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Chronic muscle stiffness and pain

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hi, im 40 years of age and ten years ago had stephens johnsons syndrome on my 30th birthday. i wasnt hospitalized, and although i was very ill, and my skin was covered in burning legions i pulled through. although i have recently been diognosed with a anxiety disorder, iv started expereincing chronic muscle stiffness and pain on the right hand side of my body occasionally moving to my arms and fingers, rib cage etc, this is persistant. my doctor says its anxiety, iv seen her twice about it now. im frightened it could be lupas?

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replied May 20th, 2010
Lupus Answer A12236
Hi, welcome to the ehealth forum and I am glad to help you.
Your concern is regarding chronic muscle stiffness and persistent pain on the right hand side of body. You think it is lupus, also called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Well, lupus is an autoimmune disease with multisystem involvement in which tissues and cells undergo damage mediated by tissue binding autoantibodies and it affects the various systems in the body. The diagnosis of SLE 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.SLE is a chronic autoimmune connective tissue disease that can affect any part of the body. Lupus most often harms the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys, and nervous system. The course of the disease is unpredictable, with periods of illness alternating with remissions.
Common initial and chronic complaints include fever, malaise, joint pains, myalgias, fatigue, and temporary loss of cognitive abilities. Because they are so often seen with other diseases, these signs and symptoms are not part of the diagnostic criteria for lupus. The most commonly sought medical attention is for joint pain, with the small joints of the hand and wrist usually affected, although all joints are at risk. Research says that more than 90 percent of those affected will experience joint and/or muscle pain at some time during the course of their illness. Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, lupus arthritis is less disabling and usually does not cause severe destruction of the joints. Fewer than ten percent of people with lupus arthritis will develop deformities of the hands and feet. It is suggested that there might be an association between rheumatoid arthritis and SLE. So you must consult a rheumatologist to reach a definitive diagnosis as the same cannot be made online.
The other possibility is that of somatic symptoms due to anxiety disorder for which you are already taking CBT.
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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