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Can SLE mimic RA

After years of suffering various symptoms over the years including Raynauds, joint and muscle pains, dry eyes,dry skin, bowel problems, hair loss and tiredness sometimes sleeping for any thing up to 19 hours a day my GP sent me for a blood test which came up positive for RA. I was sent to see a Rheumatologist who said that although all my blood tests were positive for RA he did not think that I had the condition and requested more blood tests including one for SLE. Could SLE be the reason for my symptoms and the positive blood tests for RA?

5 Replies

I was treated for RA for almost 3 years before getting the diagnosis of SLE 6 weeks ago!!!! Soits possible xx


I was diagnosed 12 years ago with a SLE/ RA overlap - they think it primarily SLE but won't ultimally commit to which one as the meds appear to be working.

A bit confusing - but such is life.

keep well



I was diagnosed with lupus and a few years later i was diagnosed with an overlapping problem with ra. The rheumatologist called it rhupus. I was told that there was evidence in my blood for ra. I've since been diagnosed with subacute cutaneous lupus (lupus of the skin). So i tend to think it to be more lupus. Ra and lupus are i believe genetically linked.


As RA is also an auto immune disorder - and before my diagnosis due to reactive arthritis that i had they first thought that I had RA. Also my late father had very severe RA. In some way it is very hard to distinguish were one auto immune starts and the other ends. I also have protein s deficiency and Sjorgen Syndrome all auto immune disorders and Lupus SLE.


Thank you all for responding to my question, for a long time I thought I was going mad due to the odd and varied symptoms I was getting, one doctor even asked me if I had ever been diagnosed with a mental health problem. I realise that I may have to make some adjustments but it is good to know that there are people out there who understand.


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