep us posted on any progress you make. This forum isn't just for folks who are diagnosed with lupus. Hanging around here can be helpful for people who have lupus like symptoms and want more information and support. Do let us know how you're doing.
SLE, osteoarthritis, fibro, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines, costocondritis, gluten intolerance.
prednisone, plaquenil, arava, neurontin, synthroid, triamterene, actonel, tri-est, imitrex (for rare migraines), cymbalta, tricor, acifex, multivitamin, calcium w vit D, fish oil, aspirin