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Lupus can be difficult to diagnose as the symptoms come and go and mimic those of many other illnesses. Some symptoms of lupus can be transient such as joint and muscle pain, fatigue, a rash caused or made worse by sunlight, low-grade fevers, hair loss, pleurisy, appetite loss, sores in the nose or mouth, or painful sensitivity of the fingers in cold environments.
SLE may be hard to diagnose and is often mistaken for other diseases. For this reason, lupus has often been called the "great imitator." No single test can tell if a person has lupus. There are many ways to diagnose SLE:
Medical history. Give your health care provider (HCP) a complete, accurate medical history. This information, along with a physical exam and special tests, helps your HCP rule out other diseases that can be confused with lupus.