RA and lupus
I've been wondering the same thing, and wondering if you can have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with RA. I think alot of Autoimmune diseses can run together.
My last labs came back with an elevated ANA. My Rheumy. said that the labs along with my overwhelming constant fatigue may be an indication of lupus. All I know for sure is that whatever it is we have stinks!
Yes, you can have symptoms of both. They call it Mixed Connective Tissue Disease when you have overlapping symptoms. I have a rash that gets on my face and I have skin problems elsewhere.
I've argued with my doc about the Lupus because I was sure that was what I first had. Plaquenil is one of the medicines that they use for both RA and Lupus.
The doctor and I have never settled the issue because my ANA always comes back ok. However, I dose myself with 50 proof sunscreen and stay covered with long sleeves and skirts or pants. Just this one thing seems to help a lot. Otherwise, all my symptoms worsen quickly.
You might want to look up the web site for the Lupus Foundation. I haven't been in a long time, but it has a wealth of info on the subject.Deanna, was your ANA ever positive? Mine was when I was first diagnosed with RA. Not sure what it is at the moment though.
The doctor said it wasn't. They never tell me the results of the test any more unless something is wrong. I'm guessing that it has never shown as positive. But some of my symptoms, especially with my heart and my lungs still worry me.
But I have enough with the RA. I also have FM and know that by itself it is disabling, especially since I have several friends with it. But I rarely consider the FM as the RA seems to overpower everything else. Mostly, it just seems like one connected mess.
But finding out can be so helpful because Lupus is treated with other medications and doctors know to watch for certain complications. My doctor wanted a dermatologist to do a biopsy of one of my skin blisters. But the man was such a jerk to me after waiting for four months to see him that I never went back. I'm stubborn that way.
So, maybe I'm living in denial too. I just can't handle any more. I've been told I have RA, FM, Restless Leg Syndrome, Sjogren's, Glaucoma (thank you prednisone), Mitral Prolaspe Valve, my heart is thickening, I take Nitroglycerine and Toprol, high blood pressure, diuretics, asthma.....oh, I forget what else. I don't want to know if I have Lupus. I just know the sun makes me sick, even short exposures. That's usually more associated with Lupus than RA. Although several here have mentioned it as a problem.My doctor thought I had a crossover at first..she called it Rupus.. When all of this started, I had a positive ANA, borderline, and a positive RA factor.
The positive ANA is just one marker for lupus but doesn't mean that you have it. You have to have other symptoms. There's a list of 11 critera and you have to meet 4 out of the 11. If you go on web md and do a search for lupus, you will find alot of info.
Basically I missed having lupus by just one critera. Lupus isn't easy to DX as it imitates other things and therefore all others have to be ruled out. So far I haven't developed any other symptoms that would point to lupus.
Hope that this helps.
Marisa Hi traininggirl, I have RA, OA, Sjrogren's, Fibromyalgia and I think maybe Lupus although I'm not formally diagnosed..I also have severe allergies, asthma and possible chronic fatigue. You are right , they definitely do overlap. I first got diagnosed with the OA and Fibro. Next I had skin cancer across the bridge of my nose. I was diagnosed with having rosaecia at that time. 2 months later when I went back for the cancer check up after having surgery, they discovered more tumors, all on the face across the nose or on the side like a malar rash. Next, after a second surgery that put me up to 30 stitches in my face the rheumatoid factor came back positive and the RA diagnosis was made. I have never had a positive ANA but I'd had arthritis for many years without any blood work being positive. I think they are all connected (cancer included) and I think we just have to let things unfold because for many of , there are more than one kinds of arthritis.
Thanks to everyone for your responses...they are very helpful.
LindaK..do they think because of where the cancer was located? or because it was cancer itself? I had malignant melanoma in 1996 but it was on my knee. It was completely removed with surgery and I have not had a reoccurance except for a few pre-cancerous things removed and a pre-cancerous polyp from my colon last summer. Well...it just sounds like we are falling apart here!..lol. Don't mean to laugh...but sometimes I have to so I don't cry.Traininggirl. The doctors don't talk about the RA cancer connection, It's just my own observation. I have read that there are studies about a higher incidence in cancer with RA, especially lympoma. I had a stage 8 basel cell carcinoma and two other stage 1s. I also had a pre-melanoma removed. Every time I go back to the dermatologist they find more pre cancers. I'm not a sun lover so I can't figure out why I have all this skin cancer.