The symptoms and signs of Lupus (under the Arthritis umbrella)
There are no hard and fast rules – systemic lupus erythematosus SLE can develop a different combination of symptoms, with various parts and/or organs involved.
The most common symptoms -
Loss of appetite
The butterfly rash
Hyper-sensitivity to sunlight
Inflammation of the mucus lining of the lungs
Pericarditis of the heart (inflammatory condition)
Raynaud’s – poor circulation to fingers and toes
Complications involving organs, the severity of the disease will depend on which organs are involved –
The Skin only – discoid lupus. The skin rash is often found on the face and scalp. Inflammation is typically red with no pain no itching, however these rashes can scar but more often than not heal with permanent scarring. can scar more often than not. When the scarring occurs on the scalp, hair loss is possible, generally not permanent. It is thought that about 7% of discoid cases can develop into SLE.
About 50% of SLE sufferers develop a red, flat facial rash over the bridge of their nose, called the butterfly rash becaise of it shape. Most patients with SLE will develop arthritis during the course of their illness. Arthritis in SLE commonly involves swelling, pain, stiffness, and even deformity of the small joints of the hands, wrists, and feet.
Sometimes, the arthritis of SLE can mimic that of rheumatoid arthritis.The more serious this inflammatory condition is when the brain, liver, and kidneys are affected. White blood cells and blood-clotting factors also
can be characteristically decreased in SLE, which can increase the risk of infection and increased risk of bleeding.
Inflammation of muscles causing muscle pain and weakness.Inflammation of blood vessels that supply oxygen to all the cells in the body causing a derterioration to nerves, the skin, or internal organs.
Inflammation of the lining of the lungs causing pain.
Inflammation of the heart can cause sharp chest pain.
Inflammation of the kidneys can cause fluid retention, high blood pressure, and even kidney failure.
Inflammation of the brain can cause personality changes, strange thoughts, seizures or even a coma.
Damage to nerves can cause numbness, tingling, and weakness of the involved body parts or extremities.
Some patients with SLE also have Raynaud’s phenomenon poor circulation to fingers and toes. The tips can look as if the blood has completely drained out, often accompanied by pain and numbness in the exposed
fingers tips and toes.