Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because it has wide-ranging symptoms that may be similar to those of other conditions. Early signs include fatigue, hair loss, and joint pain and swelling.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease. It is more common in females than in males, with
Lupus can cause mild or severe symptoms in different parts of the body.
This article examines early signs of lupus in females. In addition, it answers some frequently asked questions.
A note about sex and gender
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more.
According to the
A person can speak with a healthcare professional about ways to manage fatigue.
Hair loss, including hair thinning and the development of bald patches, is
According to some studies cited in a 2021 review, up to
A person can speak with a healthcare professional about the most effective ways to manage hair loss based on their unique circumstances.
People with lupus
A fever occurs when a person’s body temperature exceeds
Fever in lupus is often due to either inflammation or an infection. Medications for lupus can help manage or prevent fever.
If a person experiences an unexplained and recurring fever, they should speak with a healthcare professional.
The Lupus Foundation of America explains that lupus can cause inflammation that affects the lungs and pulmonary system.
If a person has symptoms such as shortness of breath, stabbing pains in the chest, or coughing, they should seek medical advice, especially if they also have a fever.
A female with lupus may notice a rash or lesion on the face or body as an early sign.
Cutaneous lupus erythematosus is a type of lupus that affects only the skin, without other symptoms. If someone has a mild case of acute cutaneous lupus, they may have a rash that looks as if they are blushing.
People with lupus
Arthritis is the most common symptom of lupus. However, it is rare for a person to experience arthritis as their only manifestation of the condition.
Arthritis can result from the inflammation that lupus causes. If a person does not receive treatment for a long time, this inflammation can lead to joint damage.
A person who is experiencing pain and swelling in their joints should speak with a healthcare professional, especially if they also have other symptoms, such as rash and fatigue.
According to a 2022 research review,
SLE is the
SLE can affect any part of the GI tract, including the mouth, liver, and pancreas.
It can also cause sores to form in the mouth. These sores usually occur on the roof of the mouth and are typically painless.
Around 30% of people with lupus show signs of dry eye or keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Symptoms may include grittiness, irritation, discomfort, and redness.
Eye drops, such as artificial tears, may help a person manage dry eye symptoms.
The most common type of thyroid disease in people with lupus is hypothyroidism. This condition occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones.
Thyroid cancer may also be more prevalent in people with SLE than in people without SLE.
It is easy to confuse lupus and thyroid diseases since many of the features of each are nonspecific. These include weight changes, fatigue, dry hair, and skin issues.
The following are some questions people frequently ask about lupus.
What can be mistaken for lupus?
- skin disorders
- chronic fatigue
- rheumatoid arthritis
How long can you have lupus without knowing?
Because lupus symptoms vary and sometimes mimic those of other conditions, a person may be unaware that they have lupus. Some
Early signs of lupus that females may experience include fatigue, joint pain, and skin rashes.
Lupus symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions, such as chronic fatigue, skin disorders, and rheumatoid arthritis. This means lupus can often be difficult to diagnose.
Someone who is experiencing symptoms they are concerned about should contact a healthcare professional, as diagnosing and treating lupus early can help prevent potential complications.