Home Article What is Lupus? Know about its Signs, Symptoms, Complications, and Treatment

What is Lupus? Know about its Signs, Symptoms, Complications, and Treatment

Updated On 27 Jul, 2017 Published On 27 Jul, 2017
What is Lupus? Know about its Signs, Symptoms, Complications, and Treatment

Lupus is an autoimmune disease affecting women the most among others. It can never be cured but can be treated with some medications.

Lupus, an autoimmune disease, is most common among women. Anyone can develop lupus, including children, but some are prone to the disease of the age between 15 and 45 years.

It is two to three times more common in African American descent. African American and Hispanic women are also more likely to have active disease and involve a serious organ system.

What is Lupus?              

Lupus is one of many disorders encountered in the immune system. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system turns against parts of the body; basically supposed to protect the vital parts.

It leads to inflammation and damages various body tissues affecting many parts of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and brain.

Source: Quora

Symptoms of lupus basically start in early adulthood, anywhere from the teen years into the 30s. The disease makes the immune system unable to differentiate between antigens a (substance capable of inducing a specific immune response) and healthy tissue.

Facts on Lupus

Here are some of the facts associated with the very auto immune disease:

  • It can be mild or sometimes life threatening.
  • Lupus is not contagious.
  • The most common one among its types is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
  • Other types of lupus include discoid, drug-induced, and neonatal.
  • About 1.5 to 2 million Americans have some forms of lupus as per a report on Lupus Foundation of America.
  • About 5 million people across the globe suffer some forms of lupus.
  • More than 90% of lupus sufferers are women.
  • Most physicians believe that lupus results from both genetic and environmental factors.
  • Some of the risk facts associated are exposure to UV rays, extreme stress, smoking, some medications and antibiotics, infections and the Epstein-Barr virus (in children).
  • The disease has no any cure till date, still can be treated with specialized medications.
  • Cindy Millican wife of late singer and songwriter Glenn Lewis Frey also suffered from the disease.

Signs and Symptoms 

Unfortunately, the possible signs and symptoms of lupus can mimic the warning signs of other diseases. Some of the common symptoms of lupus includes:

1. Fatigue

About 90 percent of people with lupus experience some level of fatigue. Taking a nap in afternoon can be the cause of fatigueness leading to insomnia at night.              

Source: Medical News Today

2. Fever 

It is one of the most common symptoms administered. Fever with no apparent reason can be considered somewhere between 98.5°F (36.9°C) and 101°F (38.3°C).

Source: Medical News Today

Visiting a doctor can be the most reliable option during the condition.

3. Hair Loss

Hair loss is common in an individual. Thinning hair is often one of the first symptoms of lupus occurring as a result of inflammation of the skin and scalp.

Source: Huffington Post

It can cause hair to feel brittle, break easily, and look a bit ragged.

4. Skin rash or lesions

Skin rash is often an annoying yet the most visible symptom of the cause appearing over the bridge of the nose and both cheeks.

Source: Medicine Net

About 50% of people with lupus bear rash. They remain sensitive to the sun, or even to the artificial lighting.

5. Pulmonary Issues

Inflammation of the pulmonary system is one of the possible symptoms. The swelling can extent to lung blood vessels and even to diaphragm.

Source: Medical Symptoms Guide

It can shrink the lungs size with some breathing issues and ongoing chest pain.

6. Kidney Inflammation

Some people with lupus can develop a kidney inflammation called nephritis. It makes kidneys to filter the toxins and wastes from the blood.

Source: Molly's Fund Fighting Lupus

According to the Lupus Foundation of America, nephritis begins within five years of the beginning of lupus.

Some other symptoms include painful swollen joints, gastrointestinal issues, thyroid, dry mouth, dry eyes, etc.


Learn about types of medications that can treat varied types of lupus symptoms over here:

1. Corticosteroids

It is also called glucocorticoids or steroids. It aids fight inflammation and controls your immune mechanism. It includes prednisone, cortisone, and hydrocortisone.

Source: Massage Today

2. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)            

It is basically used to treat pain, inflammation, and stiffness as a cause of lupus. These medications are available as over-the-counter (OTC) including aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.

Some other methods are acetaminophen, opioids, tramadol, and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs.

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