How can you tell if you have lupus? Well, one way is to familiarize yourself with lupus symptoms, and compare them against any symptoms or physical ailments you are already experiencing. The American College of Rheumatology has pinpointed 11 symptoms criteria that can help determine whether or not a person is suffering from lupus. If a person experiences four or more of these indicators, either all at once or individually over a period of time, there is a possibility that you have this autoimmune disease.
The 11 criteria outlined by the American College of Rheumatology include:
A malar rash, a butterfly shaped rash that covers your face from the bridge of your nose to your cheeks.
A discoid rash, a rash that manifests as scaly patches on your skin.
Rashes that appear after you’ve spent time out in the sun.
Sores in your mouth.
Pain and swelling in two or more of your joints.
Swelling around your heart or lungs.
Neurological disorders, like seizures.
A low red blood count, platelet count, or white cell count.
Positive antinuclear antibody tests. This doesn’t mean you definitely have lupus, but that the signs of lupus are present in your body.
Positive blood tests that may indicate you have some kind of autoimmune disease. Which, again, doesn’t definitely mean you have lupus, but is an indicator.
So what should you do if you are experiencing lupus symptoms, or think you might have the disease? Your first step is to see a doctor. A doctor who specializes in treating lupus, like a rheumatologist, can determine whether or not you have the disease. And, if you receive a positive diagnosis, you can begin learning about the condition and considering treatment options.
Experiencing lupus symptoms doesn’t mean you necessarily have the disease. However, if there is a chance you have lupus, it’s in your best interest that you seek medical help and find out for sure. Because the sooner you receive proper treatment, the less disruptive the condition will be to your life.