Signs and Symptoms of Lupus
Lupus is a very variable condition. While it has many characteristic symptoms, most patients will never experience all of them. Similarly, no two patients experience identical symptoms.
The severity of the disease also varies. In some patients symptoms appear suddenly and are relatively severe, while in others the disease remains at a low level for several years before diagnosis. For most patients, however, the frightening descriptions of life-threatening disease in medical textbooks never occur, and the condition remains mild and readily manageable.
Lupus runs an unpredictable course. For some people, symptoms subside after treatment of the initial acute attack. For others, periods of “remission” are punctuated by brief “flare-ups” of disease.
Several symptoms may be seen in the initial stages of lupus. These include:
- Fatigue, weakness and lethargy
- Joint pain or swelling (experienced by about half of patients)
- Skin rashes (around one in five patients)
Download the ‘Anatomy of Lupus’ mini-poster below.