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    tarakarr posted:
    About a month ago, my family Doctor diagnosed me with lupus.
    the ana test came back positive. I am exhausted all the time, lower back, hip, leg and knee pain. my ankles hurt. and I have little knots on my toes. my body just feels stiff. every now and then I get a rash across my lower belly and thighs. usually gone by morning. he sends me to a rheumatologist, upon my visit he tells me he has received nothing from my doctor and asks me why I am there. he asks me a few questions and then gives me a quick physical exam. back in his office he tells me I do not have lupus. that most women in their 40's give a false positive ana test. he suggests I start exercising. I don't know how a rheumatologist works, so my question is can he diagnose or dismiss lupus by just a physical exam? I don't want to go a few years and then they say oops...any one have any suggestions?
    lisatru62 responded:
    Most autoimmune diseases take time to diagnose. I had symptoms for years before I was diagnosed with Lupus. It actually came about because I was tired of the rashes, hair loss and cysts. I rheumatologist asked if I had any cysts as an aside question as I was leaving her office and I said yes. She looked at it and then sent me to a dermatologist who biopsied it.

    It was Discoid Lupus which led to more testing and turned out I had Lupus Nepheritis. It probably took 10 years total of complaining and going to doctors for testing before I was diagnosed and then put on medication.

    You have to be persistent and your own health care advocate. Do your research and don't let them shuffle you out of the office. My Discoid Lupus was not properly diagnosed and it turned into SLE and now I have stage II kidney disease and a host of other problems because doctors thought it was all in my head.

    The sooner you are diagnosed the quicker you can stop the damage to your organs and start feeling better. You will need a lot of testing not just a quick look see by a doctor to say you don't or do have Lupus. Good luck.

    nancyj95 replied to lisatru62's response:
    Lisa's comments are very true. I was sent to a rheumatologist 30 years ago but didn't have enough symptoms to be fully diagnosed. Fast forward fifteen years and my lupus was full blown. Before you see another, make sure your doctor has forwarded the test results or better yet, get a copy for yourself and make a copy for the new doc. I like to have copies of my tests. That way I can share when needed. Try getting those results and see another doctor, it can't hurt.

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