Lupus Symptoms

Lupus presents itself in various ways. The onset is usually gradual, with the development of vague feelings of illness until some specific symptoms of Lupus appear.

The signs of Lupus differ from one person to another. Some people have just a few signs and symptoms; others have more. The most common symptoms are:

  • Painful or swollen joints
  • Muscle aches
  • Prolonged or extreme fatigue
  • Skin rashes
  • Low blood count
  • Pale or purple fingers/toes from cold or stress

Persistent low-grade fever
Mouth or nose ulcers
Unusual loss of hair
Organ problems
Pain in the chest while deep breathing

Red rash or color change on the face, often in the shape of a butterfly across the bridge of the nose and cheeks
Photosensitivity (sun or light sensitivity)

It is important to note that these symptoms are similar to those of other acute or chronic illnesses. Other complications that may be present due to Lupus are:

Neurological complications
Psychological complications
Eye problems
Blood problems
Bone loss
Teeth and gum problems
Gastrointestinal complications
Cardiopulmonary complications
Nutritional problems
Renal complications
Complications with pregnancy

Lupus “Flares”
Sometimes, despite the treatment plan and your efforts, you may experience a Lupus flare. A flare is a worsening of symptoms that signals increased disease activity. A variety of factors can cause a flare, and you should contact your doctor immediately if you suspect a flare is developing.

Warning Signs of a Flare:

Increased fatigue
A new or higher fever
Increased pain
Development or worsening of a rash
Upset stomach
Headache or dizziness
Development of symptoms you haven’t had before

What Triggers a Flare
A flare can be triggered by one factor or a combination of factors. The most common are:

Overwork or not enough rest
Stress or an emotional crisis
Sudden stoppage of medications for Lupus

Exposure to sunlight or other sources of ultraviolet light

Injuries or surgery
Pregnancy or the time right after delivery
Sensitivities or allergies to items that you put on your skin, such as hair dye, hair permanent solution, makeup and skin creams
Certain prescription drugs
Over the counter medications such as cough syrup or laxatives and immunizations