How to Tell if Someone Has Lupus
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can cause inflammation and many other symptoms. It affects people differently; some will experience only a few mild symptoms while others can experience many severe ones. Usually, symptoms start to show in early adulthood, during one’s teenage years and twenties. Lupus patients experience flare-ups and then remission, and this makes most people dismiss its early symptoms. The early symptoms of lupus are similar to those of other diseases. Having these initial symptoms doesn’t mean that one has lupus, though. Some of the symptoms are:
- Kidney problems
- Swollen joints
- Thyroid problems
- Hair loss
- Pulmonary problems
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Dry mouth
There is no cure for lupus. However, treatments are aimed at improving the quality of life for lupus patients.
Anyone who meets at least four criteria from the list below is likely to have lupus.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease which can lead to inflammation as well as other symptoms. Every person who has lupus is affected in different ways. Some of them may experience a mild form of symptoms, whereas others can experience a severe case. Lupus patients may also experience remission and then flare-ups, so most individuals often dismiss the early symptoms of lupus. A few of the initial lupus symptoms are skin rashes, loss of hair, dryness in the mouth, fever, swelling of the joints, issues with the thyroid, and gastrointestinal and pulmonary problems. There is no cure for lupus, but there are medications that help provide relief from the symptoms. If an individual has four or more of the following criteria, then they are considered to have lupus:
- Fatigue: Almost 80 to 90 percent of individuals suffering from lupus experience fatigue. Most of them sleep in the afternoon, and too much sleep during the daytime can lead to insomnia at night.
- Sudden, unexplained fever: Unexplained occurrences of fever are also among the early signs of lupus. The fever may range from 98.5 degrees to 101 degrees Fahrenheit. There can be on and off instances of fever with lupus. If the fever is low grade, it can be due to infection, inflammation, or lupus flare-ups. So, visiting the doctor is a must.
- Loss of hair: When inflammation occurs on the scalp as well as the skin, it can lead to hair loss. Some lupus patients may experience loss of hair in clumps. The hair starts to thin out gradually and, in a few cases, patients can also experience thinning of the eyebrows, beard (in men), eye lashes, and other areas with body hair. The hair can become brittle, ragged, or break easily.
- Rashes or lesions on the skin: There can be an occurrence of a butterfly-shaped rash appearing on the bridge of the nose as well as the cheeks. Half of all lupus patients have been observed to develop this rash. It cannot be termed as the most visible symptom of the disease. However, this rash can appear when that part is exposed to direct sunlight, or it may appear all of a sudden. Lupus is also known to cause hives on the body, but this does not always occur.
- Pulmonary problems: Inflammation of the pulmonary system is another issue caused by lupus, wherein the lungs swell, leading to an extension of the blood vessels present in the lungs. Breathing can then cause pain in the chest. One can identify this condition through shortness of breath or pain in chest.
- Inflammation of the kidneys: Nephritis can develop in lupus patients. This is inflammation of the kidney, which causes difficulty filtering out waste and toxins. Kidney function monitoring needs to be done in this instance.
- Gastrointestinal issues: Lupus patients can also experience heartburn and other kinds of gastro issues. Such individuals should avoid caffeine and reduce their meal sizes.
- Swelling of the joints: Swelling can be visible and also cause stiffness, mostly in the mornings. It would start off as a mild form of inflammation and gradually become more obvious. It is better to visit the doctor for it since, at times, it can be due to arthritis instead.