I feel very ill and suspect that I have lupus. Many of my symptoms fit, but I know that I will face an uphill battle to get my GP to refer me to a rheumatologist on the NHS (part of the problem is that years ago I was diagnosed as having Fibromyalgia and after that I've found that doctors don't take my symptoms seriously).
Recently, I've had painful and bad gastric episodes. I have photosensitive skin and come out in rashes on my hands in the summer months (purply/red itchy lumps that are like chilblains - but aren't chilblains - which feature on my knuckles and other finger joints and on the sides of my fingers and thumbs too). Recently I've had livedo reticularis on my right knee, coupled with severe sudden muscle pain in my outer right thigh, which has made me bedridden. In the past I have come out in itchy rashes all over my body for no apparent reason. I have two other auto-immune diseases, i.e. hypothyroidism and ocular myasthenia gravis and suffer with dry eyes and just very recently a dry mouth at night. I flush red/deep pink across my cheeks and nose on daily basis; the flushing is hot (but this is not due to the menopause as I am 9 years past that).
I am on levothyroxine and so I therefore also wonder whether my recent symptoms are due to 'drug induced lupus' or that I've had lupus all along and the levothyroxine is exacerbating my symptoms.
Anyway, to get to the point, my question is what blood tests do you think I should I opt for privately which, if they were to be positive, might persuade my GP that I need further testing and/or a referral to a rheumatologist?
I've done some research and I'm thinking of getting the following done out of the many that seem to be used to detect lupus:
Anti-double stranded DNA antibodies
Creatine Kinase (as I suspect myositis)
Complement 3 (C3)
and, if I can find somewhere that'll do them for me - and I can afford them - the following tests too:
My GP (a locum) did do a Lupus Anticoagulant blood test, which came back normal, but I believe that that particular test might be 'time sensitive' and there was a delay of 9 hours between my blood being taken and my blood being tested. I've also had ESR, FBC and CRP blood tests done and they were ok too. (My GP only sanctioned these tests because he thought that there was a remote possibility that I was having clotting problems, which might have been causing my recent thigh pain...but he did put a query of "??? lupus" on the blood test forms.)
Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice; they will be gratefully received.
(Sorry this is a bit of a long 'essay'.)