Lupus Symptoms and Signs
Lupus can and often affects many different systems in the body, and therefore, if you do have lupus, the symptoms and signs that you may experience will depend heavily on which part of the body is being affected by the disease, but here is a thorough yet abbreviated list;
A Quick Synopsis of Some Common Lupus Symptoms and Signs
- Brain and Nervous System: Persistent and unusual headaches, memory loss, or confusion.
- Lungs: Lupus can damage the lungs through pleurisy and pneumonitis (inflammation), or pulmonary emboli, resulting in shortness of breath and pain in the chest from deep breathing.
- Renal System: About half of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients will develop some form of kidney inflammation, called lupus nephritis. This inflammation can lead to kidney failure, but like most lupus symptoms the effect on the kidneys is quite variable and hard to predict. Increased protein (showing as blood) in the urine, swelling of the feet and legs, and high blood pressure can be indicators that the kidneys may be affected.
- Eyes: Lupus can damage nerves and blood vessels in the eye, leading to dry or puffy eyes, and increasing sensitivity to light.
- Mouth: Sores inside the mouth are a common symptom of lupus.
- Skin: Lupus may cause skin rashes, and is known for its distinctive “butterfly” rash on the face usually over the cheeks and bridge of the nose. These rashes can be exacerbated by sun exposure (photo-sensitivity). You may also experience hives or sores which would also worsen with sun exposure. Sudden and unexplained hair loss could also signify lupus.
- Fingers, Toes, Tip of the Nose: If your fingers turn white or blue with exposure to cold or during stressful situations, it can be caused by a constricting of the small blood vessels in those areas. This is called Raynaud’s phenomenon, a condition closely associated with lupus.
- Stomach & Digestion: Lupus can cause or exacerbate ulcerative colitis, pancreatitis, and liver conditions, resulting in nausea, vomiting, recurring and persistent abdominal pain, bladder infections, and blood in urine.
- Legs, Joints, and Feet: Persistent joint pain and swelling is a common lupus symptom. Legs and feet may also swell.
- Fatigue and unexplained fevers
Check out this link from About.com http://video.about.com/arthritis/Symptoms-That-Might-Indicate-Lupus.htm#, for a great, short, informational video featuring the Chairman of Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Dr. Bob Lahita. This video provides clear and concise information that will help to give an understanding of what could be some symptoms of lupus.He also gives some fantastic advice by recommending that the patient write down all symptoms being experienced before heading in to a doctor for diagnosis.
Some Super Resources
Do you think you may have lupus? Click on this link for some more great information on Lupus Symptoms.
Molly’s Fund Fighting Lupus has a great referral network that we working on making even more robust. Please find it here: Referral Network
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