Lupus is a chronic condition which affects the immune system, causing your immune system to mistakenly attack your body. The disorder is more common than you may think; it is thought that there are around 1.5 to 2 million people living with Lupus in the US alone. The most commonly affected group is; women aged between 15 and 45. African-American women tend to be most severely affected by the symptoms.
It can be very difficult to diagnose in that the symptoms can vary from case to case. A lot of the symptoms can also be associated with other afflictions; this can often lead to a misdiagnosis or a delay in the correct diagnosis itself. The symptoms will be dependent on which systems in your body have been affected.
Lupus is currently incurable, however early detection can mean that the condition is more manageable than it was in the past. The symptoms are known as flares and can range from being mild, to symptoms which are more severe. No two cases are the same, but there are some common symptoms to each class.
This list is not exhaustive but mild symptoms include; fever, sensitive skin more prone to bruising, numbness particularly in the fingers and toes, malar rash which is also known as a butterfly rash which tends to affect the face; especially the cheek and nose, dry eyes and chronic fatigue.
Again this list is not exhaustive but more severe symptoms include; chest pain; which may cause breathing difficulty, organ damage, memory loss, clinical depression, severe joint pain and permanent skin lesions.
The goal with any Lupus diagnosis is to catch the condition as early as possible. Medical professionals can be hesitant to provide a diagnosis due to the complex and varied nature of this autoimmune disease. Despite this there are approximately 15,000 new diagnoses each week in the United States. The condition is incurable, medical advances however have allowed physicians to prescribe treatments which can help manage the symptoms.
If you are concerned that you may have Lupus, it is very important to visit your doctor at the earliest opportunity. A quick diagnosis can mean that the related manifestations be treated more effectively. If you are diagnosed you should keep in regular contact with your doctor so that the success of the treatment can be maintained and monitored.