10 Most Common Symptoms of Lupus
Lupus is a condition that we still don’t understand fully. It’s a complex disease that affects a number of parts of the body, but is best described as a disease that involves the body attacking itself. It can be life-threatening to some and relatively mild for others, affecting the skin, joints and the organs.No matter how ‘severe’ the condition is, it can have a huge effect on an individual’s quality of life. Want to learn more about the condition? Want to discover the early signs that might suggest you have the condition? Take a look at the 10 most common symptoms of lupus.
One of the most common early symptoms of lupus is fatigue. If you’re feeling tired all the time, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have lupus, however. There are lots of causes of fatigue.
Around 90% of people with lupus experience fatigue on a regular basis, and this can usually be solved by taking a quick nap during the middle of the day. Although, when these people take afternoon naps, it can cause insomnia during the night. The best way to deal with this fatigue therefore is to stay energetic throughout the day.
2. Hair loss
Again, this is a symptom that might be caused by something else, but is in fact regular for people who are suffering from lupus. An early symptom of lupus is the thinning of hair which then turns into hair less. This occurs as the skin all over the body becomes to inflame and flake, killing off the hair follicles and stopping them from producing hair.
Usually it will be on the scalp, but you can also expect to experience the thinning of hair all over the body, including the beard and eyebrows.
Before the hair actually stops growing, it might also look tired and brittle, which is a symptom that is often called ‘lupus hair’.
3. Mysterious fevers
Fevers that appear to come out of nowhere are also pretty common for people suffering with lupus. These are usually low-grade fevers that keep your temperature between 98 and 101 degrees F. Lots of people will usually ignore this kind of fever and wait for it to disappear, but if you find that you’re experiencing fevers like this on a regular basis, it’s important that you see a doctor.
4. Dry mouth and eyes
People with lupus will also suffer from dry mouth and dry eyes. Dry mouth is exactly what it sounds like – your mouth doesn’t produce as much saliva as it usually does, leading to discomfort in the mouth and a constant urge to drink water.
A similar thing happens with the eyes. The tear ducts will not produce as much fluid, meaning that the eyes feel uncomfortable and as if they have sand stuck in them. This painful, gritty feeling is easily noticeable and a sign of lupus, and something you should seek medical advice about immediately.
This dryness can also occur in the vagina for some women.
5. Thyroid irregularity
Thyroid irregularity can of course be caused by lots of conditions, but people suffering from lupus will almost always experience problems with their thyroid.
The thyroid helps control the metabolism, and when it is not working properly, all of your main organs will become dysfunctional. You will see a change in weight (it could be weight loss or a weight gain), and you may also experience dry skin and mood swings.
There are lots of treatments available which can help maintain functionality in the thyroid, even when you are suffering from lupus.
6. Stomach and digestion problems
Not all, but many people with lupus experience gastrointestinal conditions and problems. These include heartburn and indigestion, as well as digestion problems and constipation. These symptoms can still be treated using the kind of medication anyone would buy, regardless of having lupus or not.
If you experience indigestion a lot, and you suffer from lupus, a simple way to reduce that pain is to reduce the size of your meals. You should also cut down on the amount of caffeine you eat and speak to your doctor about what else may help.
7. Sore joints
Sore joints are a common problem for people with lupus. This is a result of inflammation that occurs because of the lupus. Your joints will be visibly swollen and sore, and you’ll experience most of the pain in the morning. These pains, however, may disappear and reappear weeks later. It is hard to tell when the joint problems are going to reoccur.
8. Kidney problems
A condition called nephritis, which is essentially kidney inflammation, is common among people with lupus. These symptoms will occur within about five years of lupus developing in the body, and you will notice the problems when your feet and the lower parts of your legs begin to swell. It also causes high blood pressure and can often include blood in urine.
9. Skin rashes
About half of all lupus sufferers will experience a rash that is shaped like a butterfly and sits on the bridge of the nose and reaches out onto the side of both cheeks. This can also be accompanied by lesions on the rest of the body and bad skin in general, which can also become extremely sensitive to sunlight and, in some cases, artificial light.
10. Lung problems
Finally, the lungs will also suffer as a result of lupus making them inflamed and damaging the blood vessels. Both the lungs and the diaphragm can be affected causing extreme chest pain. This pain will usually be most intense when breathing in.
Over time, lung size can actually shrink, which will of course be treated by doctors once they are alerted to the issue.