RA or Lupus?

Posted , 6 users are following.


I have recently tested positive for ANA and am waiting on a follow up with my GP.  Wondering how to tell whether it is more likely to be Lupus or RA.  These are some of my symptoms:exhaustion

extreme fatigue

dry skin

joint pain worse in the AM, but stays with me all day.

weight gain

sweaty feet and hands

brain fog

loose stools/ diarrhea 

extra weight in mid section and double chin


heart palps



difficulty swallowing over a “lump” in throat, pills often get stuck


easy bruising

TSH low side of normal

RT3 and RT4 slightly low

Prolactin low

AM cortisol high side of normal

-6 months of thyroid treatment with no improvement in symptoms

-5 months on anti-depressants with no change in symptoms

-ultrasound of thyroid showed small lump, supposed to re-do in a year to see if it has changed. 

Dizzy when I bend over

Wake up in the night in cold sweats

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Are you by any chance taking prednisolone( cortico steroid) because a lot of what you describe is listed in side effects for pred.

    however the stiffness, painful joints, fatigue and fever sound like RA. I m afraid I don't know anything much about lupus

    I hope you get clarity of diagnosis soon

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  • Posted

    Hi Rose, I have most of these symptoms and have RA. Have been checked several times for Lupus too but I don't have it. It's hard as the symptoms can mirror for both. Suggest your doc sends you to a rheumatologist but expect them to take a while with the diagnosis. It took five years of tests before they diagnosed mine. Good luck, the symptoms are hard to live with but when they get you on the right meds things will improve.

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  • Posted

    Thanks.  5yrs! I really hope it won't take that long.  I have been suffering with all these symptoms for a long time already. My doctor tested me for ana as sort of an afterthought though. Hoping to hear from him today...

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  • Posted

    Well that was anticlimactic, but sadly not surprising I guess.  The doctor said my titers aren't high enough to be reffered to a rheumitologist, as well as my C reactive protein isn't high enough.  He said something is obviously up, but not enough to warrant any other testing at this point.  

    I'm so disapointed.  I thought I might finally be getting somewhere. 

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  • Posted

    Don't get disheartened but keep pushing,I was sent to a specialist first who diagnosed fibro myalgia but because my Daughter has MS I was then sent to a neurologist, scans revealed it wasn't that so sent to gastroenterologist. For the tummy problems, no joy there either! Through all of this they knew it was some kind of auto immune disease with inflammation just not what. Finally got a new doc who ran a RA test and it came back positive!it was the last thing I expected, I was then sent to another rheumatologist who started me on meds (predislonone, methotrexate and Hydroxycloroquine ) but she was still a little undecided it was RA (as my inflammation levels didn't subside) until she sent me for a bone scan which still showed high levels of inflammation in wrists, hand, ankles and feet, since then I was put on a biologic (Cimzia) and for the first time in ages my hands and feet don't burn. The pain has diminished but still getting swelling. So you see it can be a long haul, just keep at them.

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