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Hi technogiant and welcome :welcome:

I certainly dont think you are being a hypochondriac in seeking answers for your health problems. It's just being pro-active and there's a huge difference, obviously there is something going on.

There are a few things you can do to try and either rule in or rule out Lupus. With the rash it would be an good idea to see a Dermatologist and find out exactly what it is, in cases of suspected Lupus they can (and will) often biopsy affected and unaffected skin which can sometimes prove the disease is present. Unfortunately a negative result does not mean you dont have Lupus though. A positive one means you definitely have some kind of Lupus.

Has your GP ordered an ANA blood test to your knowledge? That is the first screening test for Lupus and many other autoimmune diseases. It can be an important diagnostic tool but by no means specific to lupus as it can be associated with other problems, but at least its a start.

He has probably run things like ESR and CRP as inflammatory markers. CRP is often not raised in lupus patients and ESR only raised in some. However from a GP's point of view they are the first tests they will run to see if some kind of inflammation is going on. Them being negative is not the be all and end all of your investigations. There are many other tests to help diagnose something like Lupus.

With your heart condition and the fact you have only seen your GP about your other problems I doubt he has tested you for something called Antiphospholipid Antibodies. The tests for that are Anti-Cardiolipin and Lupus Anticoagulant. Usually a Rheumatologist would run those tests as part of a full work up for lupus along with a slew of others. So a referral to one would be an excellent idea if you can wangle it. You should be able to considering your worsening joint problems alone. This condition can be present alone or with Lupus and can affect the heart and other blood vessels in the body.

Good luck with getting your referrals, I think thats probably the best place to start unless you have a very well informed and obliging GP who would run some of those other tests for you. Certainly he could start with the ANA if it hasnt already been done.

love
Lily
 
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