Lupus Symptoms

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What are the most common lupus symptoms and early warning signs?

The symptoms of lupus are many and vary individually. No two patients experience identical symptoms. They can occur in any combination or independently of each other.

The severity of lupus also varies. While some patients have symptoms that appear suddenly and are severe, others have low level symptoms which may last for several years before a diagnosis. The course is very unpredictable, with flare ups that come and go.

During the initial stages of lupus, the most common lupus symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, skin rashes and fever.

Lupus can affect many parts of the body. They include the skin, joints, hair, tendons, muscles, lungs, heart, kidney, blood, immune system, brain and nervous symptom.

The American Medical Association Lists the Most Common Lupus Symptoms.
They include:

            Symptom:                                                                               Occurrence:

            Achy joints (arthralgia)                                                                      95%

            Fever more than 100 degrees F (38 degrees C)                          90%

            Arthritis (swollen joints)                                                                     90%

            Prolonged or extreme fatigue                                                           81%

            Anemia                                                                                                71%

            Kidney involvement                                                                            50%

            Pain in the chest on deep breathing (pleurisy)                                45%

            Butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose                        42%

            Sun or light sensitivity (photosensitivity)                                           30%

            Hair loss                                                                                               27%

            Abnormal blood clotting problems                                                    20%

            Raynaudís phenomenon (fingers turning white &/or blue in cold)  17%

            Seizures                                                                                               15%

            Mouth or nose ulcers                                                                           12%


Other possible symptoms of lupus include:     

  • muscle soreness
  • skin rashes on various parts of the body
  • yeast infections
  • migraines
  • abdominal pain
  • tinnitis
  • poor circulation
  • swollen legs
  • weight loss
  • memory loss
  • confusion, poor concentration and hallucinations
  • depression
  • psychosis
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