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    needs answers--lupus
    gringa1 posted:
    Hi everyone, new to site,I was diagnosed with lupus, my Dr. says not to worry bout it, but I have already had some hair loss, eyebrows and off and on rash. She said my count is only 21 nothing to be worried about yet. Can someone tell what to expect from this point forward. Also, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
    allie_bf responded:
    There are so many different ways that lupus can affect your body that it's hard to tell you to watch out for one or two things. The best thing to do now though is some reading: get to the library and check out a few books on lupus and chronic illness in general, and keep an eye on this site, so that you can ask good questions when you see your rheumatologist. Being an informed patient goes a long with with a complex illness like lupus. I can tell you that my mild hair loss/thinning and skin rash responded pretty well to the drugs used for fighting inflammation (i.e. Plaquenil, prednisone, and "assorted" NSAIDs in my case,) but certainly others may have a different response. Best wishes, and welcome to the site!
    Lupylisa44 responded:
    I am sorry you got a diagnosis of lupus. I am not sure which count you are speaking of when you say it is only 21. What symptoms have you been experiencing that lead to a lupus/fibro diagnosis? What type of doctor diagnosed you? Was it a primary care doctor or a rheumatologist?

    Did your doctor check your thyroid? Eyebrow thining is one of the major signs that your thyroid is not functioning correctly. Feeling lethargic, dry skin, feeling cold, irregular bowels and weight loss/gain are also symptoms of thyroid dysfunction.

    With love, with patience and with faith, we'll make our way.
    gringa1 responded:
    I had blood work with primary care doctor which showed lupus, then she referred me to a rheumatologist which confirmed with additional blood test and to make matters worst Epstein Barr Virus was present. I have been tested for my thyroid and that was normal. I am very fatigued and have chronic headaches,joints hurt, and extremely tired. I take 1600 Motrin and at night I take 50mg of tarmaldol HCL. Going to see a ophthalmologist, my dr. wants to prescribe Plaquenil.
    gringa1 replied to Lupylisa44's response:
    My doctor said my DNA antibody is 21H, we should not be concerned until it reaches 50 to 100 and that's what I don't understand. When I asked for more info on that,all she said "don't worry". What I'm looking for is answers. Also is my constance nauseousness caused from the lupus or fibro?
    Lupylisa44 replied to gringa1's response:
    Did you mean ANA or DNA? I'm not sure what that number means. Here is a site that helps you understand your lab work:

    and another is
    With love, with patience and with faith, we'll make our way.
    gringa1 replied to Lupylisa44's response:
    thank you Lupylisa44.
    gringa1 replied to Lupylisa44's response:
    ANA is positive
    DNA (DS) Antibody is 21H
    SED Rate 23H-(need to look this up)
    ANA Pattern- Speckled; ANA Titer 1:80H
    I looked it all up, still going to do more reading to understand it better. And my vitamin D is low, taking vitamin D 50,000 IU.
    Lupylisa44 replied to gringa1's response:
    If you look to the right of this screen you will see Tips and Resource sections.. There is a ton of valuable information there to help you understand lupus better!!!

    With love, with patience and with faith, we'll make our way.
    Andie_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Hi Gringa,

    Welcome to the Lupus Community. :)

    Lisa gave you some great pointers, and she's right, we do have a ton of resources that will help clear some things up for you.

    I'll help you out by posting a few here to get you started:

    That should get you started, but be sure to check out the questions to ask your doctor. Your own PCP is going to have the most accurate information for your own case.

    Good luck and please feel free ask any more questions you might have.

    gringa1 replied to Andie_WebMD_Staff's response:
    Thanks again to Lisa and to you Andie. Looks like I have alot of reading to do.
    Oh, one more question, what do you think of the medication Plaquenil.
    Lupylisa44 replied to gringa1's response:
    Plaquenil is usually the best,and first line of defense against lupus. I have been on it for 27 years!!! It doesn't cause any problems for me at all. Some people experience some stomach upset when they first start taking it, but that usually subsides.

    It takes several months for plaquenil to start working so don't be discouraged if you don't see immediate results and improvement in your symptoms. It usually works very well once it kicks in!

    Since Plaquenil can damage your retina. It is very important to get a baseline eye exam and then regular check ups and visual field tests with an opthamalogist. The damage plaquenil causes is reversible if caught in the early stages, which is why you have to get your visuall field exams every six months. Like I said before, I have taken it for 27 years and have never had any eye issues from plaquenil.

    With love, with patience and with faith, we'll make our way.

    With Lupus

    WebMD's Day2Night will help you develop personal coping strategies for living with lupus – at home,
    at work, or with family
    and friends.
    Visit Lupus Day2Night

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