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Junior Member
Posts: 1
Hi there,

I am new to the board. I have had Hashimoto's thyroid disease for about 6 years now and so my endocrinologist has been fairly good about monitoring me for other autoimmune issues. Unfortunately my endocrinologist moved out of the country and I had to wait over 6 months to be seen by another Dr in the practice and have not been seen for my thyroid disease in over a year. I was finally seen last week after not feeling well at all. So why the lupus suspicion...

My thyroid levels are still stable on Synthroid and thyroid ultrasound showed no nodules. I have been suffering from major hair loss, joint pain, fatigue, IBS, and headaches for especially the past 6 months. I was also recently diagnosed with acid reflux by a GI Dr and have been to the ER and a cardiologist for unexplained tachycardia but have normal EKGs otherwise. I also have chest pressure and pain above by breasts like a burning feeling. I also have what I believe to be raynaud's of the hands and have taken pictures of it to show the Dr. The palms of my hands below my thumb will turn blue and dusky with the fingers being more white. I have shortness of breath but clear lung sounds and a negative chest x-ray but had a low peak flow reading so one Dr just gave be steroids and said "I don't know, maybe asthma". I never had a history of asthma prior.

 The endocrinologist tested my adrenals and parathyroid function first to rule those out and all those tests were normal. He called me yesterday and said that he was concerned about my kidneys because I have low potassium and am not on diuretics, nor do I have a parathyroid or adrenal problem. He said a woman my age (35) should not have low potassium levels (they are not severe, but run around 3.7-3.4 the lowest) and should be around 4 and up. I said okay what are you thinking and he said I suspect a kidney problem but not sure why you would have that so we need to do more tests. So now I will have a 24 hour urine catch and an ANA, and CRP done. I am wondering if anyone else experienced issues with potassium levels due to kidney involvement prior to a lupus diagnosis? Since everything else has been ruled out I am anxious to find out if this is indeed another autoimmune disease such as lupus.

Ugh! I just want to feel better and figure out what is going on :(



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Senior Contributing Member
Posts: 1,004
Hi, desertgal, and welcome. I hope the docs figure out what's going on with your health. It sounds like you've been through the wringer! The thing about low potassium levels is that they can be caused by a number of factors other than lupus nephritis, so I'm not sure whether someone who experienced low potassium and was diagnosed with lupus nephritis afterward would be much help. I hope someone who has had that experience will reply, though.

Best of luck! Fingers crossed you don't have this horrible disease!

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