Lupus Symptoms vary from person to person and may be
mild or severe. Over time, symptom
intensity may change with the onset and remission of a flare.
New symptoms can appear at any time and different symptoms may occur at different
times. Lupus symptom variability and
similarity to other diseases (like
means that self diagnosis
is not possible. If you have multiple
symptoms from the list below, you should see a doctor to get a professional evaluation. A Doctor will use a physical examination
and several laboratory tests to determine if you have Lupus.
Unfortunately, Lupus is difficult
to diagnosis and the process may take many months or even years.
Fever (not associated with an infection)
Butterfly shaped rash on the face
Swollen or Painful Joints
Rashes that appear or worsen with sun exposure
Chest Pain with deep inhalation
Swelling in the legs or around the eyes
Pale or Purple fingers
following systems in the body also can be affected by lupus.
- Kidneys: Inflammation of the kidneys (nephritis) can impair
their ability to get rid of waste products and other toxins from the body effectively.
There is usually no pain associated with kidney involvement, although some patients
may notice swelling in their ankles. Most often, the only indication of kidney disease
is an abnormal urine or blood test. Because the kidneys are so important to overall
health, lupus affecting the kidneys generally requires intensive drug treatment
to prevent permanent damage.
- Lungs: Some people with lupus develop pleuritis, an inflammation
of the lining of the chest cavity that causes chest pain, particularly with breathing.
Patients with lupus also may get pneumonia.
- Central nervous system: In some patients, lupus affects the
brain or central nervous system. This can cause headaches, dizziness, memory disturbances,
vision problems, seizures, stroke, or changes in behavior.
- Blood vessels: Blood vessels may become inflamed (vasculitis),
affecting the way blood circulates through the body. The inflammation may be mild
and may not require treatment or may be severe and require immediate attention.
- Blood: People with lupus may develop anemia, leukopenia (a
decreased number of white blood cells), or thrombocytopenia (a decrease in the number
of platelets in the blood, which assist in clotting). Some people with lupus may
have an increased risk for blood clots.
- Heart: In some people with lupus, inflammation can occur
in the heart itself (myocarditis and endocarditis) or the membrane that surrounds
it (pericarditis), causing chest pains or other symptoms. Lupus can also increase
the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
Next: What is Lupus
Arthritisand Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)