It's likely that lupus results from a combination of your genetics and your environment. It appears that people with an inherited predisposition for lupus may develop the disease when they come into contact with something in the environment that can trigger lupus. The cause of lupus in most cases, however, is unknown.
What are the 11 signs of lupus?
Lupus can impact many different parts of your body. It can cause aches and pains, as well as serious complications to your major organs. Because lupus is an autoimmune disease, it causes your body to attack itself. This can lead to organ damage over time.
When people talk about lupus, they may be referring to the most common form—systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, there are actually four kinds. Click or scroll to read more about each of them: SLE, cutaneous lupus, drug-induced lupus, and neonatal lupus. I was just diagnosed with SLE.
Weight changes — Lupus can sometimes cause weight loss or weight gain. Weight loss may be unintentional and due to decreased appetite or problems with the digestive system (see 'Digestive system' below). It can also be a side effect of some medications used to treat lupus.
The most common lupus symptoms (which are the same for men and women) are:
Apr 7, 2020
There are three types: Acute cutaneous lupus. Chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus, or discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus.
Types of Lupus
Gender: Even though anyone can get lupus, it most often affects women. They're nine to ten times more likely than men to develop it. Age: Lupus can occur at any age, but most are diagnosed in their 20s and 30s. Race: Lupus is two to three times more common in African-American women than in Caucasian women.
Although doctors haven't proven that stress is a direct cause of lupus, it's known to trigger flare-ups in people who already have the disease. Stressful events that can make symptoms worse include: A death in the family.
With close follow-up and treatment, 80-90% of people with lupus can expect to live a normal life span. It is true that medical science has not yet developed a method for curing lupus, and some people do die from the disease. However, for the majority of people living with the disease today, it will not be fatal.
Lupus is not a form of arthritis, but it does include arthritis as one of the most common symptoms, so it is easy to see why some people think about it that way. It is very important not to make this mistake, because lupus is quite different than any other illness that causes arthritis.
Lupus can inflame the kidneys, causing permanent damage. This can lead to swelling in the legs and high blood pressure.
Many people described the pain of lupus as similar to having the flu. This means having chills and bone-weary aches throughout your entire body. The pain can be numbing and leave you feeling drained of all energy. “I explain it to others as feeling like the flu: achy joints, muscles, bones.”
When your lupus is active, symptoms like joint stiffness, pain, fatigue, confusion, or depression can make simple tasks difficult — and sometimes impossible. Since these symptoms aren't visible, the people around you may have trouble understanding how you feel.
Some of the most common signs of lupus are a rash and joint pain, says Konstantinos Loupasakis, MD, a rheumatologist with MedStar Washington Hospital Center, but symptoms can also include fatigue, hair loss, mouth sores, and fever. “There's a great range of manifestations we see with lupus,” he says.
Lupus is not a death sentence. Most patients live normal, healthy, and full lives. They may need to modify things such as sun exposure, stress levels, etc. to maintain good health. It is important that you see a rheumatologist and follow his/her recommendations.
With age, symptom activity with lupus often declines, but symptoms you already have may grow more severe. The accumulation of damage over years may result in the need for joint replacements or other treatments.
Lupus affects everyone somewhat differently, and symptoms tend to come and go. Because of this, it can take months or even years for a doctor to make a confident diagnosis.