Lupus, or SLE, is one autoimmune disorder that is difficult to diagnose, because its signs and symptoms change from person to person. Thereby, laboratory tests are needed to diagnose Lupus, along with its signs and symptoms.
The following are tests used commonly for Lupus diagnosis.
1. Blood and urine tests
Because Lupus can damage various systems such as blood system and kidneys, blood test is more likely to find anemia, decline of white blood cell count, reduced blood platelet, etc. Urine test may present proteinuria and hematuria, which usually occur when lupus has affected kidneys.
2. Immunologic test
50% of Lupus patients have hypoproteinemia, while 30% of patients have hyperproteinemia. When this disease is in the active phase, the test can find immunoglobulin A (IgA) increases, complement level reduces, and C3, C4 and CH50 decline.
3. Antinuclear antibody (ANA) test
This is one positive test for the presence of these antibodies, which are produced by the immune system. It can reveal a stimulated immune system, and most Lupus patients have a positive ANA test. However, to diagnose this disease, more specific antibody test is needed.
4. Clinical signs and symptoms
In addition to lab tests, clinical symptoms can also reveal the onset of Lupus. The common lupus symptoms include fatigue, fever, weight loss, photosensitization, hair loss, oral ulcer, skin rash, joint pain, muscle weakness, chest pain, and so on. If you have some of these symptoms, you are suggested to do lab tests to detect whether you have this disease.
After getting an exact diagnosis, patients should take effective treatments to manage their Lupus. Otherwise, they may suffer from kidney failure, heart failure, bone disease, nerve problem, and so on easily. If you are diagnosed with this disease but haven’t found helpful treatment, you can ask help from the doctor online.