Lupus or systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin, lungs, kidneys, joints and other body organs. It is important to note that the immune system protects the body from infectious organisms. In order to do this, it utilizes a system for recognizing the body cells versus the foreign materials.
When it comes to an autoimmune disorder, the recognition system is not functioning properly and the immune system erroneously attacks the cells. With several organs involved, the signs and symptoms of lupus are highly flexible. Some of the early indications can help the doctor provide a diagnosis of the condition. By enrolling in a first aid course, you can learn how to manage these symptoms.
Always remember that fatigue is an indicative symptom of lupus. In some individuals, this symptom can be severe in which daily activities can be a struggle. Even sleeping and rest could not alleviate the fatigue.
The immune system often assaults the joints of those who have lupus. This can cause joint pain and even swelling. In some cases, stiffness of the affected joints can also occur. Oftentimes, several joints are affected at the same time which can be debilitating.
Low-grade fever is quite common among individuals who are suffering from lupus. Some individuals might not be aware of the fever since they come and go. The heightened activity of the immune system among those who have lupus underlies the presence of fever.
Individuals who have lupus often have heightened sensitivity to sun exposure. The areas exposed to the sun such as the shoulders, chest, hands and upper arms can end up with rashes. Oftentimes, these rashes initially appear or become worse when the individual was under the sun for some time.
The malar rash is a classic symptom of lupus. The redness is present all over the bridge of the nose and upper part of the cheeks since these are areas of the face that are exposed when under the sun.
Take note that the malar rash due to lupus is often described as a butterfly rash due to the outline that resembles that shape of a butterfly.
Individuals who are suffering from lupus can also end up with hair loss. This is due to the fact that the condition involves the skin of the scalp, resulting to hair loss. Take note that the hair loss is generally permanent.
Mouth or nose ulcers
In most cases, there are slow-healing ulcers that can develop in the mouth or nose. This can also be considered as an early indication of lupus. The primary cause is the localized attack of the immune system.
Unintended weight loss
Unintended weight loss is also an early indication of lupus. Even though this symptom is not specific to lupus, if it is accompanied by other characteristic symptoms of lupus, it is clearly an early symptom.
Individuals who have lupus can exhibit Raynaud’s phenomenon which involves intermittent spasms of the blood vessels of the toes or fingers. During a spasm, the blood vessels constrict, severely reducing the blood supply to the affected toes or fingers. The affected area typically turns white and becomes numb. Once the supply of blood returns, the area becomes bright red in color. Stress and cold temperature often trigger an attack of Raynaud’s phenomenon.