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Understanding Lupus: Recognizing Early Signs

Lupus is a condition that affects how the immune system works, and it can sometimes be tricky to spot in its early stages. Here’s a helpful guide to understanding the early signs of lupus so you can know what to look out for:

What is Lupus?

Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which means that instead of protecting the body from germs like it should, the immune system attacks healthy tissues by mistake. This can cause inflammation and affect different parts of the body, like the skin, joints, kidneys, and even organs like the heart and lungs.

Early Signs to Watch For:

  1. Skin Rash: One of the early signs of lupus can be a butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose. This rash can be red or even scaly.

  2. Fatigue: Feeling very tired, even after resting or sleeping, can be another early sign. Lupus can cause extreme tiredness that doesn’t go away with rest.

  3. Joint Pain: Lupus can make your joints hurt and swell, similar to arthritis. This can happen in many joints or just a few.

  4. Fever: Sometimes, people with lupus might have unexplained fevers. These fevers can come and go.

  5. Sensitivity to Sunlight: People with lupus might find that their skin is very sensitive to sunlight or artificial light. They could develop a rash or feel more tired after being in the sun.

  6. Hair Loss: Some people with lupus might notice that their hair becomes thinner or falls out in patches.

  7. Swelling: Sometimes, people will notice swelling of their ankles or under their eyes, this can indicate Lupus is affecting your kidney health

  8. Chest pain: Personally, I had attacks of this severe stabbing chest pain often when I was first diagnosed with Lupus. This is known as pleuritis.

When to See a Doctor:

If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, please reach out to your medical provider. They can do tests to see if lupus or another health issue might be causing these problems. Remember, catching lupus early and getting treatment can help manage symptoms and keep you feeling better. It can also be very difficult to appropriately diagnose Lupus. As you notice the above symptoms could also be explained by many other diseases. Keep a list of your symptoms and document anything and everything that you can - photos of hair loss, facial rashes, or swelling as these symptoms may come and go, and not be present when you go to your appointment.

Learning about the early signs of lupus is important so that you can take care of yourself or someone you know who might have it. By recognizing these signs early, you can get the right help and start feeling better sooner.

Understanding lupus is like solving a puzzle. By knowing the early signs, you're already a step closer to helping those who might need it. Keep learning and taking care of yourself and others around you!

If you've been diagnosed with Lupus and are interested in exploring dietary changes to help manage your symptoms, reach out to me today! Contact me via the form on this website.


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