Lupus: 11 common symptoms to look out for

Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that affects the body. Here are 11 symptoms to be on the lookout for.

Lupus is a chronic disease, also called systemic lupus erythematosus. As with most chronic conditions, there is no cure for lupus, but it is not a fatal condition and knowing the symptoms can help get an early diagnosis and ease said symptoms.

Lupus can be difficult to diagnose as its symptoms coincide with other illnesses. Those who suffer from lupus often experience inflammation of body parts such as lungs, kidneys, heart, liver and joints.

Most common symptoms

Lupus has many symptoms, but the most common include:

  • Muscle and joint pain (stiffness and swelling)
  • Extreme fatigue, that does not go away no matter how much you rest, says the NHS
  • Rashes

Other symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Mouth sores
  • Hair loss
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Skin lesions that appear or worsen from sun exposure

How it affects the body

When a person experiences a lupus flare-up, life can become very difficult for them. Simple tasks can become almost impossible due to pain. The invisible symptoms like joint pain and stiffness can lead to depression. With most invisible ailments, those who don’t suffer from lupus struggle to understand the difficulties that come with it, making the one with lupus feel lonely and misunderstood.

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Foods can trigger flare-ups

Life with a chronic disease is always hard, but as time goes on, most people learn what elements can trigger a flare-up. Some foods can trigger a flare-up, such as saturated fats, creamed soups and sauces, fried foods, red meat, animal fat, processed meat products, high-fat dairy foods like ice cream, and commercial baked goods.

Lupus isn’t a one size fits all type of disease, it can vary from mild to severe. Mild flare-ups can look like joint, skin issues and tiredness, moderate flare-ups can manifest with inflammation of parts of the skin and body parts including some organs, whereas severe flare-ups can include serious inflammation causing damage to lungs, kidneys, the heart or even the brain. This is why knowing what triggers your flare-ups is important.

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