Discoid lesions can also happen on the skin in lupus, the discoid rash consists of circular raised patchy like lesions which tend to cause scarring, lupus patients can also experience a light sensitivity when they are exposed to Sun or UVA and UVB radiation, they tend to break out in a rash and fair-skinned patients are more likely to have a more severe reaction than darker skin patients, also we have the joints, almost all patients with lupus will experience joint pain, swelling and inflammation at some points during the disease, any joints in the body can be affected by lupus but some of the more commonly affected joints include the wrists, the fingers and the knees. Kidneys lupus can cause a lupus induced kidney disease or lupus nephritis, when the lupus attacks the kidneys, it affects that filtering system because the kidneys are responsible for filtering out your body’s excess water, excess waste, excess toxins, so when the lupus causes an inflammation in this system, you get a leakage of protein or blood in the urine, the lupus can ultimately cause a scarring of the kidney which can lead to kidney failure in the need for dialysis or transplant.

Lupus can affect the lungs also, it can cause a shortness of breath due to a collection of fluid around the lungs or a pleural effusion, it can also cause shortness of breath due to inflammation within the lungs by causing pneumonitis, lupus can also cause pain with breathing, lupus can cause an inflammation around the heart which can lead to chest pain and shortness of breath, this condition is called lupus pericarditis. Lupus can also affect the brain and the nervous system, it can actually cause an inflammation in the brain called lupus cerebritis and it can attack the nervous system causing all kinds of neurological symptoms. Lupus can cause seizures, depression, memory loss, weakness, numbness. I’ve touched on several organ systems but remember lupus can affect any part of your body including their eyes, the thyroid, the gastrointestinal system, you name it. How can you find out if you have lupus? how can you be diagnosed with lupus? if you have any of the symptoms that I described especially the joints and the skin symptoms, then it is possible that you could have lupus especially if you have a family history. In order to be diagnosed you need to see your physician, your physician will do a detailed history and physical check up and if the index of suspicion is high that you may have lupus then a blood test will be ordered called an anti-nuclear antibody as well as a double-stranded DNA. If indeed you do have a diagnosis of lupus after a series of tests, then you should be referred to a Rheumatologist to ensure that you have the proper treatment for lupus.

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