, another part of the self-diagnosis issue for me is putting a label on a group of symptoms and having that condition define me. It is one reason why I have not been back to a doctor. I'm pretty sure I have Lupus, but why does it matter? I know my body well enough to recognize when I'm having a flare up. The key goal for me is to keep inflammation down because I know it is doing damage when things are out of control. What has worked for me is diet and supplements, exercise, rest when I need it, a good night's sleep, and keeping stress to a minimum.
A year ago, I was experiencing extreme fatigue (as in, I could barely get out of bed - all day), muscle fatigue, fasciculation (muscle twitching), difficulty swallowing, night sweats, hair loss (yikes!), blurry vision, malar rash, light sensitivity, cold sensitivity (purple hands and feet), numbness in my left arm and leg, feeling of electric shock on my skin, and a few other symptoms.
My blood work revealed a positive ANA and Sjogren's antibodies. Multiple tests later, including two brain scans and an EMG, and MS was ruled out. I was relieved to learn that, but all I could see in my future was more tests and dangerous medications my rheumatologist wanted me to take and that scared the heck out of me.
I'm fortunate that alternative methods have worked for me thus far. I still have my days, but my hair is growing back thicker than ever, my face cleared up, and I have the strength and stamina to walk four miles a day again. Only occasionally do I have the muscle twitches and malar rash on my face, and almost always after a time of stress. Stress management is huge.
I want to also point out that my diet at the time was lacking in nutrients and calories. Making an effort to get wholesome and healing food in my body has made the biggest difference, in my opinion.