15 Early Warning Signs of Lupus
Lupus is deceptive. It shares symptoms with many other autoimmune diseases and can strike anyone at any age. Not only is it deceptive, lupus is often unpredictable. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE is the most common form of the disease. It affects different organ systems, and its symptoms include chronic inflammation of the kidneys, joints, and skin. Cardiovascular and nervous systems are also affected.
These are 15 significant early warning signs that patients should be aware of.
Symptoms of lupus not to ignore
Lupus imitates other autoimmune disorders like thyroid disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Watch and see if you experience a number of these symptoms:
1. Extreme chronic fatigue
Almost 90 percent of those with lupus have different levels of fatigue. Sometimes an afternoon nap is excellent, but if you sleep too much during the day, you may have insomnia at night. Remain active and keep up your daily routine. A daily routine will help you keep your energy levels high.
2. Sensitivity to light
Being sensitive to light, and even the sun, is one of the most common triggers for "lupus flares." Sunlight can cause symptoms to flare up or worsen.
3. Joint swelling and pain
Joint swelling and pain. Inflammation is the cause of stiffness, visible swelling and pain in your joints. Often, joint pain materializesfirst thing in the morning. Swelling and joint pain symptoms may be mild at first, but they gradually become more noticeable as you move around the room.
Joint problems do come and go with lupus. Use OTC pain medication if needed or see your doctor for better treatment options.
4. A malar rash
A malar rash (butterfly shaped and, on the cheeks, face or nose). A sure sign of lupus is a butterfly-shaped rash appearing on both cheeks and over the bridge of the nose. Up to 50% of those with lupus will experience this butterfly-shaped rash.
At times, the rash becomes visible just before a flare-up, or when you expose your skin to excessive sunlight. Lupus also causes non-itchy lesions in other areas of your body. Lupus does not typically cause hives, but you may experience discoloration in the fingers and toes.
5. Headaches and migraines
Lupus can also affect a patient's nervous system and this could result in a patient having a severe headache. A severe headache or migraine may also mean that a patient suffers from fibromyalgia, since approximately 1 in 5 people suffer from both conditions.
Edema is condition that is characterized by the excess of water in the body's tissues. This will usually cause swelling, and it will typically present in your hands, arms, feet, ankles, and legs.
7. Raynaud's phenomenon
Raynaud's phenomenon might be a rare disorder, but many lupus patients experience this syndrome as a result of lupus. Raynaud's phenomenon is when the smaller arteries constrict in response to a cold weather. Your fingers, toes, ears, and tip of your nose would usually feel numb and turn blue in cold temperatures or in times of stress.
8. Dry mouth and dry eyes
You may experience dry mouth and eyes if you have lupus. Some people with lupus develop Sjogren’s disease which is another autoimmune disorder. Sjogren’s causes the glands responsible for tears and saliva to malfunction and lymphocytes accumulate in the glands. Women with lupus and Sjogren’s may also have dryness of the skin and vagina.