New here and confused

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2015
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/30/2015 3:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi. I am so tired I can hardly think. So far over the last 10 years I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, dermagraphica, ankylosing spondylitis, diabetes 2, heart disease, mesenteric panniculitis, kidney stones, antiphospholipid syndrome, trigger finger and chronic fatigue. My fingers are bent and my hands are burning in my joints.

I have had a ANA+ which tripled in 12 months, and various other suspicious blood results. My rheumatologist also said I have unspecified connective tissue disease and some auto immune disease. I did not have RA. When she found out I had had stents in my heart, she told me that I needed to lose weight and she informed me that a "heart attack will carry you off before any auto-immune disease!" I didn't go back to her. So for that time I have figured it's just fibro.

Fast forward to two months ago. I thought I had a fibro flare, but the exhaustion and pain in my hands and feet and wrists has vied with the muscle pain to make me believe it is more serious. I have a slight red but pale butterfly shape on my face, but not too noticeable. I am nauseous, have high BP and headache and chest pain and feel weak in my legs as if they won't hold me up. I had blood tests for ESR, usual FBE, ANA... my ESR hadn't come back in, my blood cells looked normal but my ANA+ was 640. My GP said he thinks it's lupus or scleroderma. He's ordered more blood tests for lupus screening which I should get back by this Friday. He has ordered Predneselone. He's also got me on the waiting list to see the rheumatologist clinic at our local hospital. I am confused that it looks like lupus but he mentioned scleroderma. My cousin has lupus SLE. Are there any major differences in the two?

Wondering what to make of this all. I am not anaemic either. Thoughts? thanks in advance.

Post Edited (Selahgirl) : 6/30/2015 2:12:29 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 1650
   Posted 6/30/2015 1:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Selagirl. To help you differentiate scleroderma and lupus SLE please visit and the Lupus Foundation of America. Prednisone should help any of your autoimmune conditions feel better temporarily. I sincerely hope you get to see a rheumatologist soon. Love, Butterflake
SLE '05, Sjogrens, fibro, Raynaud's, major depressive disorder, CNS problems, GERD, angina, 1st stage kidney disease. Many meds: better living through chemistry

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7723
   Posted 6/30/2015 1:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Your Dr probably said "undifferentiated connective tissue disease", more commonly known as UCTD. This means you have symptoms and signs of an auto-immune connective tissue disease, but not enough specific indications to indicate which specific disease it might be.

"Connective-tissue diseases (CTDs) manifest with a wide range of clinical findings and laboratory abnormalities. The diversity of signs and symptoms frequently complicates the diagnosis of these diseases, which includes rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), systemic sclerosis (SSc), polymyositis (PM), dermatomyositis (DM), mixed connective-tissue disease (MCTD), and Sjögrens syndrome (SS)."

All of these diseases above tend to respond to Prednisone as it decreases inflammation. One of they ways Drs determine whether Fibro is present is that Fibro pains and symptoms generally DO NOT respond to prednisone, yet prednisone will give you relief from the auto-immune diseases listed above.

There are differences in how Lupus and Scleroderma develop over time. Sclerdoderma, as I understand it, is more in the body tissues making us inflexible - like making the lungs hard and thus difficult to breathe, while Lupus is more organ-involving. There are a lot of overlap in the symptoms, and initially treatment is the same for both auto-immune diseases.
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator, Dx: 2002
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously." - Oscar Wilde

Post Edited (Lynnwood) : 6/30/2015 1:33:53 PM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2015
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/30/2015 4:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you both for your helpful replies. I am pretty sure it's lupus because I have developed a malar butterfly rash that is quite noticeable. Before it was more a blush but last night it was like severe sunburn. The pred is starting to help my hands and feet... yes, Lynn it was undifferentiated connective tissue disease. I forgot the word. Thanks again for your help, Ladies.
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