According to the Lupus Foundation of America, an estimated 1.5 million people have some form of lupus. Although this autoimmune disease can affect all ages, races, and both genders, the majority of lupus patients – 90 percent to be exact – tend to be women. Being diagnosed with lupus doesn’t mean that you can’t lead a healthy, normal, and productive life. Just take a look at Toni Braxton, Seal, Tim Raines and even the late King of Pop Michael Jackson, for instance. Like any disease, the key to lupus is being able to control and manage it, but first, you have to be able to recognize its symptoms. Read on to find out what they are.
1. Joint pain
Experiencing two or more swollen, red, warm, and/or tender-to-the-touch joints for at least six weeks is usually one of the first signs of lupus.
2. Sudden, unexplained hair loss
Perhaps one of the most common symptoms of lupus is hair loss. Some people lose their hair in clumps, but more often than not, the hair loss tends to be slow and gradual. You might notice the hair on the other parts of your body, such as the eyebrows and eyelashes, starting to thin as well.
Mild to extreme fatigue is another common characteristic of lupus, which makes it difficult for patients to exercise and perform daily activities. If you’re feeling even more tired than usual, this could be a strong indicator that a flare is about to occur. It’s also not uncommon for people with lupus to experience unexplained fevers, which tend to be somewhere between 98.5 and 101 degrees.
4. Kidney problems
Some lupus patients develop a kidney inflammation called nephritis, which makes it difficult for your kidneys to