Lupus is different for each patient. No two lupus patients experience the same pattern of symptoms. Even the severity of lupus symptoms can vary: Some people experience mild, moderate, or severe symptoms that can be temporary, while others experience chronic symptoms. Symptoms depend on where in your body inflammation is occurring. The most common symptoms include:
- Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling
- Muscle pain
- Skin rashes across the cheeks and nose or elsewhere on the body
- Sun sensitivity
- Chest pain, shortness of breath
- Swelling in legs
- Hair loss (alopecia)
Mild or moderate lupus is often confined to the skin and the joints and is characterized by a rash, oral ulcers, and arthritis. It can also exhibit fever, fatigue, and inflammation around the lungs or the heart.
Severe lupus is characterized by symptoms that can include:
- Diffuse ulcerating rash
- Significant kidney disease
- Brain disease
- Very low platelet or red blood cell count
- Bleeding into the lungs
Make an appointment with your doctor if you develop an unexplained rash, have an ongoing fever, or a persistent ache or unexplained fatigue.