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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 Rheumatoid Arthritis) 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.



Lupus Symptoms

Fever (not associated with an infection)

Butterfly shaped rash on the face

Muscle pain

Swollen or Painful Joints


Rashes that appear or worsen with sun exposure

Mouth Ulcers

Hair Loss

Chest Pain with deep inhalation



Cognitive Impairment

Swollen Glands

Swelling in the legs or around the eyes

Pale or Purple fingers


The 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

Source: National Institute of Arthritisand Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)