Lupus or SLE – Systemic Lupus Erythematous is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s immune system attacks its own body’s tissue, with symptoms and severity varying from patient to patient.
In simple terms your immune system is doing exactly what it is not supposed to do; which can cause disease of the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, joints and nervous system. 90% of Lupus patients are women.
Although the disease can affect anybody, 90% of lupus patients are women between the ages of 14 – 45 years-old. For some, it’s life-threatening and for others, it’s entirely manageable.
Unfortunately, There is no known cause of Lupus and also no cure. The only way to manage it is through medication and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The symptoms vary from person to person but here are 9 common symptoms every woman can recognize easily.
1. Joint swelling and pain
Joint pains and joint swelling and stiffness in the morning are all classic signs of lupus. It most commonly presents in the wrists, knuckles, and fingers. Swelling can also come and go with lupus and doesn’t get progressively worse it tends to occur more in younger patients.
2. Shortness of Breath or Chest Pain
There are manifestations of lupus where the disease attacks the lining of the lungs, causing fluid to leak out and surround the lungs.
This can make it feel painful to breathe. “In some cases, that same process can occur around the lining of the heart, which is called pericarditis,” she adds.
3.Skin rashes and photosensitivity
Lupus is sometimes marked by a distinctive “butterfly rash” forming over the bridge of the nose and cheeks, which is exacerbated by sun exposure.
4. Hair loss
Lupus also causes women to lose their hair especially when combing. It can also cause sores in the scalp and lead to baldness. If you present with this symptom, you should also have your thyroid evaluated because hair loss is a classic symptom of hypothyroidism.
5. Ulcers of the mouth and nose
Unlike typical sores that develop on the sides of the mouth or gums, ulcers triggered by lupus usually develop on the roof of the mouth and are painless. Lupus-related ulcers can also appear inside the nose.