Not finding what you want try our lupus search
The cause of lupus is unknown. Because the vast majority of patients are women, some
research is being done to determine what (if any) link the disease has to female hormones.
lupus may have a genetic basis, although more than one gene is believed to be involved in
the development of the disease. Because patients with the disease may suddenly have worse
symptoms (called a flare) after exposure to things like sunlight, alfalfa sprouts, and
certain medications, researchers suspect that some environmental factors may also be at
The severity of a patient's lupus varies over time. Patients may have periods with mild
or no symptoms, followed by a flare. During a flare, symptoms increase in severity and new
organ systems may become affected.
Many lupus patients have fevers, fatigue, muscle pain, weakness, decreased appetite,
and weight loss. The spleen and lymph nodes are often swollen and enlarged. The
development of other symptoms in lupus varies, depending on the organs affected.
Basic lupus symptoms
- general discomfort, uneasiness or ill feeling
- weight loss
- skin rash
- sensitivity to sunlight
- joint pain and swelling
- swollen glands
- muscle aches
- nausea and vomiting
- pleuritic chest pain
Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease:
- blood in the urine
- coughing up blood
- nosebleed - symptom
- swallowing difficulty
- skin color is patchy
- red spots on skin
- fingers that change color upon pressure
- or in the cold (Raynaud's phenomenon), numbness and tingling
- mouth sores
- hair loss
- abdominal pain
- visual disturbance
More detailed description of Lupus symptoms
- Joints. Joint pain and problems, including arthritis, are very common. About 90% of all
lupus patients have these types of problems.
- Skin. A number of skin rashes may occur, including a red butterfly-shaped rash that
spreads across the face. The "wings" of the butterfly appear across the
cheekbones, and the "body" appears across the bridge of the nose. A discoid, or
coin-shaped, rash causes red, scaly bumps on the cheeks, nose, scalp, ears, chest, back,
and the tops of the arms and legs. The roof of the mouth may develop sore, irritated pits
(ulcers). Hair loss is common. lupus patients tend to be very easily sunburned
- Lungs. Inflammation of the tissues that cover the lungs and line the chest cavity causes
pleuritis, with fluid accumulating in the lungs. The patient frequently experiences
coughing and shortness of breath.
- Heart and circulatory system. Inflammation of the tissue surrounding the heart causes
pericarditis; inflammation of the heart itself causes myocarditis. These heart problems
may result in abnormal beats (arrhythmias), difficulty pumping the blood strongly enough
(heart failure), or even sudden death. Blood clots often form in the blood vessels and may
lead to complications.
- Nervous system. Headaches, seizures, changes in personality, and confused thinking
(psychosis) may occur.
- Kidneys. The kidneys may suffer significant destruction, with serious life-threatening
effects. They may become unable to adequately filter the blood, leading to kidney failure.
- Gastrointestinal system. Patients may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and
abdominal pain. The lining of the abdomen may become inflamed (peritonitis).
- Eyes. The eyes may become red, sore, and dry. Inflammation of one of the nerves
responsible for vision may cause vision problems, and blindness can result from
inflammation of the blood vessels (vasculitis) that serve the retina.
Lupus Skin Picture