May 16, 2014
(From Multiple Sclerosis Foundation)
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), is a chronic, inflammatory disease that may affect the skin, joints, blood and kidneys. Symptoms include achy, swollen joints, extreme fatigue, anemia, skin rash, sun or light sensitivity, hair loss, seizure, and Raynaud's phenomenon, where fingers turn white or blue in the cold.
Sometimes called the great imitator, lupus commonly displays symptoms associated with another disease, such as MS. Lupus and MS can be diagnosed simultaneously, although that is less common than being diagnosed with one disease, and then later, diagnosed with the other.
An antinuclear antibody (ANA) test can help to confirm a lupus diagnosis, but other diseases, including MS, can also produce positive ANA results. In addition, even a person who has lupus will not always produce positive results on this test. A urinalysis or kidney biopsy may be performed to check for signs of possible kidney problems. MRI, CT scan, echocardiography, x-rays, and other diagnostic criteria are also used. Sometimes, MS lesions on the spinal cord can be a distinguishing factor, or first-trimester miscarriages, which are quite common in women with lupus, but not women with MS.
(The Lupus Site)
Is there a connection between lupus & multiple sclerosis?
MS & lupus are both autoimmune diseases, & you can have both together, but they are diagnosed & treated in different ways. Lupus can sometimes mimic the symptoms of MS.
Can a lupus patient get another autoimmune disease?
Yes, & it is quite common. Antibodies can develop against a variety of organs, tissues or glands, resulting in many different diseases. Among the most frequently experienced autoimmune diseases for a lupus patient to have are Sjogren's Syndrome, multiple sclerosis, & Hashimoto's thyroiditis.