Is MCTD different from lupus, or just a diagnosis given when Dr's aren't certain of lupus yet? Or could I have lupus and MCTD?
@A MyLupusTeam Member:The typical symptoms are Raynaud phenomenon (in which the fingers suddenly become very pale and tingle or become numb or blue in response to cold or emotional upset, joint inflammation (arthritis), swollen hands, muscle weakness, difficulty swallowing, heartburn, and shortness of breath. Raynaud phenomenon may precede other symptoms by many years. Regardless of how mixed connective tissue disease starts, it tends to worsen, and symptoms spread to several parts of the body.
Lupuslike rashes may develop. Skin changes similar to those of systemic sclerosis also may occur, such as tightening of the finger skin. The hair may thin.
Almost everyone with mixed connective tissue disease has aching joints. About 75% of people develop the swelling and pain typical of arthritis. Mixed connective tissue disease damages the muscle fibers, so the muscles may feel weak and sore, especially in the shoulders and hips. Tasks such as lifting the arms above the shoulders, climbing stairs, and getting out of a chair can become very difficult.
The lungs are affected in up to 75% of people with mixed connective tissue disease. Fluid may collect in or around the lungs. In some people, abnormal lung function is the most serious problem, causing shortness of breath during exertion.
Occasionally, the heart is weakened, leading to heart failure. Symptoms of heart failure may include fluid retention, shortness of breath, and fatigue. The kidneys are affected in about 25% of people, and the damage is usually mild compared to the damage caused by lupus. Other symptoms may include fever, swollen lymph nodes, and abdominal pain. Sjögren syndrome may develop. Over time, most people develop symptoms that are more typical of lupus or systemic sclerosis
I started with almost all the symptoms in the medical definition above. However, my GP did no tests on me. I went to an orthopedic surgeon to treat the pain in my shoulders, neck and hands. He did surgery on my hands, wrist and elbow to treat tendinitis and carpal tunnel but the pain continued to worsen. He also gave me cortisone injections. I finally went to a pain management Doctor who again treated the pain but not the symptoms. I finally decided to see a rheumatologist who then did blood work which revealed a low RA factor but a high lupus factor (ANA). So her diagnosis is fibromyalgia, lupus, connective tissue disease, reynaud's disease and arthritis. She treats for the inflammation only. My pain management Doctor treats the pain associated with the rest of it.
My symptoms that overlap: Extreme joint pain, joint inflammation and swelling, chronic fatigue, reynaud's, skin rashes, lupus butterfly rash is on my neck rather than my face, chronic neck, and back pain, constant chest congestion, shortness of breath, anxiety, depression, digestive issues, memory fog, loss of muscle strength. Hope this helps!
I was first diagnosed with connective tissue disease in addition to fibromyalgia then after several tests, finally lupus. Symptoms overlap. I researched them all and treatment is very similar. I keep a log of symptoms and what may trigger pain or symptoms.
To have Lupus you have to have so many systems that go with it before they classify it as Lupus. It's like a scale of 5-7 symptoms and you have to have at least 4. It's crazy. Hope you find out exactly what you have but it will take awhile. Some people that have MCTD find out later on that it has turned into Lupus. Be patient and keep your faith. Soft Hugs
I had anti-u1rnp & anti-sm. The anti-sm is specific to lupus. Mixed connective tissue disease came in for me, because of the u1rnp antibody, and I have clinical features similar to polymyositis and scleroderma as well as raynaud's and sjogren's symptoms.
If only they would research all this more, so we could have solid answers.
I have both! But depending on where ya go on the net, it gets so very confusing! I read somewhere that Lupus is classified as a MCTD. So yeah.. there's that! And there's that on top of that! Heck if anyone truly knows! ;)
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