Home » Featured » 7 Lupus Symptoms and Risk Factors

7 Lupus Symptoms and Risk Factors

Featured, Mobile Slider Featured, Your Health

Lupus is an autoimmune disease (when your body’s defense systems turn on you) and can cause chronic conditions lasting for years. Cases of lupus can range from relatively mild to life threatening, so recognizing and treating this condition early is very important.

According to Lupus.org, as many as 1.5 million Americans are living with Lupus, making it a widespread problem. While the disease is not contagious according to the source, here are 7 risk factors and symptoms to pay attention to that may require medical attention…

1. Fatigue is Common

This symptom of Lupus makes it difficult to distinguish from other disorders including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and even Lyme Disease (from a tick bite). According to Healthline.com, about 90-percent of Lupus sufferers will experience fatigue.

The source notes that taking a nap can improve energy levels for those with Lupus (while fatigue related to other diseases isn’t improved with rest). In cases of “debilitating” fatigue from Lupus, a doctor may be able to administer treatment to put more spring in your step.

fatigue

2. Hair Loss can Occur

Because of the inflammation caused by Lupus, hair often becomes a casualty, notes the Mayo Clinic. The face and scalp are usually targets of skin inflammation related to the diseases, adds the source.

This means aside from losing hair from the top of your head, you can even experience eyebrow and beard loss. The hair loss can be subtle and gradual, or can cause hair to fall out in clumps in some cases, explains the clinic.

Hair Loss

3. Genetics Play a Role

Although it’s not a high percentage, Lupus.org explains you have about a five to 13-percent chance of developing the disease if you have relatives with it. The higher number seems to indicate a solid link to family health history.

However, the same source notes that if only the mother of a child has lupus, then the child only has a 5-percent chance of developing it. That being said, more than 90-percent of lupus sufferers are female.

childless

4. Chemical Exposure may be a Trigger

According to WebMD, one of the risk factors of a “lupus attack” is exposure to chemicals, namely trichloroethylene found in well water, and silica dust (an industrial material). A lupus attack shows the disease can go into remission, but suddenly rear its ugly head.

A New York Times article from 2013 also notes other chemicals that may be linked to lupus include chlorinated pesticides. WebMD explains that at one time certain hair dyes and straighteners were suspected of being lupus risks, but apparently research has shown otherwise.

shutterstock_285724949

5. Pain is a Marker

Lupus can come with painful, swollen joints that may confuse some medical professionals to consider arthritis as the cause. With lupus related joint pain, apparently the stiffness is worst in the morning. The pain itself starts off mild, and then increases as the disease progresses.

HealthLine notes that over-the-counter pain medications can help reduce pain and swelling, although doctors can likely offer a better treatment plan if that doesn’t help. However, as mentioned before, your doctor first has to ensure it’s lupus you’re dealing with.

lupus

6. Lupus Can Cause Seizures

Like another disease, Epilepsy, lupus can trigger seizures in the sufferer. In fact, information about lupus-induced seizures is posted on the Epilepsy Foundation website.

According to the foundation, up to 50 percent of lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus) sufferers experience a seizure as a result of the disease. Other neurological complications related to lupus can include strokes, dementia, psychosis and peripheral neuropathy (weakness or numbness in hands or feet), notes the source.

Seizures 5

7. There’s Often a Telltale Rash

While many symptoms of lupus tend to be in common with other autoimmune diseases, there’s one that seems to stand out for lupus on its own. That’s a “butterfly” shaped rash that appears across the face.

These are called acute cutaneous lupus lesions according to Lupus.org, and the rash appears when lupus is active. Rashes associated with the disease can appear elsewhere on the body, which can be made worse with sun exposure or even from sources of artificial light.

shutterstock_302168915

ADVERTISEMENT

More on ActiveBeat

  • 6 Bizarre Signs of Ill Health
    Hearing loss linked to diabetes? Eye sight decline linked to dementia? Studies now show that these seemingly unrelated heath issues can indicate a future chronic health issue.
    Featured
  • 6 Natural Ways to Stay Alert
    When you feel a bit foggy during the day, chances are your first solution is to reach for a strong coffee or tea to get a caffeine kick.
    Featured
  • 10 Common Hidden Illnesses
    Many illnesses, particularly chronic pain conditions, are invisible from the outside yet they cause extreme torment and discomfort on the inside. Burning Nights CRPS, the U.K.
    Featured
  • 9 Foods and Beverages That Can Kill Your Energy
    There’s nothing that can kill social life or a relationship more than no get up and go. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of lack of your low energy.
    Featured
  • The Top 6 Health Lessons We Learned from Celebrities in 2015
    Admittedly, not everything celebrities do and say is worth repeating. However, sometimes, celebrities like these use their influence for health awareness and the good of the world.
    Featured
  • 6 Possible Signs of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome
    If you constantly feel run down and can't seem to find that extra step, you may have what some experts call Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome.
    Featured
  • 12 Signs to Help Identify and Avoid Burnout
    Unfortunately, it has become the norm to be chronically stressed out; sleep deprived, and in constant need of a holiday.
    Featured
  • 7 Common Causes of Cold Fingers and Toes
    Are you prone to icy digits? If your fingers and toes are constantly and inexplicably cold even when everyone else is warm, you may be dealing with an underlying health issue.
    Featured
  • 8 Ways to Speed Up Recovery After Surgery
    We all know that surgeons are very precise and that surgical procedures have come a long way over the years, but the truth is that you're still having a knife (or laser) making a...
    Featured
  • Don't Sneeze at These 9 Uncommon Allergies
    If you find yourself sneezing and sniffling or having some other chronic health problem that you (and your doctor) just can't seem to figure out, you may be allergic to something.
    Featured
  • Chewing On 7 Facts About Misophonia
    Do you get very, very annoyed when you hear the sounds of someone eating and slurping? If so, you may have what's known in the medical community as Misophonia, which is an...
    Featured
  • 7 Eye Health Problems to Watch Out For
    Your eyesight is one of your most precious gifts, not to mention that you rely on it so heavily for everyday life.
    Featured
  • 7 Healthy Activities to Improve Hand-Eye Coordination
    Hand-eye coordination is something that comes very handy in sports – for example, tracking and catching a ball or knocking a puck out of the air.
    Featured
  • 8 Healthy Ways to Boost Your Confidence
    If your self-esteem is your engine, then your confidence is the transmission that puts it into motion (we just made that up).
    Featured
  • 7 Natural Ways to Help Alleviate Anxiety
    If you have anxiety, we don't need to tell you how it can affect it your life – it can make simple things seem more difficult, from something as easy as a conversation with a...
    Featured