5. Chest Pain
Chest pain is something that should never be ignored. Even if your doctor rules out a heart attack, chest pain is another potential symptom of lupus. The disease can cause the sacs around your heart to swell, resulting in a constant, dull pain in your chest.
Lupus can also affect your lungs, leading to constant shortness of breath. Over time, the disease can even shrink your lungs. It may even affect your diaphragm, resulting in constant chest pain when you take a breath.
4. Unending Heartburn
Lupus can also inflame the stomach and intestines, causing several gastrointestinal symptoms. Heartburn is very common, especially heartburn that won’t go away. This can sometimes be treated with antacids, but many people with lupus find that over-the-counter cures won’t take care of their symptoms. Other gastrointestinal issues may include stomach cramps, acid indigestion, and diarrhea. These symptoms are so common that many people overlook them. However, if your symptoms have been giving you trouble for several days in a row, you may want to visit your doctor.
3. You Feel like You’ve Got Arthritis but You’re Only 30
If you have painful, swollen joints, it may be the onset of arthritis. If you’re in your 30s, though, you may want to talk with a doctor about whether your arthritis is actually a symptom of lupus. Many young lupus patients especially feel these arthritis-like symptoms in their legs, with the pain being mild at first before gradually worsening. The pain is usually at its worst in the morning, but lets up as the day progresses. Like some types of arthritis, joint pain caused by lupus can come and go.Related: 14 Medical Conditions That May Stump Your Doctor
2. You’re Losing Weight but You’re Not on a Diet
While most people might think that rapid weight loss is a dream come true, it may be one of the first symptoms of lupus. Lupus can cause your immune system to attack your thyroid gland, which can seriously unbalance your hormones, causing you to lose a lot of weight fast. However, lupus can also cause water retention, which may cause you to look like you’re gaining weight. Either way, rapid fluctuations in weight are rarely positive. If you experience this, get to a doctor immediately to find out what is going on.
1. You Have Lots of Random, Unexplained Symptoms That Don’t Go Away
As you may have noticed, almost all the previous symptoms can be also be caused by other illnesses. Each lupus patient’s symptoms are different because their symptoms depend on which organ is being attacked by the immune system. Worse yet is that the symptoms can flare up, then lie dormant without any regularity. If you have multiple symptoms that seem to flare up every once in a while, it could be a sign of lupus. Keep records of your symptoms and, again, talk with your doctor. Diagnosing lupus can be tricky, but feeling healthy again is well worth the effort.Related: 12 Ways You Can Avoid Painful Lupus Flareups