A positive ANA USED to be the gold standard for lupus diagnosis. Now, an up to date dr. knows better, that it is one of MANY diagnostic criteria that is just one small part of the complexity of what autoimmune disease is. A good, experienced and up to date dr. won't rule lupus out based on what a lab calls a 'normal' or 'low-positive ana. That's why it is so important to find a good rheumatologist. I was diagnosed with asthma 13 years before lupus was figured out, and I finally caved to my rheumies pressure to have allergy testing. We had a bet, and he owes me a nickel. I went in for dozens of little tiny needle pricks all over my arms, and lo and behold.....NO ALLERGIES. Nary a one.....and he couldn't believe it and said, and I quote...."boy, you have quite the autoimmune illness" and I KNEW I didn't have allergies, and I KNEW I was only asthmatic, with acute bronchoconstriction, when I had a respiratory iinfection. Because I had taken so many antibiotices, my dr. felt it important to know my allergy status. Treatment for allergies is very different than infections, and I kept getting pneumonia. So at least we know. And since many pts. with lupus are found to be especially deficient in B12, and Vit. D, and that prednisone really does cause osteoporosis, calcium is important, it is a no brainer that those would be good things to take. But it is always better to get your nutrients and vitamins from a good balanced diet. Gluten free seems to be the new buzzword for what might fix what ails us, and I am not sure I buy into it. However, some people really do feel better when they are gluten free. Since lupus is characterized by remissions and exacerbations of symptoms, I would argue that how could we really know if it was the restrictive diet, or the natural pattern of AI symptoms coming....and going.......and coming and .....it's enough to drive a moose to drink
hugs and good luck,
ps. there is a good link here somwhere that explains the diagnostic criteria for lupus. Lynnwood would know. I found it very helpful to read old topic threads and made a list of questions for the neuro and rheumatologist before I saw them.
God knows, even if I don't....
CNS Lupus 2005, APS, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Degenerative Osteoarthritis, Asthma
Meds: Plaquenil, Neurontin, Thyroid, meloxicam, Aspirin, Atenolol and Norvasc, Prednisone 5mg daily. (20-40mg prn), Vit. B12 2400 mcgs, Vit D 1000U, Calcium, Flector patch prn, Ambien and Elavil every night. Advair, Albuterol and DuoNeb inhalers.