Thursday, September 9, 2010

Early signs of lupus?

Now with hindsight about the various non-specific symptoms of lupus, I think I might already have this disease sitting quietly in my system sometime ago before I was "officially" diagnosed with it.  I go for medical screening annually.  For those years (esp from 2006 to 2009) where the screening involved comprehensive blood test, the reports said I have low white blood cells - specifically Lymphocytes based on the reference range.  But it would always say that it could be due to recovery from recent infections and it is not clinically significant.  I discussed this with my doc during the previous visit, but he would not want to comment on it since the other results about liver, kidney and urine showed no abnormalities.   

About a year plus ago, I also started to experience sudden pain or nerve sensitiveness on my fingers and toes.  Such pains and ultra sensitiveness come and go.   My GP pinned it to nerve inflammation problem. Taking Synflex - an anti-inflammatory medicine helped to solve these nerve problems.  But at one time, my GP sent me for a hand x-ray thinking I might have thing growing in my thumb given the pain I was experiencing!  Of course, the result was negative.  

I was also diagnosed with high blood pressure about 3 years ago at a age of 37.  Quite young for hypertension though not uncommon these days.  I attributed it to my stressful work life then.  Now looking at it, it could have been triggered by lupus, but no one would know for sure really given the unpredictability of lupus.  I also experienced more and more ocular migraines in recent years where I see small, enlarging blind spot in my central vision with bright, flickering lights or a shimmering zig-zag line inside the blind spot. The blind spot usually enlarges and may move across my field of vision. This entire migraine phenomenon usually lasts about 10- 20 minutes.  Based on what I have read so far, such migraine has something to do with the changes in blood flow in the brain.

Guess all these unspecific and seemingly unrelated symptoms of mine are early signs of systematic lupus.  But then, it would take a serious flare up like this recent one - pancytopenia - to conclude that I am a lupis.

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