Symptoms of lupus – How to recognize the disease

Filed in: Diseases.

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, heart and lungs. There are three main types of lupus: systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), discoid lupus erythematosus, and lupus caused by medications. Of these, systemic lupus erythematosus is the most common and most severe, often causing inflamed and painful joints, skin irritation, extreme fatigue and kidney problems.

In rare cases, mothers can pass antibodies to their children during delivery (neonatal lupus erythematosus), although mothers usually do not show signs of lupus. The prognosis for people with lupus was once bleak, but the diagnosis and treatment of lupus have improved considerably.

Symptoms of lupus:

Signs may appear suddenly or may develop gradually, may be mild or severe, and may be temporary or permanent. Even the specific irritation that the name of the disease gives – "lupus" is the Latin word for wolf because doctors once thought that irritation resembles the bite of a wolf – but it does not appear in all cases.

The most common signs and symptoms of lupus, which usually occur at several intervals instead of all at once, include the following:

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<p>Although it affects only one in three people with lupus, the skin problem most often associated with the disease is the form of a butterfly rash that appears on the cheeks and bridge of the nose. This may be bulky or flat and may be stained or completely red in the affected areas.</p>
<p>Some people with lupus develop skin lesions (subacute skin lesions) that look like small blisters initially, but then become scaly and itchy, while others have large flat lesions that itch and have no central areas affected. Both types of injuries usually occur after sun exposure.</p>
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Others develop a lump of eruption; Red, crusted, (discoid) on the face, neck, chest and scalp. A discoid rash is usually thick and scaly, can last for days or years, and often leaves scars of hiccups or hyperpigmentation. This rash is the only symptom in people with the form of discoid lupus.

In a small percentage of cases, people with discoid lupus may develop a mild form of lupus erythematosus.


Most people with lupus eventually develop joint pain, stiffness and swelling, mainly in the fingers, hands, wrists and knees. The pain can move from one joint to another or affect the same joint on both sides of the body.

The arthritis associated with lupus can appear and disappear quickly and, in general, does not deform, although the pain can be intense during an outbreak.

Kidney problems:

Patients with lupus are particularly vulnerable to kidney disease because they can cause many types of glomerulonephritis, a disease that affects the ability of the kidneys to filter out toxins, leading to kidney failure. Although some people with kidney problems may develop foamy and tea-colored urine, swelling of the ankles or lower legs, high blood pressure, kidney damage can often occur without warning signs or symptoms.

Photosensitivity (sensitivity to sunlight):

People with lupus are often very sensitive to sunlight and develop severe irritation on the skin often exposed to the sun. Sometimes, even the interior light, and especially the fluorescent light, can cause the same response.

Brain or central nervous system problems:

It can cause some serious problems in the brain or central nervous system, such as headaches, seizures, loss of consciousness, dizziness, vision problems, behavior changes and strokes.

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Coronary problems:

It can affect all parts of the heart, including the sac that surrounds the heart (pericarditis), the heart muscle (myocardium), and the inner lining of the heart (endocardium). Pericarditis, which occurs when the pericardium becomes inflamed, is especially common in people with lupus, causing shortness of breath and acute pain in the chest that may feel like a coronary attack.

Lung problems:

It can cause a series of lung problems, of which the most common is pleurisy, an inflammation of the lining of the chest, which can cause a sharp pain, like a knife in the chest. Infrequent lung disease includes pleural effusion (water in the lungs), which is the accumulation of excess fluid in the pleural space between the lung and the chest wall and also lupus pneumonia, the inflammation of the lungs. Occasionally, high blood pressure may appear in the blood vessels of the lungs (pulmonary hypertension).

Mucosal ulcers:

These wounds are painless and appear inside the mouth, especially on the palate, or in smaller cases, in the nose. It is possible that mucosal ulcers are not noticed until you eat something spicy or until repeated nosebleeds occur.

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