Family & Relationships

Could My Sister Also Have Lupus?

Dear Diary,

Knowing that my younger sister would probably get tired of my asking her to get checked for Lupus, I did it anyway. For years, she’s been having some of the same symptoms I’ve had and a few strange symptoms that are a bit different. For example, she’s had hives and chest pains for years; but, she’s also had a benign tumor on her pituitary gland in her brain. That’s a condition known as prolactinoma, where the pituitary gland overproduces the hormone prolactin. It causes you to stop having periods, have vision problems, mood swings, and if the tumor grows too large, it can kill you.

To support my argument for her getting tested for Lupus, I wanted to find out if there was a known connection between Lupus and prolactinoma. I did a Google search, and I discovered that it’s not uncommon for patients to have both because the prolactin apparently modulates the disease activity of lupus….  So, her chest pain and fatigue could be related to how the prolactinoma is affecting her autoimmune system. If it’s making your autoimmune system overactive, like with Lupus (if she has it), it could explain everything. Very interesting!

I really urged her to ask for two specific blood tests–“ANA Direct” and “Anti-DNA (DS).” The ANA Direct tests for general autoimmune disease, and the Anti-DNA (DS) tests specifically for Lupus. Both of my tests results were positive twice now, once in August and once in January (last week).

Anyway, here are a couple of links I gave her to explore:

I surely don’t want her to have Lupus, but I want her to have answers for all the crazy unanswered health issues she’s also had.

All this stuff runs in families, I’m told. Anyway, better to know than not, right?

Okay, I’m done. (For now….)



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