Skip to content

Lupus Health Center

Serious Conditions Associated with Lupus

Font Size
A
A
A

Although lupus can be well controlled in many people, serious medical conditions caused by or associated with the disease can still occur. It is important that you know about these conditions and how they may make you feel so that you can call your doctor right away. The sooner a problem is detected and evaluated, the sooner it can be treated to prevent or reduce damage to your body's organs.

Kidney disease: Many people with lupus develop some form of mild kidney disease. Others, however, develop kidney disease serious enough to lead to kidney failure. Warning signs include:

Recommended Related to Lupus

Lupus Diet and Nutrition

There are no foods that cause lupus or that can cure it. Still, good nutrition is an important part of an overall treatment plan for the disease. In general, people with lupus should aim for a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It should also include moderate amounts of meats, poultry, and oily fish. If you have lupus, following a varied, healthy diet may help: Reduce inflammation and other symptoms Maintain strong bones and muscles Combat...

Read the Lupus Diet and Nutrition article > >

  • swelling around your ankles, hands, and eyes
  • increased fatigue or tiredness, especially if you have not altered your rest and activity patterns
  • increased need to urinate at night

Pericarditis: Pericarditis is an inflammation of the thin sac that surrounds the heart. Warning signs include:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • new or higher-than-usual fever

Myocarditis: Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle. Warning signs include:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • new or higher-than-usual fever

Atherosclerosis: This is a condition in which fatty deposits build up on the inside of arteries. These deposits can reduce or block blood flow. A blockage or reduced blood flow through an artery that supplies the heart can cause a heart attack to occur. Warning signs include:

  • burning, choking, squeezing, or pressing chest pain felt in the center of the chest that may radiate to the left shoulder and arm (anginal pain); it can last up to 5 minutes and will become much less intense or go away completely if you rest
  • crushing, prolonged chest pain that is not relieved by rest
  • shortness of breath
  • unrelieved indigestion
  • a weak or faint feeling

Pleuritis: Pleuritis is an inflammation of the lining of the lung. Warning signs include:

  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain, especially when taking a deep breath

Central nervous system (CNS) disease: CNS disease covers a variety of problems that may or may not be related to lupus. Problems can include seizures, memory loss, headache, confusion, hearing and visual changes, muscle weakness, depression, and emotional disturbances. Because many of these problems can be related to use of medications or indicate other conditions, it is often difficult to make a definite diagnosis of CNS disease. Warning signs include:

  • severe or chronic headaches
  • seizures
  • periods of forgetfulness, restlessness, or confusion
  • new or increased hearing and vision problems
  • bizarre or erratic changes in behavior
  • mood swings
  • signs of a stroke, including weakness or numbness in the arms, legs, face, or down one side of the body; a change in speech; confusion; or severe headaches

Today on WebMD

grocery shopping list
And the memory problems that may come with it.
Lupus rash on nails
A detailed, visual guide.
 
sunburst filtering through leaves
You might be extra sensitive to UV light. Read on.
fruit drinks
For better focus in your life.
 
Woman rubbing shoulder
Slideshow
Bag of cosmetics
Video
 
young woman hiding face
Quiz
pregnant woman
Article
 
5 Lupus Risk Factors
Article
Young adult couple
Article
 
doctor advising patient
Article
sticky notes on face
Video
 

WebMD Special Sections