Elbee, that's interesting that you're more Dermatomyositis, I haven't really heard that being a common feature of people's UCTD. What would it take for them to commit to that diagnosis? I hope you do experience some improvement from Plaquenil. Around the 4 month mark, I had to come off it because of my liver (just to rule it out as a cause) and I flared badly. Then I went back on it after 3-4 weeks when they realised it wasn't that and man it was amazing. So maybe, you could try going off it for a few weeks and then back on it and see if that helps? That's how I'm feeling about trying to explain UCTD. I'm happy that I have a diagnosis, but I would love it to be something that could be easily explained!
You're right-- and that's where this gets complicated to explain even to savvy people on forums like this! I don't fit the technical diagnostic criteria for UCTD because I do not have elevated ANA. I have muscle pain, but not marked weakness (I am experiencing muscle fatigue more lately when doing my hair or walking up stairs, though, which points to mild weakness). I have skin lesions that look like urticaria (hives), but they last for weeks, and on biopsy, they look identical to lupus, but they show up negative on immunofluorescence (which fits more with DM than lupus). I don't have a characteristic DM rash, except that my eyelids are slightly puffy and pinkish. I have nailfold capillary changes and hemorrhages. I have repeatedly and markedly low C3 and C4, but no
other blood tests have been abnormal, and I have not tested positive for any antibodies.
So, I think my rheumatologist just said "UCTD" to get me on Plaquenil, even though I don't have the positive ANA necessary for that diagnosis. He said that honestly, he had never seen anything like this, but it's definitely some connective tissue disease that may show itself as something diagnostic in months or years. It points more to DM than anything else. I've been dealing with it for almost a year and a half now, so if the Plaquenil works, I'll be happy.
See how it's hard to explain that to people? I don't even try usually, even on forums!
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis & UCTD // synthroid, hydroxychloroquine, ranitidine, naproxen, tramadol