Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lupus Symptoms & Complications

Lupus, or systematic lupus erythmatosus, is a chronic inflammatory disorder with autoimmune causes. Various body systems can be affected as the inflammation is often in small blood vessels. About 250,000 people in the United States have lupus, most of them women.

Constitutional Symptoms

The most common constitutional symptom is fatigue, along with fever, joint pain and weight changes.

Dermatological Symptoms

Patients often have a "butterfly rash" across the nose and cheeks, lesions or rash on the body after sun exposure. Hair loss is also a possible symptom.

Gastrointestinal Symptoms

Abdominal pain is a common symptom due to pancreatitis, peritonitis, vasculitis or restricted blood supply to the bowel. Nausea and indigestion may be symptoms as well.

Cardiac Symptoms

The most common cardiac symptom is pericarditis, or inflammation of the tissue surrounding the heart. Pericarditis causes chest pain.


The kidneys are frequently affected by lupus, causing glomerular disease, which affects tubules within the kidney, to develop within a few years. Pulmonary complications may also develop, the most serious of which is an aveolar hemorrhage.

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