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Having a second opinion soon

Hi, I have been seeing my rheumatologist for over 10 years; I have Raynaud's, scleroderma, connective tissue disease, chronic pain, etc. For the last three years I have felt terrible; fatigue, fevers, headaches, joint pain. I also have rashes over my legs in the morning and bad pain in my legs. I have asked for a second opinion and I am seeing another consultant. Can I ask how I can prepare for this meeting? I am looking at my recent blood results and trying to work them out. I know that lupus doesn't always show up in blood tests and I am worried that they will just say you don't have anything else wrong with me. Thank you

3 Replies

Write down all your symptoms together with a list if all the drugs you take - including any over the counter remedies you take - & show them to the new Consultant.

I would stop trying to understand every little nuance about your your blood test results. It has taken your Rheumatologists many years to understand inter-action between drugs & how they affect blood tests. High reading in one area may only be reflecting a drug you are taking & will be balanced by another seemingly unusual result elsewhere...but You & I would have no idea how to understand that,

To be honest I would be hoping there is nothing else wrong..........let's hope a different doctor will set your mind at rest.


If you already have scleroderma/connective tissue disease diagnosed, there any need for an additional diagnosis? Your bloods must have been "positive" in some ways to cement the diagnosis?

I often find that these are much of a muchness. I have certain scleroderma-like features as many peeps may often have different features on top of existing autoimmune diseases. Just all the stress of going through the process, yet again, I was thinking.

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Hi Sublime,

We published a blog article on ‘getting the most from your medical appointment’ the article discusses what you can do to prepare for an upcoming appointment. To read this article click here:

dsDNA antibodies are very specific for lupus (as they are not typically seen in any other condition or in a healthy population) only approximately 60% of people with SLE will test ‘positive’. If someone is positive for these antibodies, it often means they have lupus, but if they are negative it does not necessarily mean they do not have lupus. To find out exactly how lupus is diagnosed, read our blog article here:

Although you have not had a diagnosis of lupus, skin involvement is common in lupus with 60-70% of people with lupus reporting some skin problem. You may like to have a read of our guide on lupus and the skin here:

Below I have included some information links which I hope you will find useful:

Managing fatigue:



Pain management:

Please let us know how you get on, wishing you all the best.


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