WebMD writes, “Lupus is a lifelong disorder of the immune system. Immune cells attack the body’s own healthy tissues, leading to inflammation and tissue damage. Symptoms may be limited to the skin, but more often lupus also causes internal problems such as joint pain. In severe cases, it can damage the heart, kidneys, and other vital organs. Although there’s no cure, there are treatments that can minimize the damage.”
When is it lupus?
“When lupus begins, it can look a lot like rheumatoid arthritis, which causes joint pain and swelling, or fibromyalgia, which causes fatigue and pain. One aspect that sets lupus apart is the combination of skin rashes with joint pain and fatigue. There are also lab tests that can help distinguish lupus from other diseases.”
One of the first symptoms to appear in Lupus is joint pain. It will cause pain in the knees, wrists, hands and fingers and unlike other joint pain ailments it will affect both sides of the body at the same time. In other words both knees, wrists, fingers, and hands will be painful at the same time.
A common symptom of lupus is a skin rash. The Butterfly rash is a butterfly shaped rash that extends from one side of the cheeks, crossing the bridge of the nose to the other cheek .The skin rash is not limited to the face; other rashes caused by the drying of the skin due to sun exposure may appear as flaky, red blotches, or a scaly purple rash on the face, neck, and other parts of the body.
Lupus can cause the nails to discolor showing blue or reddish spots in the nail bed at the base of the nail. This occurs because the tiny blood vessels in the tissue under the nail are inflamed. The swelling may cause the base of the nail and surrounding tissue to become red and puffy.
“Some people with lupus develop a condition called Raynaud’s phenomenon. Their fingers and toes become painful, numb, and tingly in response to cold temperatures or emotional stress. This happens when small blood vessels spasm and restrict blood flow to the area. During an attack, the fingers and toes may turn white or blue. People can also have Raynaud’s without having lupus or any serious health complications.”
Fever and tiredness
Lupus sufferers may feel fatigue which makes them too tired to do their daily activities, the degree in which they are affected by fatigue varies among individuals. A low grade fever can occur and the fever may be the only symptom presented in the individual for lupus.
Not only do sun and other ultraviolet type of light bother some lupus sufferers, it can result in skin rashes, and worsen other lupus symptoms. Unfortunately, even certain medications can cause a sensitivity to light.
Lupus symptoms tend to come and go. Lupus patients may therefore experience periods of hair loss. They may experience patches of hair falling out or patches of bald spots. The hair usually comes back.
To be continued