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Hi, I went to see my doctor because I had problems with my joints. I thought he was going to give me some pain killers, but instead he ordered a bunch of tests and asked me a lot of questions. When the results of the tests came in, he told me I might have systemic lupus erythematosus and that some more tests have to be done in order for him to be sure. I was very surprised with this diagnosis. I mean, what the doctor meant under the term "I might have lupus erythematosus systemic"? Why isn’t he sure about what is causing my problems?

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Hi, systemic lupus erythematosus is a condition that, because of its symptoms may be mistaken for a number of different illnesses. That is why the doctor told you that you might have systemic lupus erythematosus. These additional tests will help him to make a conclusive diagnosis. The joint pain you have been feeling is one of the symptoms of lupus. Some other symptoms include fatigue, skin rash, especially when you are exposed to sunlight, high fever and chest pain. So you can see that these are very common symptoms that can be a sign of number of different conditions. What differs lupus from them is that lupus is an autoimmune condition. This means your immune system is reacting against your own body. This causes the inflammation of the affected tissue, like your joints. However, because the lupus never affects the same tissues, it is very hard for doctors to make the diagnosis. There are some criteria that have to be met, for a person to be diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus. But, sometimes a person may never develop all of the signs for a definite diagnosis and in others it takes years for the symptoms to occur. But, if a doctor suspects you have lupus, he will put you on a therapy that is going to help you with the symptoms, and prevent further organ damage.
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