15 Symptoms And Common Signs Of Lupus

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Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which means that a person’s own immune system turns against them. It causes swelling and inflammation that affect different organs like the kidneys, heart and skin, among many others. There are also quite a number of other debilitating symptoms of lupus, although most patients tend to complain about the same symptoms and the severity of their impact differs from person to person.
Unfortunately, lupus is difficult to diagnose, more so because the symptoms vary for each and every person, meaning no two cases are exactly the same. There is also no cure for lupus, but thankfully there are ways for patients to help deal with each symptom separately in order to help keep their lupus under control.
Depending on how each patient reacts to this sickness, their symptoms can appear slowly or suddenly, they can be temporary or permanent, as well as quite mild or extremely severe. But what tends to be the same for most patients is that they get “flares” from the disease, meaning there are moments when their symptoms become worse or aggravated, then eventually get better and at times, even disappear for a while.
The Lupus Foundation of America ‘estimates that 1.5 million Americans, and at least five million people worldwide, have a form of lupus.’ And another incredulous fact is that at least ‘9 out of 10 adults with lupus are women,’ making it an average of 90% of female patients.
Here are 4 different forms of lupus:
A. Systemic Lupus – this accounts for around 70% of lupus cases. With this type of lupus, in at least half of the cases, a major organ or tissue is affected like the heart, brain, kidneys or lungs.
B. Cutaneous Lupus – this type of lupus involves around 10% of patients and only affects a person’s skin.
C. Drug-induced Lupus – much like the name suggests, this is a type of lupus that occurs as a result of taking ‘high doses of certain medications.’ While many symptoms are similar to systemic lupus, they usually go away once medication is discontinued. This also affects around 10% of patients suffering from lupus.
D. Neonatal Lupus – Considered quite rare, this type of lupus occurs when the disease actually affects a baby due to a mother’s antibodies. Signs like a skin rash, low blood cell count and liver problems come out in the baby when born, but thankfully they go away after half a year and don’t affect the child afterwards.
Most patients begin to show symptoms in their teenage years to around their 30s, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t affect both younger and older people as well. In order to better understand this difficult disease, here are symptoms and common signs of lupus.

1. Butterfly Rash or Other Types of Rashes

Probably one of the most common signs of lupus is a butterfly-shaped rash that appears over the bridge of the nose, spreading out towards the cheeks. Otherwise known as a malar rash, being exposed to the sun for longer periods of time can increase the chances of it coming out. The reason why patients get a rash is because it’s an autoimmune disease, and the rash is triggered by the immune system attacking the body’s cells. Statistics also share that around ’50 percent of lupus patients would have this characteristic rash on their body.’ While the rash is not normally painful, it does appear as red, blotchy, and normally flat. But some patients find that their rashes can become raised and can even leave white scaly scars once they go away.