Diagnosis? Easy? Difficult?

Since menopause two years ago I have experienced increasing fatigue, aches in tendons, joints making cracking noises, swelling in legs, fingers, toes and now face.. Now it has reached a stage where the level of pain and fatigue is becoming unbearable. I don't have a diagnosis and generally keep well clear of Doctors in general. Have been taking Ibuprofen - which helps a little. How easy (lol) is it to get diagnosis from GP who is going to be looking at an overweight middle aged woman living in a little village in Wales. Thanks for any advice.

6 Replies

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  • It will depend on how good your GP is at listening and whether they have any understanding of lupus. It will also depend on how you present the symptoms that you have. It is important that you don't go in and talk about one symptom. You should keep a diary of your symptoms as this will help provide a more complete picture for your GP to make a diagnosis.

    If you would like some information about lupus to take along with you, or would like our guide on visiting your doctor, please send me a private message or email me at paul@lupusuk.org.uk with your name and address and I'll send a pack out for you.

  • Thank you for that. Yes I would like some info to take with me, so I will email you

  • Lupus is hard to diagnose for anyone and at anytime, Catlady - and the symptoms you describe could be related to an autoimmune disease (not necessarily lupus) or not. If you are unwell it is good that you are seeing your GP - but please don't wish for lupus; it is a horrid thing to have and not a very sexy disease so is under researched and hard to treat. Just about every drug has hideous and potentially life threatening side effects.

    One thing though: if you are swelling, do you also have frothy urine? If so - you should perhaps stop taking ibuprofen which can be bad for the kidneys - and swelling AND frothy urine might indicate nephritis.

    Good luck with your GP and with getting a diagnosis. I'm crossing my fingers for you that what you have is something "nicer", and easier to diagnose and treat than lupus!

  • My symptoms and age were pretty similar to yours, several years of aches and pains, exhaustion, endless physio visits, post-menopausal. My very astute GP sent me off for the right blood tests and I was diagnosed straight away. She did say to me that age gets blamed incorrectly for lots of things.

    So do go and see your GP; you could say that you have a friend with similar symptoms who's been diagnosed with lupus and ask if it's a possibility - GPs don't like self-diagnosis much! Always worth getting your thyroid function checked as well.

    But I sincerely hope it's not lupus because it's a hard road!

    Take care x

  • Thank you for that. Yes I'm afraid that GP would not like me saying what I think it might be so I will take your advice on how to put it. Whatever it is, or isn't, I need to find out as can't continue like this.

  • After many years of feeling bad and seeing various GPs I made a complaint to the surgery that I was not satisfied and spent 30min with GP to go over what I was feeling as they had bought this stupid policy in only one issue at a time. With Lupus you have many issues. I was then sent for a load of tests and came back ANA positive. having had early menopause and stillborns with frequent infections, joint pain etc I was then referred to rheumatologist and things are slowly progressing. You have to push hard some times and dont get fobbed off is my advice. good luck.xxx

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