What do you do when 2 docs disagree....

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2015
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 2/3/2016 9:57 PM (GMT -6)   
In September, my rhuematogist diagnosed me with sjogrens with a 2nd "unspecified connective tissue disorder". She prescribed me plaquenil and has seen me every 2 months for safety checks. I really never identified with sjogrens and thought for sure it was lupus, but I did what the doc said, and went on my way.

2 weeks ago, I went to a new primary Doctor (which I feel much more comfy with) and he suggested I get a second opinion regarding my sjogrens diagnosis. This new rhuematogist is in the same practice as my first rhuematogist, which makes things a tad strange. Today was my appointment and he says: "I don't think you have lupus. I don't think you have sjogrens. I don't think you need to be on plaquenil". He just suggested I follow up every 6 months and actually thinks my "significantly positive ANA" is just "nothing" right now.

Btw....I stopped taking plaquenil about 2 weeks ago due to another medical issue (liver related) waiting to be addressed, but I did plan on going back on.

My question is....what would you do if you have 2 contradicting diagnosis (or lack thereof)? My main symptom are sore sternum/ribs, stiff body and hair loss.

This may or may not matter.... He was around 70 years old and my 1st rhuematogist is probably in her 40s. The older guy says he is "old fashioned" and doesn't like just throwing out prescriptions (which I can appreciate). I'm a tad confused with where to go from here and which doc to follow up with....and whether to take the plaquenil or not!

Post Edited (LMD023) : 2/3/2016 9:00:53 PM (GMT-7)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7669
   Posted 2/3/2016 10:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I can think of two ways to approach this -

1) Follow your gut as to which Dr to trust, or
2) Get a 3rd opinion to break the tie.

You don't mention your symptoms - what else is going on besides a positive ANA and do you feel the plaquenil is helping with that at all?

With just the limited information in just this post, I would personally lean toward trusting the younger Dr. Research and treatment with auto-immune diseases has changed a lot in 30 years, and unless the older Dr has a teaching position or some other method of keeping up with today's medicine... well, you get my drift.
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator, Dx: 2002
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously." - Oscar Wilde

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1335
   Posted 2/11/2016 4:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Get a 3rd opinion. Doctors should treat symptoms not just labs. ANA can be positive but no lupus.

MCTD (SLE Lupus, polymyositis, scleroderma). Diagnosed 2005. Kidney, liver, GI tract, dysphagia, raynauds, barretts esophagus, quadriplegic in 2005. Recovered and now active in downhill skiing, golf, hiking. Meds: amlodipine, benezapril, omeprazole, potassium, folic acid, vitamins, maxide.

Remain Optimistic and you can overcome.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2016
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 2/17/2016 5:40 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm very sorry your doctors aren't agreeing that can be frustrating. I'm a nurse and lupus and pain patient. My medical opinion you don't have lupus. It sound like you might have adult stills diseases. Your symptoms are what fit. You get negative lupus and negative RA testing. So try bringing that up to them. If the plaquenil was helping then I would say that's not nothing then. With any unidentifiable autoimmune disease which is most of them when you're first being diagnosed the first thing you do is treat the symptoms which is what the first rheum. Was doing. If the plaquenil wasn't helping I would still go back to the first doctor because she seemed to be more proactive in treatment. Hope this helped good luck!
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