It's Never Lupus
So what happens when, as in an episode of House M.D., the doctor says it is not Lupus?
First, your doctor should be able to explain to you why he made that decision in terms you can understand.
Many doctors are under-educated about Lupus. Doctors will sometimes say things like "you don't have a rash on your face it can't be Lupus". That is completely untrue! Only 50% of Lupus patients ever get a rash on their face and for those that do, many of them only have it sometimes.
Educate yourself about how Lupus is diagnosed. You can not rely on your doctor to be educated.
Secondly, if you are at all unsure or uncomfortable with your doctor's assessment, get a second or even third opinion. Keep going until you get a diagnosis you can understand and be comfortable with. For 50% of Lupus patients it takes at least 4 years and 3 doctors to be diagnosed.
Thirdly, there are many diseases and conditions that "mimic" Lupus. You deserve to know what is causing your symptoms. If your doctor won't or can't figure it out, find one who can.
Some diseases that mimic Lupus: fibromyalgia, lyme disease, scleroderma, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, mixed connective tissue disorder, myositis, rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, dermatomyositis, etc.
**Note: Typically an ANA test does not test for all of the patterns. If you have a negative ANA but still suspect you have an autoimmune disease, ask your doctor if all patterns were run.
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