What are the symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)?

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is associated with several symptoms. The most common symptoms are extreme fatigue, painful and swollen joints, anemia, headaches, photosensitivity, butterfly-shaped rash and abnormal blood clotting. Due to the lupus being associated with many symptoms it can mimic other illnesses and diseases. It’s important to be evaluated by a healthcare provider who will perform additional tests that are more specific to lupus.

The symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) often vary depending on the person. Symptoms may begin gradually or all at once. Initial symptoms often include fever and feelings of general malaise, sometimes accompanied by severe headaches, epileptic seizures, and even periods of mental disturbance. SLE can cause inflammation and pain in the joints, skin, mucous membranes, heart, and lungs. SLE can cause enlargement of the spleen and lymph nodes, and decreases in white, red, and platelet blood cell counts. Systemic lupus erythematosus may impair the digestive tract, kidneys, and nervous system. Women with SLE may experience unusually high rates of stillbirth or miscarriage. SLE is a chronic disorder; symptoms may recede for long periods of time, only to recur later.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.