Lupus Site - a guide for lupus patients and their families



Symptoms list


The following are potential symptoms that may be present in lupus, along with what might be causing those symptoms. Not everyone with lupus will have these symptoms, no two lupus patients are the same. Many of the causes listed are rare, but any new or unexplained symptoms should always be checked out by your physician. Please note that these symptoms could also be caused by other conditions other than lupus.

Possible causes
Rash on cheeks/nose Classic 'butterfly' rash seen in SLE.
Scaly, disk shaped scarring rash Discoid lupus, which can appear on it's own, or as part of SLE.
Itching/burning rash Subacute cutaneous lupus. Hives.
Mouth/nose ulcers A common symptom of SLE.
Easy bruising Could indicate low platelet count.
Alopecia (hair loss) Part of SLE/DLE, but can also be caused by steroids, cytotoxics or infection.
Joint pain/swelling Inflammation of the lining of the joint caused by lupus.
Muscle aches/tenderness Inflammation caused by lupus, can also be caused by fibromyalgia.
Fatigue A very common lupus symptom. Can also indicate other things such as anaemia or infection.
Fever A common lupus symptom, caused by inflammation or infection. Pericarditis, myocarditis. Vasculitis. Pneumonitis.
Headache Common lupus symptom. Can indicate CNS involvement.
Bleeding gums Could be caused by anaemia. Could indicate low platelet count.
Cold hands/feet Raynaud's phenomenon.
Pain in chest, relieved by sitting up Pericarditis.
Short of breath Pleurisy. Pericarditis. Myocarditis. Heart attack. Pneumonitis. Pulmonary embolism.
Swollen legs Pericarditis. Venous thrombosis (bloot clot)
Swollen ankles Kidney involvement.
Chest pain, worse when breathing in Pleurisy.
Red lace-like rash on arms and legs Livedo reticulares, a common symptom of vasculitis.
Weight gain Kidney involvement. Steroid side effect. Result of inflammation.
Weight loss Could be caused by active lupus. Could indicate problems with the GI tract.
Nausea/vomiting Medication side effect. Heart attack. Renal failure. Could indicate problems with the GI tract.
Frequent urination Urinary tract infection.
Foaming urine Kidney involvement.
Pain in back, around kidneys Urinary tract infection (kidney failure does not produce pain).
Confusion Could indicate CNS involvement.
Seizures Could be a result of lupus cerebritis. Possible reaction to medications.
Memory problems Common in lupus. Could indicate CNS involvement, or could be a drug side effect.
Dry eyes Sjogren's Syndrome.
Dry mouth Sjogren's Syndrome.



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