Symptoms of Lupus in Men 682x302

 Lupus: Not just a woman’s disease

Tired man at deskLupus, a chronic autoimmune disease, is typically thought to be a woman’s disease, but the fact is, men get lupus too. Although nearly ninety percent of those diagnosed with lupus are women between the ages of 15-45, men should not discount the potential that they too can have it or discount the seriousness of the disease and its effect on the body if left untreated.

If you still are unconvinced that lupus is not just a women’s disease, here are a few numbers worth paying attention to: 1.5 million Americans have lupus, this means that approximately 150,000 men have lupus. That is nearly double the total number of people in the United States with muscular dystrophy (approximately 50,000 people have muscular dystrophy in the US) and cystic fibrosis (30,000 people have cystic fibrosis in the US) combined. Not to dismiss the severity of those two diseases, but it is important to realize just how many men are affected by lupus. These are, indeed, staggering statistics that are difficult to ignore.

Men's ShoesIn general, men seek medical attention less frequently than women. Traditional male culture promotes the “suck it up”, “play through the pain”, or “pain is weakness” mentality. This simplifies the belief that men are supposed to be strong and any challenge to that belief, goes against more traditional ideas of masculinity. The fact is, when someone is truly aware of their body, they can determine the difference between normal pain vs. new and different symptoms. They should then be able to acknowledge the need to seek medical attention.


Symptoms of Lupus in Men

Lupus Symptoms Graphic Men 403x374

A quick synopsis of some common signs and symptoms of lupus in men (as represented in the above illustration.):

The disease of Lupus or SLE presents itself similarly in men and women although there are a few symptoms in men that have been noted to be more common than in women. Some of those symptoms are:

In Conclusion

Man money concernsYou know your body, you know what is normal and what is not.  If you are a male, and are experiencing out of the normal fatigue, weakness, or lethargy, regularly find yourself taking an unusually high dosage of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications for muscle and joint pain (these can damage the liver with prolonged use), notice any strange rashes or having unusually high sensitivity to light, please take the time to consult a health care professional.

You may have concerns about what a lupus diagnosis could mean to your future, your financial well-being, you and your family’s security. These are all normal concerns but should not preclude you from seeking medical attention. Coping with, what could be, a lupus diagnosis is not easy, but the ramifications of not receiving a timely diagnosis could be life-threatening.

A rheumatologist is typically the primary care physician for lupus patients, so if joint and muscle pain are some of your symptoms, this might be a great place to start. Request that lupus be a consideration in the diagnosis and come armed with your medical history, list of symptoms and frequency of symptoms. Keeping a small medical journal can identify symptoms and patterns that can help a physician make a diagnosis and aid in recognizing what could be triggering a lupus flare.


You have read this blog on symptoms of lupus in men, you may now wish to read more relevant information in these following informative blogs:

Diagnosing Lupus and Lupus Tests

Living With Lupus: In What Ways Can Lupus Affect the Body?

Coping With Lupus: How Does Lupus Affect Your State of Mind and Body?

*All resources provided by Molly’s Fund are for informational purposes only and should be used as a guide or for supplemental information, not to replace the advice of a medical professional. The personal views do not necessarily encompass the views of the organization, but the information has been vetted as a relevant resource. We encourage you to be your strongest advocate and always contact your medical provider with any specific questions or concerns. 

Sources:,,, MSN health,  NIH, NY Times


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Article by : Karrie Sundbom

Karrie is the Digital Marketing Manager at Molly's Fund and responsible for innovating content for all of Molly's Funds online communications, creating memes and graphics, writing the MFFL Newsletter and main lupus blogs, as well as developing and managing the content for all of our social media platforms. Connect with Karrie on LinkedIn and Google+ .
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