Symptoms of a Lupus Flare

Systemic Lupus SucksA lupus flare is caused when something triggers the lupus disease to arise and cause irritation to the patient, resulting in lupus symptoms. These flares can be subtle or extremely uncomfortable. Lupus flares are often unpredictable and may arise after long periods of no symptoms and go into “remission” shortly after the flare ends. Some lupus flare symptoms may include:

  • Butterfly-shaped rash (malar rash) across the cheeks and nose
  • Anemia (oxygen carrying deficiency of red blood cells)
  • Pain in the chest on deep breathing or shortness of breath
  • Sun or light sensitivity (photosensitivity)Aching joints, arthritis, and swelling joints, especially in wrists, hands, elbows, knees, and ankles
  • Swelling of the hands and feet due to kidney problems
  • Increased fever of more than 100 degrees F (38 degrees C)
  • Fatigue
  • Skin lesions or rashes, especially on the arms, hands, face, neck, or back
  • Hair loss or alopecia
  • Abnormal blood clotting problems
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon: fingers turn white and/or blue or red in the cold
  • Seizures
  • Mouth or nose ulcers
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Dry eyes
  • Easy bruising
  • Anxiety, depression, headaches, and memory loss

What Causes a Lupus Flare?

Doctors and scientists still don’t know what exactly causes lupus flares or their symptoms to arise. However, it has been observed that putting the body under unnecessary or excessive stress can cause lupus symptoms or result in a lupus flare. Too much exposure to sunlight, taking new medications, stopping your lupus medication and stress have also been known to induce lupus flares. To avoid lupus symptoms and reduce the risk of a lupus flare, try and keep your body, as well as your mind, relaxed and stress free.


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