Tips On Identifying The Symptoms Of Lupus

Identifying the symptoms of lupus can be difficult because so many of the signs can be confused with symptoms of other diseases. Symptoms can vary widely from person to person. Many symptoms, like a lupus rash, will go through cycles of flares and remission, also complicating the diagnosis process.

The Lupus Diagnosis Process

The lupus diagnosis process can take months to years to show definitive results. The diagnosis generally works through a process of elimination of other possible causes for your symptoms. Recognizing the symptoms is important not only for diagnosis, but also for treatment. Much of the medicine and therapy is directed at treating and preventing the symptoms.

Common Symptoms Of Lupus

The most common symptoms of lupus tend to appear and disappear with little-to-no regularity. A majority of patients affected by systematic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the most common form of lupus, experience swelling of the fingers, knees, hands and wrists. Other common symptoms include:

  • Extreme or lengthy fatigue
  • High fevers, greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit with no obvious cause
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Pleurisy, or chest pain after deep breaths
  • Purple or pale hue to fingers and toes
  • Rashes, with a butterfly-shaped facial rash being the most common
  • Swollen glands.

Less Common Symptoms Of Lupus

Some of the common symptoms of Lupus lead to the development of severe problems in the specific area of the body in which they exist.

  • Anemia
  • Blood clotting difficulties
  • Depression or confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Eye problems, such as inflammation and dry eyes
  • Headaches
  • Kidney problems, characterized by high blood pressure, swollen ankles, weight gain and reduced kidney function
  • Photo-sensitivity, or light sensitivity
  • Seizures
  • Ulcers on the nose or mouth.

What Do I Do If I Have the Symptoms Of Lupus?

If you experience several of these symptoms, speak with your doctor. He will begin the diagnosis process, enlisting the services of other specialists if necessary to treat your particular symptoms, such as a neurologist if you experience seizures.

Keep a symptoms journal in which you take note of the duration and intensity of your symptoms. Also keep track of what you eat, medications you take and activities you pursue, even if this information is routine or consistent because new signs of lupus can develop at any time.

A symptoms journal will help when consulting a doctor about your lupus diagnosis by speeding up the time it takes to eliminate other conditions or causes and deciding what course of treatment is best for you.