10 subtle signs and symptoms of lupus

10 subtle signs and symptoms of lupus
If you're curious whether your subtle symptoms could actually be signs of lupus, you should know the common signs and symptoms associated with the disease.
Here are 10 subtle signs of lupus.

You're extremely fatigued.

Fatigue is one common symptom associated with lupus, but the problem is, it's also commonly associated with many other illnesses, which can sometimes make getting an accurate diagnosis difficult.

You get unexplained headaches.

Headaches can also mean any number of different issues, and when you just get one out of the blue, you likely don't think that it indicates lupus. If you're getting regular headaches, however, it's definitely worth telling your doctor because it could point to the autoimmune condition.

You've gotten strange rashes on your skin.

One of the most notable signs of lupus is a so-called "butterfly rash.""Very frequently patients with systemic lupus will present with acute cutaneous lupus, a photosensitive rash, most typically across the face and nose known as the classic 'butterfly rash,'" Bard told INSIDER. If you notice this sort of rash, you should definitely raise the subject with your doctor.

Your joints hurt, or are red or swollen.

If your joints are red, swollen, or painful and you can't come up with any sort of explanation for what could've happened that would cause it, that might be worth chatting with your doctor about, because it could be a sign of an autoimmune condition, if not lupus, perhaps rheumatoid arthritis.

You have ulcers in your mouth.

You might not think that ulcers in your mouth would have anything to do with lupus or an autoimmune condition, but as it turns out, they could be an early sign that that's what's going on.

Your eyes are pretty dry.

Though dry eyes aren't directly themselves a sign of lupus, they are a sign of Sjogren's Syndrome, which commonly occurs in conjunction with lupus.

You're losing your hair.

"Many systemic lupus patients, about 85%, will also present with a variety of skin and hair manifestations," Stella Bard said. That means that if you're dealing with hair or skin issues that seem like they could be related to lupus, it could definitely be worth exploring further.

You have swelling in soft tissue areas of your body.

If you notice swelling in your body, that too could potentially mean that you have lupus. Dr. Bard said that if you experience swelling in your hands, feet, legs, or around your eyes, in particular, those could be signs of lupus. 

Your joints are stiff.

Like joint pain and swelling, joint stiffness can also be a sign of lupus. The Lupus Foundation noted that Lupus arthritis causes pain, stiffness, swelling, tenderness, and warmth in your joints. Compared to rheumatoid arthritis, lupus arthritis is less disabling, however.
"Any of these symptoms should be brought to the attention of the physician," Susan Bard said. "It's the physician's role to distinguish the symptoms of lupus from other ailments. Particularly concerning symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, and foamy urine should be evaluated immediately by a board-certified physician specialist."
Regardless of what you think might be causing any serious or long-lasting symptom, it's worth talking to your doctor about it. They're the one who will be able to help determine what might actually be causing it and though lupus can be tricky to diagnose, the sooner you know what you're up against, the sooner you can seek the treatment you may need.

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