Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body including the skin, joints, organs inside the body. Lupus causes swelling and inflammation, along with signs and symptoms that usually last longer than six weeks. Some cases have only a few mild symptoms, and others have many, more severe symptoms. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, 90% of all cases are women, with the disease being two to three times more prevalent in women of color.
With lupus, our immune system can’t tell the difference between viruses, bacteria, germs, and other foreign invaders and our body’s own healthy tissues. Therefore, the body starts attacking and destroying healthy tissue. Normally, our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that would protect our body from these invaders. But with lupus, our immune system doesn’t perform correctly causing inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.
What are the Symptoms?
The symptoms usually start when you are a young adult, but can start anywhere from the teens to the 30s.
Lupus can cause flare-ups and periods of remission, which can sometimes make it difficult to diagnose, as many dismiss the early signs.
Some common symptoms of Lupus are:
- Unexplained fever
- Skin rash
- Kidney inflammation
- Painful joints
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Thyroid problems
- Hair loss
- Dry Mouth and Eyes
Early symptoms can be similar to many other conditions, so having them does not necessarily mean you have lupus. If you are concerned about symptoms you have, make an appointment with a board certified Rheumatologist to discuss your health.
Dr. Scott Zashin is a respected and published Dallas Rheumatologist. He is dual board-certified by the American Board of Rheumatology and the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Zashin is the Medical Director of Dallas Rheumatology. For more information on getting back to feeling great visit his website or call today to schedule your initial consultation 214-363- 2812.