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Symptoms Of Lupus: Learn About Them To Control Them — an article on the Smart Living Network
January 23, 2008 at 10:22 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Symptoms Of Lupus: Learn About Them To Control Them

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Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can be relatively mild and controllable, or very serious. Here is some information on lupus, as well as an overview of the possible symptoms.

What is Lupus?

Systemic lupus erythematosus, also called SLE or lupus, is an autoimmune disease of chronic inflammation. Autoimmune diseases are diseases of the immune system that causes it to attack its own tissues and cells rather than foreign tissue. As with most autoimmune diseases, symptoms of lupus can very widely from person to person, and may flare up regularly, or only with certain triggers.

Symptoms of Lupus

There are many symptoms of lupus and a person may have only a few, or all of them. Here are the known symptoms:

Fatigue

Almost every person diagnosed with lupus experiences mild to severe fatigue. Fatigue may also be a sign of the onset of a flare.

Fever

Most with lupus will experience a low fever, which may also be the first sign of the disease.

Joint and Muscle Pain

There is a high occurrence of joint pain, or arthritis associated with lupus. This may also be a sign of the onset of lupus. Many will experiences stiffness which can be eased by medication and mild exercise.

Weight Loss or Gain

The patient may lose or gain weight during a lupus flare.

Rash

Most with lupus will develop skin rashes. Most common is the malar rash, or butterfly rash, which spreads across both cheeks and the nose. Sores and red spots may occur on the face, neck and arms. There may be mouth sores and a raised rash on the face, neck and arms as well. Sun exposure may worsen rash.

Reynaud's Phenomenon

Occasionally, a person with lupus will experience problems with blood circulation to the fingers and toes, causing them to turn white, red or blue; skin will feel tingly or numb.

Mental Illness

Many will experience some form of anxiety or depression, either due to having lupus, certain medications or the stress of the disease.

Heart Problems

Inflammation of the heart sac may cause pain in the chest and on the left side of the body. Patients may experience shortness of breath as well.

Hair Loss

Temporary hair loss may occur, either in patches or all over the head.

Warning Signs

Sometimes symptoms may be so severe as to require an emergency room visit. Be sure to call your doctor if you experience severe symptoms including the following:

  • Severe chest pain
  • Signs of stroke including numbness or paralysis; a change in vision; seizure; difficulty speaking; nausea or vomiting; severe headache; dizziness or loss of consciousness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blood in the urine
  • Serious depression or anxiety
  • A fever over 100.5 F and no signs of a cold or flu
  • Leg and foot swelling
  • Any new symptoms, or worsening of current symptoms

Lupus may have a dramatic effect on you and your life. Proper management of lupus will go a long way to ease your symptoms and impressions of the illness. Be sure to maintain a healthy attitude towards your disease, that you can manage it with a great team of doctors. http://lupus.webmd.com/default.htm http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lupus/DS00115

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