Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack its own cells and tissues. For reasons that are not fully understood, women are about 90 percent more likely to develop lupus than men. There is also a hereditary component to it that increases risk by between 5 and 15 percent if someone has a relative or relatives that have lupus. Although there is currently no cure, lupus can be managed with medication, and many people with are able to lead normal lives. Here are some signs and symptoms that can be an indication of lupus.
1. JOINT PROBLEMS
Much of the time, the first symptom that shows up in lupus patients is a pain in the joints. Swelling, inflammation, and weakness may also be present. There are, of course, many potential causes for joint pain, so it is used in concert with other symptoms before a diagnosis of lupus is considered.
2. CHEST PAIN
When lupus prompts the body to attack itself, numerous organs can show signs of inflammation. This may result in pain, particularly in the chest area with inflammation of the heart and lungs. The development of pneumonia is also a potential sign that lupus is having an effect on the respiratory system.
Like any other organ in the body, the kidneys are very susceptible to the attacks that result from lupus. When the kidneys become irritated and inflamed, a number of symptoms may be present, including swelling in the feet and legs, frequent urination, and blood in the urine. The kidneys can be permanently damaged if the condition is left untreated.
4. SKIN RASH
A particular type of skin rash called a butterfly rash can appear on lupus patients. It often shows up on the face, around the cheeks and nose, and is roughly in the shape of a butterfly. The rash does not usually involve any itching, but it may be worsened by exposure to the sun.