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Lupus Is Not a Simple Disease

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Updated June 27, 2014

2 of 9

Part 2 of 9 - What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Lupus?

Lupus doesn't have a clear set of signs that people can see. You may know that something is wrong, even though it may take a while to be diagnosed.

Lupus can look like different diseases and therefore is often mistaken for other diseases. For this reason, lupus has been called the "great imitator". The signs of lupus differ from person to person. Some people have just a few signs, while others may have several.

Common Signs

Common signs of lupus include:

  • Red rash or color change on the face, often in the shape of a butterfly across the nose and cheeks
  • Painful or swollen joints
  • Unexplained fever
  • Chest pain with deep breathing
  • Swollen glands
  • Extreme fatigue (feeling tired all the time)
  • Unusual hair loss (mainly on the scalp)
  • Pale or purple fingers or toes from cold or stress
  • Sensitivity to the sun
  • Low blood count
  • Depression, trouble thinking, and/or memory problems

Other signs may involve:

  • mouth sores
  • convulsions (unexplained seizures)
  • hallucinations
  • repeated miscarriages
  • unexplained kidney problems

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