Lupus is classified as an autoimmune disease, which is characterized by the body attacking its own organs and cells because it cannot differentiate between foreign pathogens, viruses, and healthy cells. When the body’s immune system attacks its host organism, the edema, inflammation, and pain that is commonplace to lupus and other autoimmune disorder sufferers can become an indelible and permanent part of daily life. Organs most affected by this disorder include the lungs, skin, heart, joints, blood, kidneys, and brain. However, with the proper diagnosis and treatment plan in place, sufferers of the disorder can control their symptoms and live more comfortable lives. Here are five common symptoms linked to lupus.
1. Fatigue–According to the Johns Hopkins Lupus Center, nearly 90 percent of lupus sufferers experience some degree of fatigue. While a daytime nap might be effective for some people, there is a chance that napping during the day can result in nighttime insomnia. Doctors recommend sticking to a daily routine and remaining as active as possible. It can be challenging for those affected by the disorder. However, it has shown to be effective in keeping energy levels up and sleep patterns more regular among some sufferers. If a person is experiencing sudden and/or extreme fatigue, they should consult their doctor. Some causes of fatigue can be successfully treated.
2. Nasal and Oral Lesions–The vast majority of lupus sufferers report the painful development of lesions or sores inside their nasal passages and/or mouth. The mouth sores are akin to canker sores, which can make drinking, eating, and speaking difficult. In the case of lesions located within the nasal passages, breathing can become difficult and there is often discomfort as well as pain associated with the lesions, particularly with contact. Another related symptom involves photosensitivity and skin lesions. Some people affected by the disorder can develop sores or lesions on their skin after prolonged exposure to the sun. The link between lupus, skin lesions, and sunlight is not clearly understood by doctors at this time. However, if these symptoms arise, sufferers should visit their doctor promptly for a diagnosis.
3. Joint Inflammation–Another common symptom linked to lupus is pain and inflammation in the joints. Some of the joints that are most vulnerable to the disorder include the knees, hands, ankles, hips, legs, and feet. In fact, joint inflammation is typically one of the early warning signs of the condition. Joint inflammation and pain results from the body mistaking its own tissues for foreign pathogens. As a result, the immune system attacks its host body. This is the most common symptom of the disorder that usually prompts sufferers to consult their physician for a definitive diagnosis.
In some cases, the pain associated with this condition can be relatively mild. However, it can also become severe, particularly if the underlying cause goes undiagnosed and/or untreated for an extended period of time. However, with the proper diagnosis and treatment plan, there are several effective medications that can reduce the severity of these symptoms.
4. Hair Loss–Many autoimmune disorders, including lupus, can affect the normal development of body cell growth. In fact, abnormalities in hair growth, or hair loss, is one of the most visible signs of this disorder. Specifically, patients with lupus or those who are taking certain drugs for the disorder could experience inhibited hair growth or significant hair loss. This symptom can arise in both male and female patients. This symptom arises as a result of disruptions in the body’s ability to support the normal growth cycle, as well as the disease’s overall tendency for the body to mistake its own tissues for foreign pathogens. If hair loss is linked to lupus medications, the symptoms could be alleviated by switching medications or discontinuing the drug therapy altogether. However, this course of action should only be done under the supervision of a doctor.
5. Unexplained Fever–Another early sign of this disorder is a low-grade fever for no apparent reason. Because the fever will usually remain between 98.5 and 101 degrees Fahrenheit, many sufferers will not consult a physician. However, it is important to note that people affected by this disorder could experience this type of unexplained fever on a recurrent basis. The presence of a low-grade fever could be a sign of infection, inflammation, or reoccurrence of a disorder. If an individual experiences recurrent, low-grade fevers, they should make an appointment with their doctor.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own organs and cells because it cannot differentiate between foreign pathogens, viruses, and healthy cells. When the body’s immune system attacks its host organism, the edema, inflammation, and pain that is commonplace to autoimmune disorder sufferers can become an indelible and permanent part of daily life. However, with the proper diagnosis and treatment plan, lupus sufferers can control their symptoms and live more comfortable lives. Hopefully, the common symptoms linked to lupus that were discussed in this article will help readers know what to look out for and might even prompt some readers to consult their doctors for a proper diagnosis.
Written and Edited by Leigh Haugh
Healthline–10 Early Signs of Lupus
Activebeat–The 10 Common Symptoms of Lupus
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