Lupus: Support and Survival

Diagnostic Tests for Lupus
Blood count:
This test measures the amount of hemoglobin, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in your blood. Results may indicate you have anemia, which commonly occurs in lupus. Low white blood cell counts may occur as well.

Erythrocyte sedimentation rate:
This blood test determines the rate at which red blood cells settle to the bottom of a tube. A faster-than-normal rate may indicate a systemic disease such as lupus. The sedimentation rate is not specific for one disease but may be elevated in lupus, other inflammatory conditions or with infection.

Kidney and liver assessment:
A blood test can assess how well your kidneys and liver are functioning. Lupus may affect these organs as well as other systemic organs.

An examination of a sample of your urine may show an increased protein level, which may occur if lupus has affected your kidneys.

Antinuclear antibody (ANA) test:
A positive test for the presence of these antibodies  .. produced by your immune system .. indicates a stimulated immune system and is common if you have lupus or another autoimmune disease. Your doctor may advise more specific antibody testing and refer you to a rheumatologist. (More info here.. )

Chest X-ray:
An image of your chest and pleura, which surrounds your lungs, may reveal abnormal shadows or inflammation of your lungs, which may occur with lupus.

Electrocardiogram (ECG):
This test measures the pattern of electrical impulses generated in your heart. It can help identify irregular rhythms, damage to your heart or enlargement of your heart, any of which may occur with lupus.

Syphilis test:
If your doctor orders a syphilis test, it's not because he or she thinks you might have syphilis. Rather, a false-positive to a syphilis test can indicate antiphospholipid antibodies in your blood. The presence of antiphospholipid antibodies has been associated with an increased risk of blood clots, strokes and recurrent miscarriages.

Contact the Lupus Foundation of America or the local Chapter that serves your area for more information about lupus, or the programs and services the LFA offers including support group information and physician referral.

Lupus Foundation of America., Inc.
1300 Piccard Drive, Suite 200
Rockville, MD 20850-4303
301-670-9292  800-558-0121

Information gathered from :

Searching for  ways to deal with the depression, the frustrations, the questions about lupus, I joined a support group online.  LUPIES has been a wonderful gift.  I have learned more from the information I found on the support web site from other sufferers of Lupus than I did from my doctor.
Thank you fellow Lupies!    With a very special thank you to Deanna!
May your days be pain free!

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