It's not easy to recognize lupus right away. Lupus symptoms mimic those of other diseases -- and the symptoms vary from one person to another.
Before a diagnosis of lupus is given, your health care provider will attempt to rule out other conditions, including other connective-tissue diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis), an infection, and cancer. Tests your health care provider may perform include:
A complete blood count, to look for reduced numbers of red blood cells, white blood cells,...
Call a doctor as soon as possible if you develop any new
symptoms, such as fever, aching or swollen joints, increased fatigue, loss of
appetite, hair loss, skin rashes, or new sores in your mouth or nose. Also call
your doctor if any symptoms that you have had for a period of time get
If you have not been diagnosed with lupus and you have
symptoms such as joint pain, fatigue, or skin rashes, see your doctor or tell
your doctor about your concerns at your next medical appointment.
Lupus symptoms can be very vague. However, any
time that fatigue, joint or muscle pain, fever, or other symptoms develop
without clear cause and persist despite home treatment, it is appropriate to
call your doctor. Some of the more serious problems of lupus, including kidney
and heart disease, may have no symptoms until the organs have already been
damaged. Regular doctor visits are essential.
Who To See
To evaluate initial symptoms and treat mild lupus, you
can consult with:
For the treatment of organ
problems, a doctor who specializes in diseases of that particular organ system
may work together with a rheumatologist or immunologist. The following
practitioners typically treat vital organ problems caused by lupus: