You’ve probably heard of lupus before. Maybe you have a friend or a coworker who has suffered from the illness, or maybe you followed singer Selena Gomez’s battle and subsequent kidney transplant due to it.
But what you may not know is that this chronic autoimmune disease comes with a host of symptoms that can be tricky to pin down. In fact, many sufferers experience signs that may seem innocuous for years, before getting the medical attention that they need!
From mysterious rashes to migraine headaches to a general “brain fog,” here are 9 lupus symptoms that are easy to miss…
Hair loss is associated with many different illnesses, but it’s also a hallmark of lupus. This is often characterized by uniform thinning or more obvious bald patches on the scalp.
Numbness in the hands and fingers
According to the National Resource Center on Lupus, about one-third of lupus patients suffer from Raynaud’s, a syndrome that contributes to numbness in the hands and/or feet.
Those experiencing kidney failure due to lupus may notice persistent swelling in the lymph nodes, the under-eye area, and even the feet and ankles.
Of course, chronic fatigue can be a symptom of multiple illnesses from heart disease to depression, but it is seen in most – if not all – lupus patients.
Those who suffer from lupus also tend to experience photosensitivity, which means that they cannot handle being in the sun for long periods. The exposure to the UV rays might contribute to a body itching or a butterfly-shaped facial rash, and might even trigger a flare-up of the disease.
Lupus patients often report migraine headaches so bad that they sometimes mimic the symptoms of a stroke. This happens when the disease flares up, causing the patient’s blood vessels to become inflamed.
Yet another painful symptom of lupus is chronic mouth sores. These are generally canker sores or ulcers that pop up around the roof of the mouth, the tongue area, and even inside the nose.
This persistent fever might ebb and flow in terms of temperature, but “running hot” is a hallmark of autoimmune diseases, like lupus.
Some patients report experiencing a constant “mental fog” that doesn’t let up, with their memory and focus often being compromised.
Now, if any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, it’s time that you schedule an appointment with your doctor right away. This autoimmune disease is a serious one, and definitely not the type that should rely on a “self-diagnosis.” Its symptoms can also mimic other illnesses, so it’s extremely important that you do your due diligence, keep a diary of your symptoms, and always keep in touch with a trusted medical professional.
Do you suffer from lupus? If so, have you noticed any of these symptoms? Do you have any tips for managing the symptoms?