This is topic Walker works to overcome lupus, "great imitator" in forum Medical Questions at LymeNet Flash.

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Posted by 22dreams (Member # 17846) on :
Article writer calling lupus "the great imitator".

Woman's lupus story, full article link below:


Walker works to overcome lupus, 'great imitator'
Hopes to bring area awareness to illness

By Bill Sterling * Staff writer * October 28, 2009

Sarah Gorman Walker was 25 and only three days from being married when she became so sick "I hardly cared if I lived or died." But by Sunday she felt better and was married to her boyfriend of three years, Wade Walker. On her honeymoon, only a week after she felt ill, she was skiing on the slopes of Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia.

Thus is the roller coaster ride Walker has lived with lupus.

That was 26 years ago, and since then Walker has been close to death several times and once stopped breathing. She has also endured at least 20 operations, mostly on her hands but also two hernia operations.

She has had both her gall bladder and her esophagus removed. A tracheotomy altered her voice. Lupus can affect virtually any body, organ or system, and Walker has had to undergo chemotherapy, causing the loss of her hair several times since she was first diagnosed with lupus at the age of 22.............


Many of these symptoms occur in other illnesses besides lupus. In fact, lupus is sometimes called "the great imitator" because its symptoms are often like the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, blood disorders, diabetes, thyroid problems, Lyme disease and a number of heart, lung, muscle and bone diseases.

Walker was first told she had tendonitis and then arthritis when her symptoms first appeared. She pushed until she got further evaluation and eventually was tested for lupus. "Listen to your body and get all the information you can," said Walker, who headed a lupus awareness group for many years on the Shore. She says the Accomack Soroptimist Club has adopted lupus as their cause and is a major supporter for lupus patients on the Shore.

No gene or group of genes has been proven to cause lupus. Lupus does, however, appear in certain families, suggesting that genes are involved in the development of lupus. However, Walker is one of seven children and has a very large extended family, but not one of her siblings or her numerous nieces, nephews or cousins has lupus.
Posted by richedie (Member # 14689) on :
Can you say LYME!!!!!!!!!
Posted by JamesNYC (Member # 15793) on :
Lupus imitates Lyme??? Let me see if I can guess how they ruled lyme out....

Man bites dog.
I gave the ticks that bit me lyme.

It's bizzaro world.
Posted by Pinelady (Member # 18524) on :
Why tell her she has Lyme when they have hundreds

of drugs to sell for lupus symptoms. $$$$$$$$$$$
Posted by JamesNYC (Member # 15793) on :
Aaaahhhhh, good point. But lyme drugs are $$$$$$ too!
Posted by coltman (Member # 21272) on :
Originally posted by JamesNYC:
Aaaahhhhh, good point. But lyme drugs are $$$$$$ too!

But lupus drugs are more expensive and you can milk it forever since lyme after all has an identified pathogen and could be treated (and potentially cured)
Posted by Shosty (Member # 12232) on :
Guys, real lupus does exist, and is much more dangerous than Lyme overall. It is possible she has Lyme, but it is also possible she has lupus. It is good to respect all possibilities.
Posted by 22dreams (Member # 17846) on :
I just found it odd that the journalist referred to lupus as "the great imitator". I've not heard that reference before when reading about lupus. I've read that obviously with syphilis and lyme.
Posted by canefan17 (Member # 22149) on :
So if she tested positive for Lyme she could RULE OUT lupus?
Posted by Shosty (Member # 12232) on :
No, I have both actually. It can be tricky and take several years to sort out.

Lupus was called the great imitator before Lyme, I think...
Posted by disturbedme (Member # 12346) on :
Hard to say.... some people think Lupus is Lyme (including some LLMDs)... others believe there really is Lupus and Lyme and a difference between the two... I'm on the fence. I pretty much thing Lupus is usually Lyme or at least the Lyme brought it out.

My mother in law has Lupus... but has been in remission for over 12 years after having chemo for it. All of her symptoms for the Lupus were exactly lyme symptoms. She gave birth to my husband and also his brother before she was diagnosed with it, but my husband was born with a "butterfly" rash on his face. The doctors just told her that the Lupus had caused it.

But now I'm pretty sure that that means he was born with lyme, congenital lyme. Unfortunately, he has some symptoms of lyme (thankfully not a LOT, but a few). He's been tested for lupus, and though he does have a high ANA, the other lupus test was negative.
Posted by Shosty (Member # 12232) on :
Noone knows the cause of lupus, but many think infections of various kinds, or environmental factors/toxins, can trigger it. Lyme is only one possible trigger, and for some, but not all, treatment of the infection can heal the lupus. There are some whose lupus continues after the Lyme is well-treated, however. And, actually, a person could have lupus and then also get bitten by a tick and have Lyme, which would no doubt aggravate the lupus that was already there.

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