The Signs & Symptoms of Lupus

Lupus can be quite difficult to diagnose due to the number of different symptoms that this autoimmune disease can produce. In fact, many health care experts like to refer to this disease as the “great imitator”, since it can mimic the symptoms of a number of other illnesses. Fortunately, lupus can be managed with the help of certain medications and lifestyle adjustments following a diagnosis. If you have been struggling with the symptoms of lupus, then you may be interested in learning more about one of the lupus clinical trials being conducted around the country.

Many people with lupus experience such symptoms as joint pain (lupus arthritis), malaise, long-standing fever, myalgias, vomiting, weight loss, nausea, and fatigue. Now, many of these symptoms have been associated with other diseases, so doctors cannot make an accurate diagnosis based only on these symptoms. However, if these symptoms manifest along with the following indications, then that could mean that their patient has lupus.

Dermatological Symptoms of Lupus

  • Butterfly rash (appears on the cheeks and bridge of the nose)
  • Ulcers in the mouth, nose, vagina, and urinary tract
  • Alopecia
  • Minimal rubbing of eyes produces tears
  • Skin lesions which appear on areas of exposed skin
  • Photosensitivity
  • Dry eyes

This autoimmune disease impacts the skin, so many patients will become highly sensitive to sunlight exposure

Nephrological Symptoms of Lupus

  • Hematuria
  • Lupus nephritis
  • Nephritis
  • Protenuria (Protein present in the urine)
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Renal Impairment or failure

This autoimmune disease can cause kidney function to deteriorate, which means the body will not be able to effectively filter out toxins and waste products from the blood.

Psychiatric, Nervous, and Neurological Symptoms of Lupus

  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Stroke
  • Vision problems
  • Mood disorders
  • Psychosis
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Plexopathy
  • Acute state of confusion
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Plexopathy
  • Depression
  • Sleep complications or insomnia
  • Polyneuropathy
  • Movement disorder

Lupus can affect the nervous system and brain in a number of different ways.

When SLE Impacts the Patient’s Blood

  • Low platelet count
  • Low white blood cell count
  • Anemia
  • Higher risk of blood clots
  • Anticardiolipid antibody
  • Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome

If lupus affects the quality of the blood vessels, it can cause inflammation of the blood vessels.

SLE Can Impact a Fetus in the Following Ways

  • Spontaneous abortion
  • Blockage in the placenta
  • Infant of lupus-affected mother could develop neonatal lupus
  • The baby may experience a heart block

Symptoms of Lung Involvement in Lupus

  • Pleural effusion
  • Pleuritis
  • Lupus pneumonitis
  • Chronic diffuse interstitial lung disease

This autoimmune disease can damage a patient’s lungs through the inflammation it can cause in the chest cavity.

Chest and Cardiovascular Complications Associated with Lupus

  • Pericarditis
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Myocarditis
  • Endocarditis (Libman-Sacks endocarditis)

Patients with lupus may experience periods of time where their symptoms suddenly become much worse (lupus flare-up). If you have experienced any of these symptoms, then you should make an appointment with your doctor. If you have already been diagnosed with lupus, but your illness had been in remission, then you could be experiencing a flare-up if symptoms suddenly return. This autoimmune disease can be managed with the appropriate medications and therapies, and lupus patients can enjoy the quality of life that they want.