Author Topic: Lupus vs. Sjogren's?  (Read 3965 times)

LizaLou74

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Lupus vs. Sjogren's?
« on: August 08, 2009, 07:23:15 PM »
Can anyone tell me what the main differences are in these two? I am sort of driving myself crazy here. I am waiting on all my bloodwork to come back, but when I saw the rheumatologist she said she thinks I have sjogren's and antiphospholipid syndrome. For the past 15 years I have convinced myself I have lupus, along with some doctors who thought so as well (but negative ANA). Now I have a positive ANA 1:2560 homogeneous.
My symptoms are as follows:
Starting about 13 years ago, extreme joint pain and muscle weakness (flares and remissions), various rashes including one doctor who thought I had malar rash, dizziness, mouth/nose sores, blood pressure beginning to creep up, extreme fatigue, anxiety, abnormal lung function test
About 3-4 years ago, all above including borderline high blood pressure, abnormal EKG, ankle swelling
Around 2 years ago, all above including dry mouth/eyes, painful intercourse, high blood pressure treated with meds, on and off elevated liver enzymes, on and off nausea

I had vitiligo when I was younger and have an aunt who died from compications of lupus at 19yo. I just feel like for all those years my symptoms seemed more in line with lupus and just in the past 2 years did the dry mouth/eyes etc start.

What are the main differences in symptoms and can a doctor confidently diagnose one over the other??

watoozie

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Re: Lupus vs. Sjogren's?
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2009, 08:36:25 PM »
That's a hard one!!  lol  I have Lupus and Sjogrens, been on Plaquenil for 4 1/2 years.  I had a lot of your symptoms and more, I tested ANA positive for Lupus and Sjogrens, but I don't which one causes what.  Both diseases seem to have a lot of the same symptoms except Sjogrens I have very dry eyes and mouth, skin, hair dry everything!!  I have permanent plugs in my lower tear ducts which seem to have helped.  The Plaquenil helped me tremendously, I've had a couple bad flares and on Prednisone last summer for 3 months, but I wasn't as bad as before being diagnosed.  I have good days and some bad ones, but I am actually doing pretty well finally.  Hope someone else can answer your questions and hope you feel better soon.

Bernice

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Re: Lupus vs. Sjogren's?
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2009, 09:34:30 PM »
I don't think there really is a lot of difference except the Malar rash that mostly comes with lupus and I think the heart can be affected by lupus as well, while not so much with SJS. Oh! and the dryness of SJS. They both are treated with the same med. [pretty much. The thing is there is less known about SJS.

It's not unually to have others in your family with another autoimmune disease or the same. My sister has lupus. I was first diagnosed with lupus and RA, but that did not stick long, it's just they all seem to mimic each other.

I'm sure others will be alone that can add to this.

stillsguy

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Re: Lupus vs. Sjogren's?
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2009, 11:33:21 PM »
   
Lupus vs. Sjogren's?
? on: Today at 05:23:15 PM ?

Can anyone tell me what the main differences are in these two? I am sort of driving myself crazy here. I am waiting on all my bloodwork to come back, but when I saw the rheumatologist she said she thinks I have sjogren's and antiphospholipid syndrome. For the past 15 years I have convinced myself I have lupus, along with some doctors who thought so as well (but negative ANA). Now I have a positive ANA 1:2560 homogeneous.
My symptoms are as follows:
Starting about 13 years ago, extreme joint pain and muscle weakness (flares and remissions), various rashes including one doctor who thought I had malar rash, dizziness, mouth/nose sores, blood pressure beginning to creep up, extreme fatigue, anxiety, abnormal lung function test
About 3-4 years ago, all above including borderline high blood pressure, abnormal EKG, ankle swelling
Around 2 years ago, all above including dry mouth/eyes, painful intercourse, high blood pressure treated with meds, on and off elevated liver enzymes, on and off nausea

I had vitiligo when I was younger and have an aunt who died from compications of lupus at 19yo. I just feel like for all those years my symptoms seemed more in line with lupus and just in the past 2 years did the dry mouth/eyes etc start.

What are the main differences in symptoms and can a doctor confidently diagnose one over the other?

hmn pertinent question 'what are the main differences in symptoms?' Let's c, as sjs is supposedly a disease of moisture producing glands is it safe to start there? Can sjs cause glom'nephritis, demylination, stroke, pericarditis? etc? (btw u can have the dry eyes dry mouth thing with sle and systemic sclerosis, so, like wow, how confusing... )

Rheumatic diseases can evolve over the years u may start out with lupus move onto crest be a confirmed sjs then get hit by a bus one day. Drag, that. I like the definition that auto immunity is a condition, a state of being, and that as u progress thru life so does your condition.

Because many of these ai diseases r each called 'the great mimicker' the ability to distinguish the one from the other remains difficult. I suppose if one were so inclined u could use ancient technology like Venn diagrams listing all possible lupus maladies and another with sjs afflictions and c where/if they overlap...

Safe to say tho something somewhere is being immortalized, apoptosis is not functioning properly. Drag, that. Maybe the definition of one's disease depends what is discovered at the time of the blood draw?

