When the body attacks its own cells and organs including the skin, joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood, and brain, the condition is called lupus. It is an autoimmune disease brought about because the body can’t distinguish between healthy cells and foreign germs or viruses. It is a chronic disease, which means that the symptoms can last from over 4 weeks to many years.
It is really painful when the body’s own immune system turns on itself. The patient suffers vastly from the pain, inflammation, and swelling. People who have lupus are so well-acquainted with these symptoms that they become a long-lasting and painful part of the lupus sufferers' lives.
The types of lupus are systemic (SLE), discoid, drug-induced, and neonatal.
Lupus patients can reduce symptoms with the appropriate diagnosis, correct treatment plan, and regular health management with dedicated and supervised efforts.
14 Warning Symptoms of Lupus That Must Be Taken Care Of:
1. Skin Rash
- The most common symptom of lupus sufferers is skin rashes.
- The rash is visually troublesome but not actually very itchy.
- Prolonged exposure to heat and/or sunlight can stimulate and worsen it.
- It will not respond well to front-line medications or any topical treatments as this rash has an autoimmune cause.
- Doctors fail to find a root cause of the rash upon initial investigation.
- Typically, the rash is localized to a small area at first, and then leads to other portions of the body in most cases.
2. Joint Inflammation
- Pain and swelling in the joints, particularly, of the hands, ankles, hips, legs, feet, and knees is one of the most common symptoms of lupus.
- A healthy, energetic person may suddenly suffer from extreme joint pain and weakness which are typically among the first signs of lupus.
- This is the one sign that typically urges people to pay a visit to their doctor and get a definitive diagnosis.
- The body mistakes its own tissues for outside invaders (germs, bacteria), and this results in joint pain and inflammation.
- This pain usually starts off relatively mild and later becomes severe if the fundamental cause is not diagnosed or treated.
- In this regard, lupus is similar to rheumatoid arthritis, which has a very similar mechanism of action.
- The good news is that medications can decrease the harshness of these symptoms.
3. Oral & Nasal Lesions
- The painful growth of lesions or sores inside the mouth or nose is the complaint of a large majority of lupus patients.
- The mouth sores are very painful which can make eating, drinking, and speaking very uncomfortable.
- After prolonged periods in the sun, some people with lupus can develop lesions on their skin.
- Most of the other sufferers report that their skin problems get worse after exposure to the sun.
- As the result of sun exposure, lupus patients may grow sores and which makes the skin sensitive to the sun or bright light.
- Prolonged periods of exposure to sunlight may cause flare-ups of existing lesions and skin abnormalities.
5. Fever & Headache
- Feeling feverish and having migraines are also experienced by lupus victims.
- Body and muscle aches can also show, as lupus and the common flu share these symptoms.
- Doctors fail to precisely recognize the root cause of these at first.
6. Chest Pain
- In severe cases, the swelling and inflammation may spread to major organs, like the lungs and heart which can cause chest pain.
- Patients are at risk of developing pneumonia if this remains untreated.
7. Hair Loss
- Disturbances in the body’s ability to support the normal growth cycle leads to hair loss.
- This condition is very common in females in the 15 –45 age group. Usually, the patients lose clumps of hair in a short span of time.
8. Blue Fingers
- The toes and fingers of patients feel very cold, and turn blue and numb. This is known as Reynaud’s phenomenon, another sign of lupus.
- The irregular restriction of blood flow to the fingers leads to the fingers turning blue.
- Even if the disease has been diagnosed and is being treated, lupus patients often report a feeling of fatigue and tiredness.
- Though depression, thyroid disorder, and also certain drugs used to manage pain and other symptoms can lead to fatigue, symptoms of fatigue may accompany lupus.
10. Kidney Problems
- Lupus patients can exhibit a wide range of urinary tract disorders, including painful urination, urination urgency, and discoloration, if toxins remain in the body and are not eradicated efficiently via urination.
11. Psychosis or Mental Breakdown
- Sudden episodes of hallucinations, mood swings, seizures, and paranoia can be a sign of lupus. People with no past mental breakdowns can be affected.
- Lupus attacks almost any organ in the body and the brain is not always spared. Though symptoms may look like schizophrenia or psychosis, it could very well be lupus. A thorough medical evaluation is needed.
12. Sudden Weight Loss/Gain
- Due to the immune system being affected, lupus disrupts the thyroid and hormonal balance thus causing a sudden weight loss.
- At first, the weight loss may come as a joy to patients, but it is a sign manifesting lupus. In some rare cases, there might be weight gain due to increased retention of water in the body
13. Blisters or Bumps
- These are not the common ones in the heel caused by shoes, but blisters in the nose or mouth, which may be a sign of lupus.
- Lupus affects the mucous membranes and causes such blisters to appear.
- The lymph nodes in our body which fend off infections without being felt are also affected by lupus. Swelling in the neck, jaw, armpits, groin, behind the ear, and other regions is a sign of lupus. It causes painful and visible swellings.
14. Random Symptoms
- Lupus is often called a very tricky disease as it takes time to diagnose it. It must be known that lupus can cause any number of symptoms as people differ and so do their bodies.
- The characteristic that defines lupus is that patients might suffer for some time and then become healthy for a long time and not feel any symptom. It is also known as the disease of remission and flare-ups due to its unpredictable nature.
Signs of lupus can be efficient facts that lead a lupus sufferer to being correctly diagnosed and treated. The 14 warning signs must therefore be recognized, after which managing those symptoms can restore or improve the quality of a lupus sufferer’s life.
Lupus is not a curable disease but the symptoms and pain can be treated by medication. Certain blood tests for ‘anti-nuclear antibodies’ are a good method for detecting lupus.
Though diagnosing and treating lupus can be disheartening and fraught with pain, patients must be brave, as there might be a possible cure in the future.
Lupus is not a contagious disease, and awareness regarding the disease and its signs should be spread and more people should be educated about this trickster of a disease.