- National Resource Center on Lupus
- Answers from our health educators
- Can lupus go away?
I was previously diagnosed with lupus. My new doctor says I do not have lupus. Can lupus go away?
There is currently no cure for lupus nor does lupus go away on its own. There are a few different possibilities that could be occurring in this situation.
One possibility to consider is that you did not have lupus and were misdiagnosed.
If you’ve been taking medications for lupus, another more likely possibility is that your labs are normal due to taking lupus medications and being well controlled. Lupus is very individualized and affects people differently. Sometimes those with lupus have good days and other days are bad.
In some people, lupus will flare, become inactive (quiescent), and go into remission—this course of the disease may or may not occur regularly throughout their life. In other people, lupus will remain in a chronic (long-lasting) state of activity. Some people will have fairly frequent flares of illness. While, others may have a flare once every few years, or every 10 years, and be in a quiescent state the rest of the time.
According to Dr. Donald Thomas in the Lupus Encyclopedia:
"When a rheumatologist evaluates someone diagnosed with SLE by a previous doctor, he or she should first confirm that the diagnosis is correct. The doctor will take a thorough history, perform a physical examination and run appropriate laboratory tests as mentioned above. A person who has SLE that is under good control on medication can actually have a negative ANA test making it virtually impossible for the new doctor to confirm the diagnosis of SLE. About 20% of people with SLE will become negative for ANA treatment. Seeing a negative ANA will cause a new rheumatologist to become very skeptical about the diagnosis of SLE. People who have SLE can help themselves and their new doctor by keeping a copy of their records, especially those showing how their initial doctor confirmed a diagnosis of lupus. Obtain and keep copies of the initial notes, labs, biopsy results, x-rays, and consultation notes that helped your initial doctor make the diagnosis of SLE."
The Lupus Foundation of America and our health education specialists have answered some of your most common questions. The provided answers are for educational and information purposes only. Consult with your doctor/health care team for medical advice.
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