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Just Tested Positive for SCL 70. Not symptomatic.

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#1 enikail523



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Posted 25 January 2016 - 10:32 AM

Can anyone tell me what this means? I'm literally in a mentally distressed state right now due to everything that I've read and seen. I can't stop crying, and I don't have any answers. I don't know what this positive test result means. I don't have any of the symptoms of this disease, but I have symptoms of other autoimmune diseases, particularly Lupus. My primary care physician said that just because the SCL 70 tested positive doesn't mean that I have scleroderma. But everything that I've read says that SCL 70 is specific to scleroderma. I'm not sure I can mentally and emotionally make it to my Rheumatologist appointment.


Can anyone help me? I feel like I'm having an emotional breakdown.


Thank you in advance.

#2 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 11:15 AM

Hi Enikail,


I'm sorry that you are so upset, but I'm glad you found our forum so you can get some answers that will hopefully help calm you down.  Just please keep in mind that severe emotional stress can be a medical emergency, and call locally for help if you need it, such as your doctor or even any emergency line.


The problem might be that in a distressed state, it is very hard to do significant, clear-eyed internet research. When we are upset, we are naturally inclined to absorb only the worst possible information, or even total disinformation.


As it happens, SCL-70 is positive in around 25% of lupus patients.  Lupus and scleroderma can both be rather mild or very serious, so I'm not sure why you would particularly prefer lupus, or why it would be more comforting to you, but perhaps that is because lupus is a more familiar term than scleroderma and you may be familiar with famous people who are living successfully with it.


The general rule of thumb they have is that if we feel emotionally disturbed for two weeks after a major stressor (or severely distressed over anything), we should see our doctor to see what can be done. Sometimes all we need is a bit of reassurance, other times we may need medication and/or counseling to help us make a healthy adjustment with whatever challenge we are facing.


Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. And of course, be aware that none of us are psychologists or medical professionals, so we can't take you by the hand and steer you to the safe zone. That is why having local professionals (doctors, counselors) to help is downright necessary for most of us when first confronted with serious illness issues.


I'm sending lots of warm hugs your way!



Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#3 Joelf


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Posted 25 January 2016 - 12:46 PM

Hi Enikail,

Welcome to these forums!

I'm sorry to hear that you're so upset and worried about the positive results of your blood test and I can understand how distressed it can make you feel.

However, it is possible to have positive blood test results and yet never go on to develop the full blown disease and vice versa, as many of our members can testify, so it may be that your worst fears could be unfounded. Unfortunately, stress and worry can exacerbate the symptoms of autoimmune diseases, so as Shelley has advised, it may be beneficial for you to seek advice from your doctor to enable you to cope with the emotional strain before your Rheumatologist's appointment.

Please do post again and update us after your appointment.


Kind regards,
Jo Frowde
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