Healthy Living

Lupus Is a Leading Cause of Death Among Young Women

Lupus' symptoms can range from mild to severe

Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease characterized by the immune system targeting and attacking its own bodily tissues. For this reason, the disease can affect any organ or structure, but it frequently affects the skin, kidneys, brain, and the musculoskeletal, respiratory, and central nervous systems. Luckily, lupus symptoms are mild, and can be kept in check through medication. These symptoms include:

  • Thoracic pain, or discomfort when breathing deeply
  • Consistent chronic fatigue
  • Fever without any apparent cause
  • A general ill feeling
  • Hair loss
  • Weight loss
  • The presence of mouth ulcers
  • Photosensitivity, or sensitivity to sunlight
  • A skin rash called “butterfly rash”, which begins in the bridge of the nose, and spreads outwards across the patient’s cheeks in a butterfly pattern
  • Inflammation of lymph nodes

Other symptoms may vary depending on the areas of the body that are affected, and include:

  • Brain and nervous system: Headaches, numbness, tingling, seizures, vision problems, and behavioral issues.
  • Digestive tract: Abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting
  • Heart: Arrhythmia
  • Lungs: Breathing difficulties and bloody phlegm
  • Skin: Uneven coloring in the skin, and a change of the color of the fingers when exposed to cold temperatures (Raynaud's phenomenon)
  • Kidneys: Swelling of the legs