Over the years Ive seen discoid lupus, sle, crest, osteo necrosis. osteoarthritis, sjs diagnosis's. It used to seem like a big lump of shet thrown my way but that's not the way i c it 2day. I'm just following Darwin and evolving... heehee (also i take more
interest and find loads more entertainment in noting the smaller more obscure things that might distinguish between the diseases, hemoptysis, palmar erythema, enlarged adenoids, reactive lymphocytes, raji cells, complement depletion, transient and not so
transient visual issues, nailfold and fingertip oddities, and usually end up wondering if i can trade any of this crap off for just a day or two when i used to have it all... damned martinis make me all maudelin and wishful hehe   

lynnmarie219

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Re: Lupus vs. Sjogren's?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2009, 12:07:47 AM »
Hi Liza!

As the others said..it is true that many of the symptoms of lupus and sjogrens do overlap as do the medicines to treat both. Its also true that many of the diagnosing lab tests are the same (ANA, RA, CRP etc) but there are certain labs that are used to help diagnose lupus over sjogrens (ie Anti-Sm antibody and Anti-double stranded DNA) . My rheumy periodically tests me for these as well as running the routine labs. 

It is also possible for you to have both as we sometimes seem to acquire more than one autoimmune issue......I hope you don't but I hope you get some answers soon. Don't be afraid to question your doc on which labs are run and what they mean.

Let us know what you find out...waiting is the worst part!
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gurs

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Re: Lupus vs. Sjogren's?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2009, 07:36:46 AM »
My doc said they are essentially the same, as Sjogren's can do just as much damage as Lupus...except, I think the extreme dryness issue really relates to Sjogrens..
Mine started when I turned 14 years old..dry eyes, mouth, fatigue...every year after that things just progressed. I was also diagnosed with Lupus 10 years ago..it depends on the doctor as well....and those labs-they are not always accurate!    Anyways, I think Sjogrens main symptoms, would be the dryness..all over...Hormonal issues could also contribute...im in menopause now and my dryness is just out of control...thyroid and estrogen levels play a huge part with this.
50 years old.Primary SS, Lupus, Raynauds, POTS, Hormone issues from Hyster-menopause, systemic candida,osteoporosis,Gastroparesis, chronic neuropathy, migraines, sinus/dental issues. selective immune def/low t-cells.
Prednisone & medrol , plaquenil, diflucan, bio-estrogen creams,many supplements

LizaLou74

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Re: Lupus vs. Sjogren's?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2009, 12:33:52 PM »
Thank you all for taking the time to reply to my post. It was very helpful reading them and knowing that I am not crazy...that they are so similar and how hard it is to distinguish. I guess I am going to just try and relax these next couple of weeks until I get my blood results back. And even then it seems nothing is concrete...things can continually change. I am just relieved to finally be getting somewhere with a diagnosis period. I have gone many years feeling like no one understood me, the pain I was having, the fatigue. Thanks again.

DragonflyC

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Re: Lupus vs. Sjogren's?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2009, 04:47:29 PM »
Liza,

My rheum thinks of lupus, SJS, Mixed Connective Tissue, etc. as illnesses along the same spectrum.  Whether one is more severe than another along the spectrum depends on the person (he thinks that SJS can be as bad if not worse than lupus).

Since the treatment for SJS and lupus is pretty much the same, and since a lupus diagnosis can create future problems with health insurance, a lot of doctors would rather give us an SJS diagnosis if it looks like a toss up. 

I could probably qualify for a lupus diagnosis, but I definitely have SJS (positive SS-A and ANA).  Rather than worrying about whether or not to add the additional diagnosis, my rheum just treats my symptoms.  I take plaquenil and evoxac, and prednisone for flares.  That's basically what someone with lupus would take. 

Best wishes.
SJS, Hashimoto's, Raynaud's
Plaquenil, Evoxac, Restasis, Levoxyl, fish oil supplements, Vitamin D, NSAIDs, prednisone when flaring
Tested positive for SS-A ( > 8 ) and ANA (>1:640)

Visit me at http://sjogrensstyle.com for ideas about living well despite autoimmune disease.

LizaLou74

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Re: Lupus vs. Sjogren's?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2009, 09:25:06 PM »
Why is that with the lupus diagnosis and doctors trying to avoid that? I have read that on other sites as well, including lupus sites. What is it about the lupus diagnosis vs. sjogren's that would cause problems with insurance, etc? Just curious.

DragonflyC

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Re: Lupus vs. Sjogren's?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2009, 09:18:55 AM »
Lupus is considered a more serious disease (though it isn't always), so it's a more serious pre-existing condition as far as insurance companies are concerned.
SJS, Hashimoto's, Raynaud's
Plaquenil, Evoxac, Restasis, Levoxyl, fish oil supplements, Vitamin D, NSAIDs, prednisone when flaring
Tested positive for SS-A ( > 8 ) and ANA (>1:640)

Visit me at http://sjogrensstyle.com for ideas about living well despite autoimmune disease.