Posted 3/1/2012 8:43 AM (GMT -7)
Well, lupus is usually diagnosed by meeting the diagnostic criteria, which is a mixture of test results and symptoms. If your blood work is showing high ANAs, but you don't have the lupus-y symptoms, there's a fair chance you have a different auto-immune disease. A lot of them are co-morbid with each other.
One thing I had to do when I was first being diagnosed was to keep a journal of everything, and I mean everything. Write down when you're feeling ill, whether it be that your joints are bit sore or you have a slight headache, even a rash. Add in the time it occurred and maybe any environmental factors, like a new detergent or bright lights. A lot of times, it's the tiny and seemingly insignificant details that can round out a diagnosis. If/When your symptom improves, write down the time of relief, plus any alleviating factors. (I'm having to do this right now because I've been having terrible week long migraines with no relief from traditional treatments.) It's a bit annoying at first, but it will seem less cumbersome once it's integrated into your daily routine.
Dx: SLE, Hashimoto's, RA, chronic migraines, celiac disease, fibromyalgia, chronic pain
Tx: Tramadol, Inderal ER, Neurontin, Mobic, Etodolac, Levothyroxin, Flexeril, Relpax, chondrontin/glucosamine/MSM
If somebody thinks they're a hedgehog, presumably you just give 'em a mirror and a few pictures of hedgehogs and tell them to sort it out for themselves.