Fever, cold, flu, rashes might be very common in people when the seasons changes and they might last only for few days. If these symptoms lasts more than days and extends to months then it might be due to lupus disease.
Many people might not have heard about this condition, so that’s the reason we are here. Let’s see clear information about this condition and even signs and symptoms caused by this disease in this article.
What Is Lupus?
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation and creates a wide range of signs and symptoms. Generally, the immune system protects the body from various diseases and infections. But in lupus condition, the immune system inappropriately attacks various tissues of the body and leads to tissue damage and illness.
Lupus can attack people in different ways with different symptoms. The following are the types of lupus.
Types Of Lupus
According to research there are several types of lupus that are identified, but we refer only one condition as exact lupus called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The remaining all types of lupus include discoid, drug induced and neonatal.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus(SLE)
This type of lupus affects the skin as well as the internal organs of your body completely. Some people with this condition may experience inflammation and some will have skin and joint pains. This condition also affects kidneys, joints, blood, lungs and even heart.
Discoid Lupus cannot be considered as affective as SLE. It only affects the skin surface. It leads to formation of rashes, red patches on the face, neck and scalp and it doesn’t affect any internal organs. But there is no way to prevent or reduce this disease.
Drug Induced Lupus
This condition occurs due to the reaction with certain prescription of drugs; it also shows similar symptoms and signs to SLE. The major cause for drug induced lupus is by taking the medications of hypertension which are linked with the reactions to your immune system.
Neonatal lupus occurs in new born babies. The newborn have skin rashes, when mother passes antibodies to fetus and it also causes other complications in heart and blood. The rashes will easily disappear within 6 months after baby is born.
Who Gets Lupus?
Lupus can affect any people and unrelated to gender. It usually occurs at the early stage of childhood. Women are more prone like eight times greater than men. This disease is more common in people who are related to someone known lupus.
Causes Of Lupus Disease
As we have already seen types of lupus diseases. Let’s see the causes of lupus disease.
- The exact cause of lupus is not yet known, but after a lot of research, researchers have shown that family history and genes is the major cause for occurring lupus in children.
- Even environmental factors such as heavy exposure to heat, infections, extreme stress also leads to the occurrence of lupus on body.
- Hormones play an important role in the development and risk of this disease.
Signs And Symptoms Of Lupus Disease
The symptoms of lupus will differ from person to person. So, there are different types of symptoms because that may affect different part of your body.
- Skin Rashes
- Hair Loss
- Achy Joints
- Weight Changes
- Gastrointestinal Problems
- Thyroid Problems
- Fever And Fatigue
- Light Sensitivity
- Kidney Inflammation
- Dry Mouth And Dry Eyes
- Pulmonary Issues
The following are the signs and symptoms of lupus disease.
1. Skin Rashes
This is one of the most visible and initial symptoms of lupus disease. Rashes can occur on any part of your body. Women even experience rashes on their vagina skin. More than 50 percent of people will have these symptoms especially on cheeks and neck, it can occur suddenly or appear after exposure of skin to sunlight.
Many people with lupus are sensitive to the sun and some people even experience hives too and discoloration of fingers and toes.
2. Hair Loss
Depending upon the type of lupus there is a chance for occurrence of skin dermatitis in most of the people. This condition leads to loss of hair, it can be temporary or permanent. Fortunately, permanent hair loss is uncommon than temporary hair thinning that might recover after disease flare up.
3. Achy Joints
If you have SLE then you are more prone to have joint aches in your arms as well as legs. You might find soreness that varies from time to time, like you feel more painful especially in the morning time. Comparing with other types of lupus diseases, SLE is more prone to damage your joints permanently.
4. Weight Changes
Increased lupus activity in body some time leads to great weight loss and certain medications can cause appetite loss too. And some medications might lead to weight gain. So, it’s always better to consult your doctor before including all medications in your regular routine for treating lupus disease.
Anxiety and depression can be seen in one third of people who suffer with lupus. Depression often involves, sleepless nights, loss of self esteem, changes in appetite, memory problems, unable to concentrate, not interested in anything and even more.
Even though there is no exact reason why people feel depressed, but they can use medications according to their situation.
6. Gastrointestinal Problems
Heart burn, acid reflux is common symptoms when you are affected with lupus disease. If you experience frequent bouts of acid in your stomach, then cut down the amount of meals and avoid beverages containing caffeine.
One more thing, don’t lie down after having your meals. If you still have the symptoms of acid reflux, then do consult your doctor immediately.
7. Thyroid Problems
It’s quite common for the people who have lupus to experience even thyroid problems. Thyroid is the major organ that helps to control your body’s metabolism. The poor functioning of thyroid also affects different parts of the body like kidneys, heart, brain and liver, it also results in fluctuation in your weight.
8. Fever And Fatigue
Fever and fatigue are also considered as common symptoms of lupus. These conditions can interfere with daily activities and exercise. If you suffer from these two conditions for more than a week, then immediately consult your doctor for proper treatment.
9. Light Sensitivity
Sensitivity to sun or light is very common in lupus. Because it causes the skin to become seriously irritated and increases the itchiness of the red patches.
For some patients, it even increases the damage internally, and certain medications for lupus can also be more sensitive for some patients.
10. Kidney Inflammation
Kidney inflammation is often called as nephritis in medical terms. People with lupus even develop this symptom, which often make it harder for the kidneys to remove all toxins and waste from the blood.
Swollen legs and feet
High blood pressure
Blood in urine
11. Dry Mouth And Dry Eyes
If you have lupus, you might experience dry mouth and dry eyes. Because some people with lupus will develop a disease called sjogrens which is called another autoimmune disease.
Sjogrens occurs to the glands of tears and saliva to malfunction and leads to accumulates lymphocytes in the glands.
12. Pulmonary Issues
Inflammation in pulmonary system is common in people who are suffering with lupus disease. This condition leads to swelling of lungs which will extend up to lung blood vessels. Even the diaphragm gets affected, this condition also leads to cause of chest pain and breathing issues like shortness of breath.
Diagnosis Of Lupus Disease
There are several ways to diagnose lupus disease. Because the signs and symptoms will vary from person to person and that’s the reason it takes much time to diagnose this disease even for doctors.
But, there are some antibodies that help doctors to recognize the disease easily, which include antinuclear antibodies, anti smith antibodies. Even the count of red blood and white blood cells will help to diagnose the disease.