7. Constant, Flu-Like Symptoms
With how many illnesses are floating around, it’s pretty common to catch a cold or the flu. This is what makes lupus so hard to diagnose. However, if you have persistent, flu-like symptoms that don’t seem to be getting better, you’re going to want to book an appointment with your doctor right away.
“The difference between the flu and lupus is that the flu gets better in four to 10 days,” adds Dr. Lee. Therefore, if you feel like you have the flu but it just won’t go away, this could be a big red flag that you’re dealing with lupus and you should get help.
8. Hair Loss
Everyone loses some hair every day, but when you start losing an unnatural amount of hair, you might want to go get checked out.
According to an article medically reviewed by rheumatologist and immunologist, Dr. Nancy Carteron, “Hair loss is the result of inflammation of the skin and scalp. Some people also have thinning of the beard, eyebrows, eyelashes, and other body hair. Lupus can cause hair to feel brittle, break easily, and look a bit ragged, earning it the name “lupus hair.””
Lupus can cause your hair to start thinning rapidly, resulting in your hair coming out of your head in large, unnatural clumps. Approximately 90% of all lupus cases diagnosed in women show some kind of hair loss in one way or the other.
9. Chest Pain
Chest pain can be the precursor to all kinds of diseases and illnesses that have to do with your heart or lungs. However, if you’ve already been checked out for heart diseases and your chest pain persists, you might want to ask your doctor to run some tests for lupus. Lupus can cause swelling around the lungs, which results in chest pain that can trick most doctors into looking in the wrong place for the cause.
In women, lupus can cause miscarriages due to the fact that lupus causes a lot of problems with blood clotting.
“Although most pregnancies go well, there is an increased risk of miscarriage and premature birth. Women with lupus are at risk for renal [kidney] complications including renal failure if pregnancy occurs during a phase of active renal disease,” says rheumatologist Ignacio Sanz, MD.
Other than miscarriages, women might find that their periods are also extremely heavy. They may also have trouble tracking their period because of irregularity. Keep an eye out, but there are also many other illnesses specifically in women that can cause irregularities, heavy bleeding, and trouble carrying to term. It’s best to get checked by both an OBGYN and an autoimmune specialist.
11. Pain Using The Bathroom
Lupus often affects one’s kidneys, and anyone who has ever had kidney problems can tell you that urinating becomes painful, and fast, once your kidneys start acting up. If you have trouble using the bathroom regularly, along with other signs of lupus, get a hold of your doctor for testing.
Lupus is a tricky disease because it often hides as other illnesses, which leads doctors down the wrong path. However, you can easily rule out other issues with some pretty simple tests, so make sure you keep track of all of your symptoms so you can go to your doctor informed about what you may or may not have.