What Are The Commom Symptoms of Lupus Disease?

The signs of lupus differ from person to person. Some people have just a few symptoms; others have more. These symptoms may come and go, and different symptoms may appear at different times during the course of the disease.

 

The most common symptoms of lupus, which are the same for females and males, are:

 

  • Joint pain and stiffness, with or without swelling

  • Muscle aches, pains, or weakness

  • Fever with no known cause

  • Feeling very tired

  • Butterfly-shaped rash across the nose and cheeks

  • Other skin rashes

  • Unusual weight loss or weight gain

  • Anemia (low numbers of red blood cells or hemoglobin, or low total blood volume)

  • Trouble thinking, memory problems, confusion

  • Kidney problems with no known cause

  • Chest pain when taking a deep breath

  • Sun or light sensitivity

 

Less common symptoms include:

 

  • Blood clots

  • Seizures

  • Sores in the mouth or nose (usually painless)

  • Severe headache

  • Dizzy spells

  • "Seeing things", not able to judge reality

  • Feeling sad

  • Strokes

  • Dry or irritated eyes

  • Hair loss

  • Purple or pale fingers or toes from cold or stress

 

 

 

How Is Lupus Diagnosed?

 

Lupus can be very difficult to diagnose. It is known as "the great imitator" because its symptoms mimic many other illnesses.There are many challenges to reaching a lupus diagnosis. Lupus symptoms can also be unclear, can come and go, and can change.

 

A physician will carefully review the following while evaluating a lupus diagnosis:

 

  • your current symptoms

  • your laboratory test results

  • your medical history

  • the medical history of your close family members (grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins)

 

All of this information may be necessary for a doctor to make a diagnosis of lupus.

A variety of laboratory tests are used to detect physical changes or conditions in your body that can occur with lupus. Each test result adds more information to the picture your doctor is forming of your illness. However, for a number of reasons listed below, laboratory tests alone cannot give a definite “yes” or “no” answer:

 

  • No single laboratory test can determine whether a person has lupus.

  • Test results that suggest lupus can be due to other illnesses or can even be seen in healthy people.

  • A test result may be positive one time and negative another time.

  • Different laboratories may produce different test results.

 

If multiple criteria are present simultaneously, a physician—a family practitioner, internist or pediatrician—may reach a lupus diagnosis. If, however, as is often the case, symptoms develop gradually over time, the diagnosis may not be as obvious, and consultation with a rheumatologist may be needed.