I've decided to do a little profile of each of the rare and little-known conditions I have managed to accumulate on my diagnoses list. The first of these I'm going to explain/look at is Dile, or Drug Induced Lupus.
This is my newest and least understood diagnosis. I have had many of the symptoms of lupus, but my bloods specific for this condition have been negative. It took a visit to my new General specialist, and a thorough look at the medications I'm on and this has been the tentative diagnosis. To be confirmed when I have weaned off the meds that may be causing it (I'm on three that could be the culpurate, so we're eliminating one at a time).
So What is DILE? Basically it's a side effect. It occurs in .03% of patients on certain medications. It occurs after longterm use of said medications. the symptoms are:
Muscle and joint pain and swelling
Flu-like symptoms of fatigue and fever
Serositis (inflammation around the lungs or heart that causes pain or discomfort)
Certain laboratory test abnormalities.
So far I have started coming off the least likely to effect my heart function medication, so fingers crossed we're on the right path AND it's this drug and not one of the others my body actually really relies on.
Like many of the other conditions I have, this is something I had NEVER heard of. It's still an uncertain diagnosis at this time, but there certainly looks to be something autoimmune going on with me too. Hence the employment of six specialists trying to figure me out ;)
Regardless of whether this becomes an official diagnosis, learning about DILE and Lupus in general has made me become so much more aware of the 'invisible' conditions people live with every day. I know of people with official Lupus diagnoses, and the courage they possess is huge. So today I am thinking of all of you whom suffer from Lupus. I wish I could take your pain away.