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Autoimmune issue or mental health problem?

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Hi, will try to summarise or too long. Painful knees, wrists and finger joints for several years tested neg for RA 3 years ago. years ago I was referred to psyche as I started to basically have a personality change, paranoia, chronic insomnia, mood swings and depression. 2 years later and still no further forward as psyche is at a loss. I also get headaches and migraines (wax and wane), forever dry mouth even when taking fluids which means constantly peeing,(tested neg for diabetes 4 yrs afo, symptoms unchanged). I'm also photosensitive even in winter. I have had a full hystorectomy 2 years after the birth of only child due to endometriosis causing severe fetility problems resulting in zero sex drive. Now i'm wondering if this could actually be an autoimmune issue rather than a mental health problem as I really strongly disagree with the MH diagnosis, ( not due to stigma). I feel like a hypocondriac seeing my GP,I always seem to go with a list but I need help. What should I do?UK

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replied June 9th, 2010
Lupus Answer A13021
Hi, welcome to the ehealth forum and I am glad to help you.
You seem concerned by the multitude of problems with painful knees, wrists and finger joints for several years with migraine headaches, photosensitivity and some mental health issues. You are afraid that the problem with your joints could be autoimmune.
It is very difficult to diagnose online but I would give you a general idea. In photosensitivity, rash is seen only in areas exposed to sunlight. Cause can be pointed by detailed history and your doctor might like to conduct tests to rule out diseases such as lupus and porphyrias (if your clinical history points to the same) that predispose to photosensitivity. Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which tissues and cells undergo damage mediated by tissue binding autoantibodies and it affects the various systems in the body. The diagnosis of lupus is based on clinical features and autoantibodies. Some criteria having 11 components have been devised which is commonly followed and if patient has any 4 of these during the course of disease, the diagnosis of SLE is likely but not definite of course.
ANA are positive in >95% of patients during the course of illness but if you get repeated negative tests, it suggests that the diagnosis is not SLE. ANA negative lupus exists but is very rare and is usually associated with other autoantibodies (anti-Ro or anti-DNA).
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder that may affect many tissues and organs, but principally attacks synovial joints. RA nearly always affects multiple joints (it is a polyarthritis), most commonly small joints of the hands, feet and cervical spine, but larger joints like the shoulder and knee can also be involved.
You must consult your rheumatologist for definitive diagnosis as the same is not possible online.
Hope this helps. Take care.
Note: This post is not to emphasise final diagnosis as the same cannot be made online and is aimed just to provide medical information and no treatment suggested above be taken without face to face consultation with health care professional.

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