11 Early Warning Signs of Lupus to Never Ignore

“Lupus is an autoimmune disease, where the body attacks itself.” – Dr. Howard Smith

According to WebMD, “Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system mistakes the body’s own tissues as foreign invaders and attacks them.”

As Dr. House explains, sometimes all signs point to lupus. This disease often acts like other illnesses, which makes it quite difficult to diagnose.

But, the doctors have come up with some signs that everyone should pay attention to. Here are the top 11 signs to never ignore regarding lupus.

Weight Loss

Sudden and unexpected weight loss can point to many different illnesses.   But, as lupus is an autoimmune disease, it causes the body to attack itself. Consequently, you may find yourself losing a lot of weight within a short period of time.


Fatigue is a very common symptom of many diseases, which is one of the reasons why lupus is difficult to diagnose. But, this kind of fatigue goes far beyond just feeling tired.  “This isn’t just your everyday tiredness; with lupus you feel like you literally can’t get out of bed,” says Dr. Delphine Lee.

Poor Blood Circulation

Signs of poor blood circulation include blue fingernails and inability to warm the fingers and hands, regardless of the weather or how warm the room is. If you are having difficulty with circulation, seek medication attention.


Heartburn is one of the lesser known symptoms of lupus, so it often goes unchecked. The type of heartburn associated with lupus is constant and it doesn’t go away with antacids.

Swelling in the Joints

Lupus arthritis often occurs on both sides of the body at the same time. It’s most often felt in the wrists, the small joints of the hands, and the elbows, knees, and ankles,” adds WebMD. Along with the other signs on this list, it is critical to consult a doctor if you feel like your joints just aren’t working like they used to.


“Other common skin symptoms include skin sores or flaky red spots on the arms, hands, face, neck, or back; mouth or lip sores; and a scaly, red or purple raised rash on the face, neck, scalp, ears, arms, and chest,” states WebMD.

Pain Using the Bathroom

Pain negatively affects the kidneys, and those suffering with kidney problems can tell you that urinating becomes quite painful. If you experience pain using the bathroomregularly, get tested.


In women, lupus can cause miscarriages because lupus causes problems with blood clotting.

“Although most pregnancies go well, there is an increased risk of miscarriage and premature birth. Women with lupus are at risk for renal complications including renal failure if pregnancy occurs during a phase of active renal disease,” says rheumatologist Ignacio Sanz, MD.

Chest Pain

Chest pain can point to many different diseases and illnesses which have to do with the heart or lungs. If you have already checked out for lung or heart diseases, ask the doctor to run some tests for lupus.

Hair Loss

According to an article reviewed by rheumatologist and immunologist, Dr. Nancy Carteron, “Hair loss is the result of inflammation of the skin and scalp. Some people also have thinning of the beard, eyebrows, eyelashes, and other body hair. Lupus can cause hair to feel brittle, break easily, and look a bit ragged, earning it the name “lupus hair.””

Flu-Like Symptoms

If you experience flu-like symptoms which don’t seem to go away, consult your doctor right away. “The difference between the flu and lupus is that the flu gets better in four to 10days,” adds Dr. Lee.

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