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  • Writer's pictureValerie Smith, APRN

3 Unusual Symptoms that May Lead to a Lupus Diagnosis

Updated: Sep 5, 2023



Are you wondering if you or a loved one has lupus? Lupus is a complex and enigmatic autoimmune disease, identified by a wide range of symptoms and unpredictable flares. Lupus can present unique challenges for individuals who live with this disease from its diagnosis to the disease management.

There are many symptoms that may lead to a lupus diagnosis. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, over 80% of individuals with lupus experience fatigue as a prevalent symptom. In addition to fatigue, there are many other symptoms that lupus causes. The most commmon symptoms can be found here.

The Lupus Foundation of America also put together a helpful symptom checklist here that is free to download.

Within this article, you will learn about unusual symptoms caused by Lupus.

Skin Rashes

Lupus frequently presents with various skin rashes, the most classic being the butterfly rash, also known as malar rash. This rash appears across the cheeks and bridge of the nose in a butterfly-like pattern. Other skin manifestations may include discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) characterized by round, scaly lesions and photosensitivity, where the skin becomes excessively sensitive to sunlight.

Sensitivity to Light (Photosensitivity)

Many individuals with lupus experience increased sensitivity to sunlight, known as photosensitivity. Exposure to the sun can trigger or exacerbate skin rashes and lead to systemic lupus flares in some cases. This sensitivity underscores the importance of sun protection for those with lupus.

Raynaud's Phenomenon

Raynaud's phenomenon is a condition where fingers and toes turn white or blue upon exposure to cold temperatures or stress. This symptom is common in lupus and occurs due to the narrowing of blood vessels in extremities, leading to reduced blood flow.

Lupus is a complex autoimmune disease with a wide range of symptoms that can vary from person to person. Recognizing the most common symptoms of lupus is vital for early diagnosis and timely intervention by healthcare providers. Fatigue, joint pain, skin rashes, fever, photosensitivity, Raynaud's phenomenon, and chest pain are among the key symptoms that individuals living with lupus may experience. Some are more easily identified to be connected with lupus than others.

If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, we encourage you to seek medical attention from a healthcare professional experienced in diagnosing and treating lupus is essential for proper evaluation and management. Early diagnosis and comprehensive care can improve outcomes and enhance the quality of life for those living with lupus.

Paducah Rheumatology is accepting new lupus patients with a physician's referral. Your treatment plan will be designed just for you! Give us a call at 270-408-6100 to set up an appointment with our healthcare providers.

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