Lupus symptoms: What is lupus, what are the signs?

Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which means your body’s natural defence system starts to attack your body. It isn’t known what causes lupus, but it has been suggested that viral infections, certain medicines, and sunlight are possible causes. Lupus is often triggered by hormonal changes such as puberty, childbirth and menopause.

What is lupus?

Lupus is a long-term health condition that causes a range of symptoms, from rashes and joint pain.

The condition, also known as systemic lupus erythematosus, is very difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are similar to those of other conditions.

You’ll be diagnosed via blood tests, x-rays and scans and regularly checked if you do have it.

You can’t cure lupus, but there are ways to improve the symptoms.

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Symptoms of lupus

Lupus symptoms range from mild to severe, but the main symptoms are:

  • joint and muscle pain
  • extreme tiredness that will not go away no matter how much you rest
  • rashes – often over the nose and cheeks
  • headaches
  • mouth sores
  • high temperature
  • hair loss
  • sensitivity to light (causing rashes on uncovered skin)

The symptoms of mild lupus are joint and skin problems and tiredness.

Moderate cases of lupus will be expressed through inflammation of other parts of the skin and body such as your lungs, heart and kidneys.

Patients with worse symptoms might experience inflammation that severely damages the heart, lungs, brain or kidneys.

Lupus is life-threatening if you have a severe bout of it. However, the symptoms tend to come and go but lupus often flares up every now and then.

What triggers lupus isn’t known for certain, but it has been suggested that stress, overwork, and excessive sun exposure could cause flare ups.

Other triggers include emotional stress, infections, injury, and changes in medication.

However, some cases never settle down and symptoms are constant.

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How to cure lupus

You can’t cure lupus, but you will be prescribed medicines to control symptoms and progression of the illness.

It’s important to wear high-factor sunscreen every day to avoid further inflammation.

Luckily, you can get suncream on prescription if you have lupus.

You should wear a sun hat when it’s particularly sunny.

If tiredness is a symptom for you, you should learn to pace yourself throughout the day.

However, it’s still important to stay active so continuous movement will help.

You should try relaxation techniques to decrease stress levels and improve inflammation.

A healthy diet packed with vitamin D and calcium will also manage the pain and other symptoms.

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