Lupus 101: Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks its own tissues and causes widespread inflammation and tissue damage in the affected areas. Lupus is characterized by periodic episodes of inflammation (flare ups) of and damage to the joints, tendons, other connective tissues, and organs, including the heart, lungs, blood vessels, brain, kidneys, and skin. The effects of the illness range from mild to severe. There is no cure for lupus, but medical interventions and lifestyle changes can help control it.
Lupus 101 - Common Signs and Symptoms
- Prolonged or extreme fatigue
- Unusual hair loss or changes in hair texture
- Unexplained fever over 100 degrees F
- Extreme or sudden weight loss
- Arthritis - inflammation, pain or stiffness of joints
- Anemia - a decrease in red blood cells
- Swollen glands
- Mouth ulcers and nose sores, often painless
- Loss of appetite
- Malar rash - a rash shaped like a butterfly that is usually found on the bridge of the nose and the cheeks.
- Pleurisy - chest pain when breathing deeply or shortness of breath.
- Sensitivity to sunlight and/or other light
- Discoid rash - a raised rash found on the head, arms, chest, or back
- Raynaud's phenomenon – a condition in which the blood vessels of the fingers and toes go into spasm when triggered by factors such as cold, stress, or illness.
- Kidney problems such as nephritis, inflammation of the kidneys, which impair the ability to get rid of waste products and other toxins from the body effectively.
- Nerve or brain dysfunction that make it hard to control movement of the eyes
- Dry eyes and blurred vision
- Headaches, confusion and memory loss
- Muscle pain
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