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
  • Miscarriages
  • 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
  • Photo sensitivity (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
  • Infections
  • 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
  • Infection
  • 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

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