Lupus symptoms depend on what body organs are
affected and how seriously they are affected.
Many people have these symptoms:
Fatigue:Lupus causes mild to extreme fatigue. Even mild cases of lupus make it hard to do daily activities and exercise. Increased fatigue is a
classic sign that a symptom flare is about to occur.
Joint and muscle pain: Joints may be painful, red, and warm. They may swell. Morning stiffness may also be felt.
Lupus arthritis often occurs on both sides of the body at the same time. It's most often felt in the wrists, the small joints of the hands, and the elbows, knees, and
Skin problems: Skin rashes are often an important clue to the
diagnosis. Many people have a
butterfly rash over the cheeks and bridge of the nose. Other common skin symptoms
include skin sores or flaky red spots on the arms, hands, face, neck, or back;
mouth or lip sores; and a scaly, red or purple raised rash on the face, neck,
scalp, ears, arms, and chest.
Sensitivity to light: Exposure to
ultraviolet light (such as sunlight or tanning
parlors) typically makes the skin rash worse and can trigger lupus flares.
Many people with lupus are sensitive to light, with fair-skinned people
tending to be more sensitive.
Fever: People with lupus will
sometimes have a low-grade fever related to the disease. Fever is sometimes a
first sign of the disease.
Changes in weight: People with lupus may lose weight when their disease is active
Headaches: These are usually related to stress and tension but can be related to a lupus flare. Many people who have lupus get migraine headaches.
Raynaud's phenomenon: Some people with lupus have Raynaud's phenomenon. It affects the small vessels that supply blood to the skin and the
soft tissues under the skin of the fingers and toes. It causes them to turn white
and/or blue or red. The skin affected will feel numb, tingly, and cold to the
Hair loss: People with lupus may
have periods of hair loss, either in patches or spread evenly over the
head. This hair loss usually isn't permanent.
Inflammation of blood vessels in the skin (cutaneous
vasculitis): Inflammation or bleeding from the blood
vessels can lead to small or large blue spots or small reddish spots on the
skin or nail beds.
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
May 10, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this