Out of all of the diseases, lupus is one of the trickiest to diagnose. This is because each case of lupus is different from every other case. Some people suffer from severe symptoms. Other people only have to put up with a few mild aches and pains. Combine that with the fact that lupus symptoms vary from patient to patient, and you have a nightmare for doctors and patients. There are some symptoms that are more frequent than others, though. The following symptoms are 10 signs of lupus you shouldn’t ignore. If you have four or more, you may want to see your doctor.
Tender Bumps on Your Neck (and Other Areas)
When lupus manifests, it makes your immune system attack your own body parts. That includes your lymph nodes—the small pods in your body that help combat disease by filtering out invading viruses, bacteria and other dangerous material. In response, the nodules will swell up under your skin as they work to get fight off the attack. The most common place you’ll notice them is along your neck, but the nodules can swell up anywhere. Other common areas include behind your ears and your jaw, as well as your armpits and groin.
Sunlight Triggers a Rash
Getting a red rash on your face after you’ve been out in the sun is a symptom unique to lupus. It can look like a butterfly, and it may linger on your face long after you’ve gotten indoors. This symptom occurs in almost half of lupus patients. The rash might also develop before another symptom starts acting up.
Variations on this rash include lesions on other body parts, or more rarely hives. The rash might also be triggered by exposure to bright light in general.
You Feel Like You’re Going Crazy
Some lupus patients get diagnosed when they go to a psychiatrist to be treated for schizophrenia. Lupus can turn your immune system on any organ, including the brain. This can result in people thinking they’re going through a psychotic break. Symptoms can include confusion, paranoia, and seizures in addition to visual and auditory hallucinations. A doctor may suspect lupus if these symptoms occur suddenly with no prior record of the patient suffering from mental illness.