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Health

Know the early warning signs of lupus (and what to do when you see them)!

Lupus, an autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation, manifests itself in different ways, affecting individuals differently. Lupus symptoms range from mild to severe, usually appearing in the late teens to early 30s, and continuing into adulthood with periods of exacerbations. Recognizing early signs is crucial, although these symptoms can initially mimic other diseases.

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Early symptoms of lupus:

Fatigue:
About 90% of lupus patients suffer from fatigue.

Maintaining an active lifestyle and sticking to a routine can help manage energy levels.

It is recommended to consult a doctor if fatigue significantly affects daily life.

Unexplained fever:
Lupus is often accompanied by an unexplained fever, ranging from 98.5°F (36.9°C) to 101°F (38.3°C).

A persistent or unusual fever should warrant medical attention to rule out infection or other underlying problems.

Hair loss:Hair loss, especially in clumps, is a common early symptom resulting from skin and scalp inflammation.
Hair loss associated with lupus can be reversed with treatment, but permanent damage may occur in the affected areas.

Swollen joints:
Lupus can cause joint swelling, which is a major indicator of inflammation.
The disease may also appear as a butterfly-shaped rash on the nose and cheeks in about 30% of cases, and it may sometimes occur as a result of sunlight.

Organ-specific problems:

Lupus can affect different organs, leading to problems with the lungs, kidneys, digestive system, and thyroid.

Sensitivity to sunlight or artificial light is common, with changes in skin color, and in rare cases urticaria may appear.

Managing lupus symptoms:

  1. Fatigue management:
    • Carefully incorporate daytime naps to prevent nighttime sleep disturbances.
    • Staying active and sticking to a daily routine can help fight fatigue.
  2. Fever monitoring:
    • Seek medical care in case of persistent or unusual fever to determine underlying causes.
      Prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential to effectively manage lupus.
  3. Hair loss treatment:
    Lupus treatment can stimulate new hair growth, but scalp damage may lead to permanent hair loss.
    Early intervention can reduce the impact on hair and scalp health.
  4. Swollen joints and rashes:
    • Treating joint swelling with anti-inflammatory drugs.
    • Sun protection and monitoring skin changes are vital in managing lupus-related rashes.

Conclusion:
Understanding the diverse manifestations of lupus is crucial for early detection and effective management. Individuals experiencing symptoms indicative of lupus should consult healthcare professionals immediately to initiate appropriate interventions and improve overall quality of life.