Gosh there are so many here more learned than I; I'm sure you'll get some good responses. Lupus is one of those conditions that's like an invisible disease. It mimicks chronic fatigue or even EBV and has a plethora of symptoms And diagnostic criteria.
You didn't say if you'd had the ANA antibodies test done with your bloodwork?
There's a combination of things that need to come together before they'll give you a lupus diagnosis, only one of which is the ANA antibody test. The different types of arthritis are also inflammatory.
I was diagnosed with systemic lupus 10 years ago with primary symptoms being that of discoid lupus (sun allergy, fatigue, joint pain) but a couple of years ago my primary did a complete review of my history and referred to a well known rheumatologist and they determined that I never should have been diagnosed with systemic lupus, though the lesions on my face are apparent with the discoid lupus diagnosis.
I know that my fatigue ebbs and flows with my hormone changes every two weeks... I tend to have more depression with the hormone changes. They'd also told me that the hormone changes in pregnancy could put me into a full blown lupus where the body literally begins attacking its own connective tissues ~ SLE in its worst form attacks the liver, kidney, and heart, the soft tissue organs, and joints. That's probably tmi considering you don't have a diagnosis yet, but you might be able to see a rheumatologist that specializes both in arthritis & lupus. (Not all rheumy's are learned re: lupus) Best Regard to you ~ you'll 'meet' a lot of great people here ~
I have similar questions. I had negative tests for a long time. Then, out of the blue, they accidentally found increased rhumatoid factors which led them to run some other tests. My levels were only ever mildly increased. For a couple of years, I was on 400mg of hydroxychloriquine, then went down to 200 mg.
Here is the strange thing about blood levels. I have had more trouble with pain and sickness this fall than I have in years and my blood tests were all normal. Not just normal, but better than they have ever been. It makes absolutely no sense to me. The only thing I could think of was that since I was going through a bout of pancreatitis when they ran the tests, maybe my body was too busy fighting something real to fight itself. :-) But I really have no idea.
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