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Carol Eustice

Lupus and Fibromyalgia

By September 6, 2006

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Lupus and fibromyalgia are two common rheumatic conditions. Do you know the differences between lupus and fibromyalgia? There are specific symptoms, distinguishing characteristics, as well as overlapping symptoms associated with lupus and fibromyalgia which determine the diagnosis and course of treatment.

Photo by ADAMSystemic lupus erythematosus, also commonly referred to as lupus or SLE, is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune disease. Lupus can affect the joints, skin, kidneys, lungs, heart, nervous system and other organs of the body. Lupus symptoms often resemble symptoms associated with other types of arthritis, making lupus difficult to diagnose. Lupus affects 10 times more women than men. Though lupus can develop at any age, disease onset usually occurs between the ages of 18 and 45 years old.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by body aches, widespread pain, sleep problems, extreme fatigue, depression, anxiety, and other symptoms, in combination with tenderness of specific areas (muscles and tender points) on the body. Fibromyalgia is a type of soft tissue or muscular rheumatism and does not cause inflammation, joint damage or deformities.

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