sunlight, viruses, fatigue, infection, trauma and stress.
What to do if you suspect you may be at risk
Taking an active role in your health helps you get the best possible care and improves the outlook for your future, especially if you have several risk factors. This starts by paying attention to your body. What’s normal for your body and what isn’t? Do you know the symptoms of lupus?
Lupus symptoms vary widely. If you have any of the common signs and symptoms below, ask your healthcare provider about lupus:
- Achy joints
- Fever over 100° F
- Swollen and painful joints (arthritis)
- Prolonged fatigue
- Skin rashes
- Swollen ankles
- Chest pain upon deep breathing (pleurisy)
- Butterfly-shaped rash across cheeks and nose
- Sensitivity to sun (photosensitivity)
- Unusual hair loss
- Abnormal blood clotting
- Pale or purple fingers from cold or stress
- Mouth ulcers (often painless, on the roof of the mouth)
No single lab test can tell if you have lupus because many symptoms of lupus are similar to those of other diseases and can come and go. However, your primary care provider or rheumatologist will use your medical history, a physical exam and several laboratory tests to determine if you have lupus.
Although lupus isn’t curable, the good news is more medicines for lupus are in development than ever before. Researchers such as the Lupus Research Alliance are making great progress in understanding lupus and finding ways to better identify, diagnose and treat the disease, which could bring us closer to the exact cause of lupus and a cure.