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Fever

 

Any inflammatory process is commonly associated with an elevated temperature.  The official definition of a fever is 99.6ºF or greater (most of us have 98.6ºF as a normal temperature).  Many lupus patients chronically run temperatures one to two degrees above normal without any symptoms.

Fever is often one of the early signs of lupus. It can be caused by an infection due to a complication of lupus, commonly urinary tract infections and respiratory infections; inflammation of an organ such as the heart (pericarditis), or the lungs (pleurisy).

If you have a fever it's very important to replace fluid losses, you can easily become dehydrated.

If you have lupus, you may be more vulnerable to certain infections than are other people without lupus. In addition, you may be more prone to infection if you are taking any immunosuppressive drugs for your lupus. Be alert to a temperature that is new or higher than normal for you, because it could be a sign of a developing infection or a lupus flare.


Caring For Yourself

Take your temperature at least once a day (or more often if needed) to determine what a “normal” temperature is for you.

Take your temperature and watch for a fever any time you feel chills or do not feel well.

Call your doctor immediately if you have a new or higher-than-normal temperature.

Even if you don’t have a fever, don’t hesitate to call your doctor if you do not feel well in any way, particularly if you are taking aspirin, NSAIDs, or a corticosteroid. Signs of infection other than a fever include unusual pain, cramping or swelling, a headache with neck stiffness, cold or flu symptoms, trouble breathing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or changes in urine or stool.

Talk to your doctor about immunization against pneumococcal pneumonia and the flu.

Practice good personal hygiene.

Avoid large crowds and people who are sick.

 
 

 

 
 

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