Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), or lupus as it is commonly known, is a health condition that manifests itself as pain and inflammation in the joints, organs and skin. It is classed as an auto-immune disease and diagnosis of the condition can often be difficult because the symptoms experienced can closely mimic those of other health conditions.
Symptoms experienced by people can also differ between individuals, so one person may present with joint pain and inflammation, but another person may experience mouth ulcers and painful skin rashes, with a scaling of the skin.
Sometimes symptoms can develop gradually and change over time, which makes diagnosing lupus even more tricky for anyone other than a specialist doctor. On average it can take up to seven years for some people to start developing symptoms before being correctly diagnosed with lupus.
While it makes sense to see your GP as soon as you start experiencing unexplained symptoms, they may need to refer you to a specialist such as Dr Bhadauria to investigate deeper and find the true cause of your symptoms.
No waiting around for diagnosis and treatment
While going to your GP should be your first step, in most cases they will look at treating each of your symptoms individually. However, with a condition such as lupus, many of your symptoms may be unexplainable and hard to pinpoint.
If you are experiencing multiple symptoms but feel your GP is only treating individual symptoms, then it can be worth having a private consultation with Dr Bhadauria to get a better picture of what is going on. Your GP is a great first-line in helping you, but their experience is meant to be general rather than specialised, so it can help to see a specialist to better pinpoint your condition and rule out any other possible causes.
Getting a diagnosis for lupus
By booking a consultation with Dr Bhadauria, you will be able to get an accurate diagnosis for your condition and be given a clear picture about your treatment options and what you can do for the long-term management of your condition.
Dr Bhadauria will take a detailed background of your medical history and your present symptoms. You will have a thorough examination and have your blood and urine tested to rule out any other health conditions that may be the cause of your symptoms.
Because lupus can mimic other health conditions it will be necessary for you to take a few diagnostic tests to make sure that you are properly diagnosed. But don’t worry as Dr Bhadauria and his team always put your comfort first and will take time to get to know you and explain every test and procedure to put you at ease and your mind at rest.
The many features of lupus
Lupus sufferers can experience many different wide-ranging symptoms, but because other conditions can show the same symptoms, it is important to be correctly diagnosed by a specialist such as Dr Bhadauria.
In general, to be diagnosed with lupus you may need to be experiencing four or more of the following symptoms:
- Arthritis affecting two or more joints
- Low levels of haemoglobin, white cells and/or platelets
- Neurological symptoms such as seizures or psychosis
- Recurring ulcers within the mouth or nose
- Red patches of skin with scaling
- Renal inflammation of the kidneys called the glomerulus
- Serositis: Inflammation of the membranes that line the lungs or heart
- Skin rash over cheeks
- Skin very sensitive to sunlight
If you are experiencing some of these symptoms and would like to talk to our team, ask questions, or book a consultation, please get in touch with us.