Lupus is among the ranks of rather serious illnesses that aside from the name, not too many people know about – which is surprising when you know that 1.5 million Americans suffer from it; 90 percent of which are women.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is an immune disorder that causes abnormally low activity or over activity of the immune system. When it is a case of immune deficiency, the body is unable to fight harmful invaders, thus causing infections. When it is a case of immune system over activity, the body will begin to attack and damage its own tissue. Lupus is the latter of the two.
The result from a flare-up of lupus is inflammation, swelling, and damage to the joints, skin, kidneys, blood, heart and lungs. Lupus knows no bounds, and it can affect every part of the body from the inside out.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for lupus and treatment can only hope to make the sufferer comfortable at best. It is for this reason that early detection is so important. It is also important to note that many of the signs and symptoms associated with lupus can easily be attributed to other ailments, some more serious than others.
Nevertheless, in hopes of combating the very real problem of misdiagnosis, we have taken the liberty of putting together a list of the most common symptoms of lupus, so that you can be better informed, and potentially save yourself or a loved one along and difficult road of reaching a true diagnosis.
Here are the 10 common symptoms of lupus:
One of the most common symptoms of lupus is experiencing muscle aches and pains, and that is exactly what musculoskeletal discomfort means (in a fancy way).
According to a survey, more than half of the people who develop lupus report sore and achy muscles as the first symptom.
While it doesn’t come on too noticeably in the start, many people report achiness in the knees when bending down, a decreased grip strength and an overall sensitivity to sharp or over-extended movements.
Severity of this symptom significantly varies on a case by case basis with lupus, and while some report a mild, negligible impact on their day to day lives, others find the pain and discomfort so intense, that it plagues them above and beyond the duration of the flare up, and can often leave them bed ridden.
A problem with this symptom, other than the symptom itself, is that it can often get overlooked, or attributed to another issue. Getting older, or if you lead an active or inactive lifestyle could all be explanations for musculoskeletal discomfort. If you find that this symptom persists, and if you cannot logically figure out the root of the pain (time when it started), then you should see a doctor.