Lupus is an autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation and swelling. The condition typically develops during early adulthood, anywhere between the teenage to early 30s. The condition presents itself with symptoms that may be mild and far apart. In some people, the symptoms can be severe and frequent. In a nutshell, lupus can affect different people in different ways.
The Evasive Lupus Symptoms
The symptoms associated with lupus are quite similar to that of many other conditions and are hence easily mistaken. Lupus flare ups can sometimes be far apart, making it quite difficult to connect them with lupus. The sometimes mild and other times severe symptoms of lupus are so varied that pinning them down as connected to a certain condition might be a tedious task. This highly evasive nature of lupus related symptoms contributes to the difficulty in the timely and proper diagnosis of the condition. Let us take a look at some of the commonly misdiagnosed lupus symptoms.
One of the first and most common symptoms of lupus is loss of hair. While some lupus patients may lose chunks of hair in one go, others may experience a gradual thinning and subsequent loss of a good amount of hair. Hair loss is typically caused by inflammation of the scalp. Skin inflammation due to lupus can lead to loss of hair from eyebrows, eyelashes and beard. Lupus can make the hair appear ragged and brittle, termed “lupus hair”.
Hair loss can be caused by a wide variety of diseases. This is the reason why it may not initially be connected to lupus and may make sense as a lupus symptom only when experienced in combination with other more pronounced symptoms of lupus. Effective treatment can help grow hair back. But this may be difficult in people who have had lesions on their scalp, causing permanent hair loss.
Rashes And Lesions On Skin
Almost 50% of people who suffer from lupus would have a butterfly shaped rash spread across their noses and cheeks. This may occur suddenly or after prolonged exposure to sunlight or strong artificial light. Such rashes can precede a flare up and can be seen on other parts of the body as well, as non-itchy lesions. Discoloration of fingers and toes is also a typical lupus symptom caused due to inflammation. Rashes or lesions formed on the skin due to lupus flare ups can often be mistaken as symptoms of other conditions that may cause inflammation and similar rashes on the skin.
Identifying lupus symptoms accurately can help with early diagnosis of lupus and can help devise a good treatment plan that can lead to a better prognosis.