What is lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system becomes too active and begins to attack healthy tissues. This activity typically results in inflammation, swelling, and other health problems. Lupus can lead to problems with skin, joints, kidneys, lungs, heart, and blood. About 1 in 2100 people is diagnosed with this condition. Lupus can affect anyone, but it is more common in women.
People with lupus may experience flare-ups and periods of remission, that’s why the early symptoms can go undetected. Moreover, the signs can be similar to other health conditions, so it can be hard to figure out what is wrong with your body.
Here are eight warning symptoms of lupus to pay attention to.
Nearly 90 percent of people with lupus claim that they experience fatigue. It is the most common symptom, although it can be caused by many other health problems. If you experience severe fatigue and nothing works to ease it, speak to your doctor as an autoimmune disorder can play a role.
2. Sores in the mouth or nose.
Doctors say that approximately one out of every three individuals who are diagnosed with lupus gets ulcers in the mouth or nose. These sores develop in the mucosal tissues and can cause pain.
3. Fever for no reason.
It is one of the early symptoms too. Usually, it ranges between 98.5 F and 101 F, so you may not think to visit a doctor. At the same time, low-grade fever can be a signal of infection or inflammation. If you experience persistent fever for no reason, it is better to seek medical care.
4. Hair loss.
Many people with lupus experience changes in hair. The hair loss can manifest itself in different forms. It can be a lupus hair loss pattern or just in patches. The problem typically occurs during flare-ups. The scalp may become dry. Hair loss is a symptom of several conditions, and sometimes it is hard to find the cause of it. Anyway, the best option is to find professional help.
5. Skin rash or lesions.
A butterfly-shaped rash is the most visible sign of lupus. It appears on both cheeks and over the bridge of the nose. More than 50 percent of people who are diagnosed with lupus get this rash. However, lupus can cause non-itchy lesions in other areas of the body too.
5. Painful joints.
Inflammation can affect your joints causing pain, stiffness, and swelling. It may be mild at first. Like other symptoms of lupus, pain in the joints can come and go. If you experience problems with joints, consult with your doctor to determine if they are caused by lupus or something else.
6. Digestive problems.
Lupus can result in occasional gastrointestinal problems, including heartburn and acid reflux. You may think of over-the-counter medications, but if they don’t work, see your doctor.
7. Dry eyes and dry mouth.
People with lupus can experience dry eyes and dry mouth. It happens because people who suffer from lupus may develop Sjogren’s disease that affects the body’s ability to produce saliva and tears.
8. Pulmonary problems.
Lupus can cause inflammation of the pulmonary system. The swelling can affect lungs and lung blood vessels. This, in turn, can result in chest pain when a person tries to breathe in.
Lupus is a serious autoimmune disease that causes many different symptoms. Luckily, not everyone gets every symptom. If you think that you may have lupus or you are at risk, consult with your doctor.