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Lupus/Do I have Lupus, Sjogrens or what?

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History:  dry eyes for 12 years, constant phelgm in throat for 3 1/2 years, dry mouth for 6 months.  7 doctors over 3 years can't figure out the phelgm problem but when the dry mouth came along 6 months ago the internet led me to Sjogrens.  Primary dr. said "maybe but if it is, nothing we can do but manage the symptoms".  At my yearly eye appt. I told eye dr. about the phelgm and dry mouth (he of course already knew about the dry eyes) and he said we need blood tests - sounds like Sjogrens but need to find out if it's primary or secondary.  Had the blood tests last week.  Can't get into a Rheumatoligist Dr. until end of January.  In looking at the blood tests I still have no idea what I have.  ANA screen is positive and speckled (1:40). Rheumatoid Factor: 11 - says less than 14 is good.  Sjogren's Antibody (SS-A): negative.  Sjogren's Antibody (SS-B): negative. SED RATE: 2.  It sounds like Sjogrens but the blood test says no.  I read that of 11 Lupus symptoms and you need at least 4 to probably have lupus.  I only have the positive ANA. None of the other symptoms.  My middle right hand finger has been hurting at the bottom joint for a week and a half but I don't know if I injured it or if it's arthritis coming on.  That is the only thing close to maybe having 2 Lupus symtoms instead of just the ANA.  I am baffled.  Any ideas?

Answer
Hello!
Thanks for writing.
It sounds like your symptoms are not severe enough yet that they have developed into an easily-diagnosed disease.

That's bad news in that it's hard for you to get an answer but good news in that you still have pretty good health and quality of life, it sounds. Doctors often tell someone like you "come back when you're sicker" so it's easier to diagnose. How about instead, if you don't get sicker and just get all better?

It definitely sounds like to me that something is "off" and you are getting warning signs from your body that you are on the wrong track, either with stress, or your eating habits, environmental allergy, or something else in your life that needs to change. It's causing your body distress and the symptoms are its way of asking you to get back in balance.

First I would look for food allergies, or other allergies, because of the phlegm.
The first thought that came into my mind when I read your message was "Is she eating dairy regularly?" Dairy can cause a lot of phlegm. Other food allergens are gluten, soy, eggs, nuts, corn, yeast.

Have a look at this article from Dr. Mark Hyman and see if it resonates with you.
http://drhyman.com/blog/2012/02/22/how-hidden-food-sensitivities-make-you-fat/

You don't have to slide downhill. You can nip this in the bud and not have it turn into Sjogren's, or any other autoimmune disease.

well wishes-

Carla Ulbrich

The Singing Patient: Author, Humorous Songwriter and Entertainer

_____________

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Carla Ulbrich

Expertise

I can answer questions such as "what is lupus?" (How common is it? Is it contagious? What are the symptoms? etc.). Also, I can answer questions such as "what are the available treatments for lupus?" (both standard and alternative). Really, I'll take almost any question on lupus, though. If I can't answer it, I'll be very surprised, but I'll also go find someone who can.

Experience

I've been living with lupus (SLE) since 1992. I've had three severe bouts with it, including symptoms such as kidney failure and stroke (if you can call having a stroke a "symptom"). I have completely regained my health, though I have to be mindful to take care of myself, lest I get sick again. I use both mainstream and alternative medicine, and have tried just about everything under the sun to alleviate symptoms. A lot of it worked.

Organizations
Lupus Foundation of America Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor Toastmasters Folk Alliance

Publications
How Can You Not Laugh at a Time Like This? (Tell Me Press, pub.) What is Laughter Lupus Sundial Newsletter

Education/Credentials
BA in music (UNC-Greensboro)

Awards and Honors
Novelty Song of the Year, Just Plain Folk Awards Winner, South Florida Folk Festival Song Competition Lupus Foundation of America Seal of Approval (for book)

Past/Present Clients
Medicaid Conference Alaska Palliative Care Conference Right at Home Health Care SePHIMA Anritsu Club Med Nursing in Practice

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