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Question
Posted by: kea | 2004/02/04

auto immune question

Dear Doc
Can you please advise me. Firstly I must tell you that I never, ever go to doctors unless I am really ill. I have this feeling that most people sitting hours in waiting rooms do not really need to see a doctor. So I avoid going in case I am wasting the doctors time, when that time can be put to good use on people who are really ill.
I always feel guilty about going to see the doctor if I am not really feeling very sick. Which is not often so I dont often go.

I am 49 years of age. Female. I come from a family history of breat cancer. I had a mastectomy in my late 20's. My mom passed away = breast cancer, sister older than me = breast cancer, sister younger than me = breast cancer. Another sister 2x melanoma etc. I have not had a period for approx. 3 years now. I think I have gone through the menopause. I have for many years had arthritis in my hands. Just recently, I have begun getting the most sharp pains that run down the side of my fingers. Also in my one wrist, and down my arm. Fortunately this pain comes and goes. It is not too regular at all. But when it comes, it sticks around a little while, and is very, sharp.

I went to my doctor, my first examination in about 2 years. She drew some blood. The results have come back as follows:
It says I have a ( lae positiwe titer nukleolere patroon.) The pathologist goes on to say that this is indicative of a unspecified auto immune disease, and is commonly seen in patients with auto immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. My doctor says I now need to go and see a rheumatologist and let them decide if the result if low enough to just watch me, or should further investigations be done. He also says if she suspects SLE she needs another 3 clinical diagnosis to confirm. I dont know what SLE is. My doctor mentioned something about suspecting Lupus.

OK here is my question. Should I be worried? Should I go and see a rheumatologist?. Should I rather leave this for the people who really need them. Please help. Because of my doctor block, I have also been treating my self for over a year now, for asthma, which I have also always had, but the past year or more has been much worse. I put this down to getting older etc. I dont smoke.
If it helps, I dont know what it means but the test reads as follows:
dubbeldraad DNS 0.37
EKA Siftingstoets 0.41
Kern IFA 80 (Pos)
Rumatoiede faktor <11.00

Sorry for the long note, but I would really apprciate your advise.

thank you.

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Our expert says:
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I would suggest that you see a rheumatologist as it is very important to interpret blood test together with the clinical findings. Don't apologize for going to a doctor. Thats what we are there for.

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