Is this lupus?

Over several years I've been experiencing symptoms that put together might be pointing at lupus. I have several joints in my body affected by arthritis -(moderately - no swelling but painful at times) - the GP puts it down to wear and tear (osteoarthritis) but these joints hurt particularly when I am under stress or tired.

I became sensitive to sunlight since I was pregnant with my 1st child 23 years ago, with a severe itchy rush first time I exposed my skin to the sunshine - then I could sunbathe for the rest of the summer. This now happens every summer.

More recently I had two episodes of fever where every joint in my body hurt, but after bed rest and pain killers this went away. Blood tests for rheumatoid arthritis were negative.

Just over 2 years ago I developed a skin rash around my nose, mouth and chin for which the GP gave me a cream and diagnosed as perioral dermatitis (saying it's v difficult to get rid of) - I manage this condition with the cream but it flares up every couple of weeks. I also have a small ulcer that appears on my gum on and off.

Over a year ago I started getting stinging sensation in my lymph glands - that come and go. As I've been and still am under a lot of stress at work and was dealing with bereavement of someone close to me last year I put this down to the extra stress. More blood tests showed a very low level of vitamin D but nothing else to be concerned about as the GP said. Told me the low level of vitamin D can cause random aches and pains. I am not someone who avoids the sun (with reasonable level of UVA protection) I don't believe the depletion of vit D can be put down to the lack of Vit D via natural sources and diet. I have a good balance diet too. I now take a large dose of Vit D (at the beginning it seemed to have controlled the achy lymph nodes) but only for about 3 weeks.

So with all these symptoms put together - could this be lupus?

I feel a bit foolish going back to the GP as my symptoms don't appear to be very severe - no swelling of the lymph glands as some people have but am really concerned about the damage to my internal organs which is what I've been reading can be happening.

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4 Replies

  • Hi Whitecat,

    It sounds as though you do experience some of the common symptoms of lupus. I'm not able to say whether you may have lupus or if these are caused by something else, but you should try to find out what is causing it so that you can try and get some more quality of life back.

    I think it is worth talking your GP about all the symptoms that you've been experiencing and asking if you can be referred to a rheumatologist for testing of autoimmune conditions.

    If you'd like to learn more about lupus, please send me a private message or email me at with your name and address and I will pop an information pack in the post for you.

  • Many thanks Paul for getting back to me and the suggestion about getting back to the GP.

  • Hi Whitecat

    I completely echo what Paul at Lupus Uk has said. You need a referral to a Rheumatologist who

    Will be able to advise and hopefully treat you. Good Luck. X

  • Hi whitecat,

    I agree with the other 2 posts. You are presenting some lupus symptoms but unfortunately lupus is so hard to diagnose and it mimics so many other diseases. I agree that a referral to a rheumatologist would be best.

    I hope this helps and wishing you good luck.

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