Lupus symptoms have one very particular attribute: they are hard to identify in the first stages of the disease. The reason behind this significant problem is that not one patient presents with the same set of lupus symptoms as another patient. Thus, in the early stages of lupus, it is nearly impossible to establish a direct connection between a health issue and this terrible autoimmune disease. As the illness progresses and the lupus symptoms start to fit into pre - established patterns, their detection becomes a much easier task. However, once these lupus symptoms are recognizable, it is usually too late to do something: the patient already has a form of lupus. The rather unfortunate, but unavoidable piece of knowledge that any lupus sufferer should be aware of is that lupus is an autoimmune disease that cannot be avoided. It is written in the genetic code of the affected persons and, sooner rather than later, it will be triggered.
Lupus symptoms pictures
It is easy to mistake early - stage lupus symptoms with pretty much anything else: a cold, a rash, pneumonia and even West Nile fever. In fact, very few of these diseases are ever associated with lupus. Unfortunately, lupus is known to be one of the trickiest and shrewdest diseases in the world, mimicking whatever it takes for it to go undetected for as long as possible. Do not fret, though. Once a physician catches its trail, the lupus symptoms are easy to track if you know where to look for them.
Lupus symptoms pictures do not do justice to the true image created by this disease on the human body. It can affect as little as one organ or the entire body. Here they are, in a highly general order of appearance:
- Painful, swollen joints: if you have a problem with your joints, do not panic. It does not necessarily mean you have lupus. It can be a number of other things, from lack of calcium to bad weather and arthritis. However, if this problem persists through the treatment for the conditions mentioned above, your attending physician might want to consider the possibility of it being one of the first lupus symptoms.
- Muscle pain: when it is associated with swollen joints, it just about always means lupus. However, if it appears before the painful articulations, it can be attributed to the lack of lactic acid, to extreme effort or even to a bad diet.
- Unexplained fever: if you are prone to unusual bouts of fever at uneven intervals, without any sort of logical explanation, the answer might be a bit of a downer. Because lupus is an autoimmune disease, it creates its own antibodies that attack healthy cells within the body. The normal response for an antibody attack on a cell is fever, even if those antibodies are killing your own body. Thus, fever becomes correlated with lupus.
- Rashes: all sorts of lupus symptoms pictures present a harsh reality. The most common lupus symptom out there is a rash. Why? Because the skin is easily accessible and even more easily modified. Thus, the rash develops freely on the face (in the first stages of butterfly lupus or discoid lupus) or on the entire body (in the beginning of systemic lupus erythematosus). It usually can be alleviated, but it cannot be completely cured and it leaves scars behind.
Lupus symptoms - the unexpected
There are two lupus symptoms that most people will not even consider when thinking about this illness:
- An increased sensitivity to the sun: this one practically turns you into a night creature, baring you from ever coming into contact with ultraviolet light. The truth of the matter is that very few people are actually able to turn nocturnal all of the sudden, so a sunscreen cream and some scarves are always around for lupus patients, be it summer or winter.
- Depression: lupus is, undeniably, a physical condition. However, it affects the central nervous system and, thus, depression becomes a very possible symptom. Unfortunately, if the depression has already set in, it means that the damage done to the nervous cells is extensive and irreparable.