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Hi, I read somewhere that there is condition called lupus, that doctors have a hard time diagnosing. I have been experiencing joint pain for some time and my doctor prescribed me with ibuprofen. I was wondering if you could tell me what are the initial symptoms of lupus. Should I talk to my doctor about this condition? What are the chances that I might have lupus?

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Hi, lupus is an autoimmune condition that affects a number of organs. This illness is caused when the body's immune system recognizes its own tissue as a threat and starts reacting against it. Depending on the tissue that is affected, the symptoms occur. Lupus can affect joint tissue and cause the symptoms you have been having. The initial symptoms are the same as the ones that are recognized later, during the flare ups. Besides the inflammation of joint tissue, skin rash, fatigue and skin ulcers are some of the more common symptoms. Because of this wide range of symptoms, doctors have a hard time diagnosing lupus. Sometimes it takes several years until the person is diagnosed with lupus. The treatment is usually directed towards dealing with the symptoms, because the cure for lupus is not yet found. So, your doctor gave you a right therapy for your joint pain, since anti inflammation drugs are used to treat these conditions with lupus patients as well. However, your doctor should have determined the reason for your joint pain, before he prescribed you with the therapy. You should definitely see him again and explain your concerns.
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