Symptoms of Lupus

How to recognise the Symptoms of Lupus

Lupus is renowned for the difficulty in making a clear and concise diagnosis for those suffering from the disease.   Some people suffer a severe and sudden onset of the condition, whereas other people develop different symptoms in an ongoing presentation.  Often, each subsequent flare up of the disease can present with a slightly different combination of signs and symptoms, which can be confusing to the sufferer and to the medical profession alike.  The symptoms to watch out for can include any of these nasty conditions:

1.  Symptoms of Lupus – Fever without the typical cold or flu

One of the earliest but most easily overlooked symptoms of Lupus seems to be an unexplained fever, which strikes unassuming people with little or no knowledge of what may be happening.  The fever can come and go, and because it is not as severe as the fever associated with a cold or flu, then sufferers can tend to soldier on and overlook the problem as just a mild annoyance.  If you become aware of the recurrence of annoying fevers which strike on the annoying level rather than the disturbingly ill level, we recommend that a visit to the Doctor is as always the best courser of action.

2.  Extreme Tiredness – Symptoms of Lupus

Almost everyone who have been positively identified as having Lupus will experience some form of fatigue and tiredness that becomes a noticeable factor in their daily lives.  The inability to function properly during the day can become almost debilitating for those who have trouble staying awake at work, or whilst driving the car, or any other time when tiredness seems to interfere with normal daily functioning.  Extreme levels of fatigue can be dangerous to the normal routine of going about you day, so if you need to be alert for particular times of the day, please be aware of the impact that fatigue and Lupus may have on your ability to say awake.

3.  Painful, Swollen Joints – common Symptoms of Lupus

The nature of Lupus is to cause vasculitis and inflammation around the body, so in extreme cases, that can be presented as swelling and redness in the joints, especially around the large joints of the body.  Therefore, these symptoms are commonly misdiagnosed as arthritis, and it is not until other symptoms flare up that Lupus can be identified as the cause of the joint pain.

Inflammation and swelling can be particularly noticeable in the morning.  When these symptoms are combined with general tiredness and fatigue, the sufferer can feel particularly miserable each morning.  Getting mobile and up and about as soon as possible can generally make the sufferer feel better, this condition can be physically and mentally draining and take a large effort every day.

Inflammation can cause pain, stiffness, and visible swelling in your joints, particularly in the morning. It may be mild at first, gradually becoming more obvious. Like other symptoms of lupus, joint problems can come and go.

If over-the-counter pain medications don’t help, see your healthcare professional. There may be better treatment options, but your doctor must determine if your joint problems are caused by lupus or another condition, such as arthritis.  One of the best treatment options that we recommend is to use a TENS machine for the relief of pain from the effects of LUPUS inflammation and swelling.

4.  Skin Rash – the “butterfly rash” – Telltale Symptoms of Lupussymptoms of lupus

Although the butterfly rash is not necessarily one the most common signs of Lupus, once this manifestation of the disease becomes obvious, then there can be little remaining doubt about the diagnosis.  Rashes can present on other parts of the body very frequently, and sufferers of Lupus will often recognise when a flare up of the condition is about to strike by the presentation of skin rashes and inflammation.

About half of people who suffer Lupus may see signs of the butterfly rash.  Many more sufferers will develop skin rashes of various forms, from skin lesions, to inflamed skin rashes, to dried and flaky patches on the skin.  There appears to be a link between exposure to sunlight and the timing and location of the skin afflictions, so medical advice is to protect the skin from damage due to sunlight. 

5.  Inflammation of the Kidneys – Typical Symptoms of Lupus

One of the more serious side effects of Lupus is the onset of kidney inflammation, which can be known as nephritis.  When nephritis affects the kidneys, it can reduce the effectiveness of the kidney functions.  This means that the kidneys can struggle to remove waste materials from the blood stream, and can lead to more serious side effects, if not managed properly.

Nephritis caused by Lupus can lead to serious renal disease, problems with urination, increased swelling and high blood pressure.  These symptoms need to be treated by a medical professional immediately.

6.  Breathing Problems – Symptoms of Lupus

Lupus can cause severe vasculitis and inflammation of the lungs and breathing system.  When the arteries and blood vessels around the lungs are affected by Lupus, then the inflammation causes pain and discomfort when breathing.  Sometimes the diaphragm is also affected by inflammation of the blood vessels around the lungs, and this can make breathing quite difficult and very painful.  Shortness of breath and general weakness are the most common outcomes of these symptoms, and these problems can often compound the tiredness and fatigue that accompany this disease.


7.  Hair Loss can be one of the Symptoms of Lupus

One of the most distressing symptoms of Lupus and especially for female sufferers is the loss of hair which can often fall out in clumps.  Initially, Lupus can cause a general thinning of the hair, which is caused by redness and inflammation of the scalp of the head.  Because the inflammation and rash on the scalp is not always noticeable, the reasons for losing a gradual amount of hair can go unnoticed.  Until clumps of hair loss suddenly and distressingly become obvious, this symptom is often brought to a Doctor’s attention, but only when the problem is already well advanced.

There are treatment options to prevent the permanent loss of hair, but it is important to take note of rashes and inflammation of the scalp, and not to simply ignore these important symptoms.  As always, consult a Doctor if you suspect the onset of these symptoms of Lupus disease.

8.  Dry Eyes can be a symptom of Lupus

Another tell tale symptom of Lupus is the development of so called “dry eyes” where the tear ducts do not produce sufficient tears, and the eyes constantly feel dry and gritty.  The issue can also affect the saliva glands in the mouth, resulting in dry mouth.  This is an auto immune failure caused by Lupus, and can cause ongoing dental problems and discomfort.  These symptoms are treatable with medication, so be sure to let your Doctor know if you suffer these signs of Lupus.

Combination of Symptoms of Lupus

The overall issue with Lupus disease is the variations in the presentations of any or all of these symptoms that we have discussed above.  Not everyone presents with the same symptoms, and not everyone suffers these symptoms to the same severity.

The next recurrence of the Lupus flare up may even consist of different symptoms, such that even the sufferer may not immediately recognise the warnings of another bout of illness.

Nevertheless, these symptoms are important to watch out for and be prepared to advise your Doctor of any signs of Lupus so that treatment options can commence as early as possible. 

Click here to see how to reduce the effects of lupus and alcohol.


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