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Signs and Symptoms of Lupus

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lupus rashes on neck

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  • A unique symptom of lupus is the outbreak of skin rashes, and you can determine the type of lupus you have by examining them
  • If you experience one or any combination of these symptoms, it's best to consult an experienced medical professional immediately

Due to the unpredictable nature of lupus , it can be difficult to determine if you have this illness because there can be several different early lupus symptoms. However, there are several commonalities found in lupus patients , such as:1

  • Low-grade fever
  • Joint stiffness in the morning
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain

These symptoms can appear in men, women or children , so if you experience any one or a combination of them, it's best to consult with an experienced medical professional immediately.

Types of Lupus Rashes

A unique symptom of lupus is the outbreak of skin rashes, and you can determine the type of lupus you have by having them examined. If you suddenly develop any of the following, seek immediate medical advice immediately:2

Disc-like rashes — If you spot circular rashes on your facial area such as the forehead or cheeks, you may have discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE). The rashes may be not itchy but they have long-lasting effects such as scarring and hair loss once they subsides.

Papulosquamous and annular rashes — Papulosquamous rashes are similar to psoriasis rashes, while annular rashes are ring-shaped and form scales around the edges. If you spot either rash on your skin, you may have subacute cutaneous lupus.

Butterfly rashes — If you notice large spots of rashes that resemble a butterfly on your cheeks, you may have acute cutaneous lupus.

Lupus May Lead to Depression

A 2018 study shows that patients diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have higher levels of depression and anxiety due to a mixture of psychological and biological factors.3 If you experience any of the following symptoms, consult with a doctor right away for proper treatment, such as healthy eating habits, exercise and support from loved ones:4

  • General sadness or depressed mood
  • Guilt and hopelessness
  • Lack of energy
  • Sleeping problems
  • Change in appetite
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Decreased interest in activities

Lupus Can Also Cause Digestive Problems

The Johns Hopkins Lupus Center notes that lupus can affect your digestive tract, with problems such as heartburn caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).5 Lupus medications like corticosteroids may also cause digestive issues, such as peptic ulcers,6 which is why these drugs are not highly recommended.

Instead, you should manage your digestive tract naturally by eating small, healthy meals, remaining upright after eating and scaling down caffeine consumption to promote rapid digestive recovery.7

Lupus Can Affect Your Thyroid as Well

The thyroid  gland plays an important role in human health because it is responsible for producing hormones that influence the metabolism and growth of your body.8 When lupus strikes however, this gland can cause problems in the form of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.9

Hypothyroidism is defined as an underactive thyroid, and its symptoms include fatigue, weight gain and moodiness. On the other hand, hyperthyroidism means you have an overactive thyroid, and may have symptoms such as weight loss, heart palpitations and possible osteoporosis. It's important to have your thyroid gland checked during a lupus diagnosis to receive proper treatment.10

MORE ABOUT LUPUS

Lupus: Introduction

What Is Lupus?

Lupus Types

Lupus Symptoms

Lupus Causes

Lupus Treatment

Lupus Remedies

Lupus Prevention

Lupus Diet

Is Lupus Hereditary?

Lupus Diagnosis

Living with Lupus

Lupus FAQ

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