Reducing time to diagnosis
Lupus is a disease that is known for being difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are different from person to person, they mimic the symptoms of many other diseases, and they can come and go. It can sometimes take several years to receive an official diagnosis.
To diagnose lupus as early as possible, there are three important things you can do:
Educate yourself about lupus
Learn as much as you can about the signs and symptoms of lupus. Our resource on what doctors look for to confirm a diagnosis is a good place to start.
Communicate with your doctor
Tell him or her about any symptoms you might be experiencing and any family history of lupus or other autoimmune diseases. Try keeping track of your symptoms so that your doctor can see how they change over time. Download a lupus symptom tracker here (PDF).
See a rheumatologist
If you have learned about lupus and talked to your primary care doctor, and you still think lupus is a possibility, make an appointment to see a rheumatologist. He or she can help determine whether you have lupus.
Cynthia Aranow, MD
Professor, Center for Autoimmune, Musculoskeletal and Hematopoietic Diseases, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
Dr. Cynthia Aranow is a rheumatologist specializing in lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Read Bio