Lupus tends to be an extremely challenging disease when it comes to getting an accurate and quick diagnosis. It has a certain combination of symptoms, and once you have these symptoms, you can consult your doctor and rule out of the possibilities of developing this disease.
In 2015, famous singer and actress, Selena Gomez, revealed her battle with lupus, and this highlighted all the popular misconception, and how mostly wrongly regarded it as a chronic autoimmune disease. After a period of two years, she trigger a much needed debate after sharing her story of struggle with her fans of Instagram.
Selena suffered from severe complications and health problems due to lupus, and she had to undergo a kidney transplant. This forced everyone to think: what is lupus really? How can someone so young have a disease so deadly? And how can one detect this deadly disease?
What is Lupus?
Lupus is an abbreviation for systemic lupus erythematosus, and according to statistics revealed by the Lupus Foundation of America, nearly 1.5 million Americans have battled with this disease. Lupus usually tends to occur when the immune system is damaged or disrupted. In a normal and healthy body, the immune system is responsible for shielding us from all kinds of harmful bacteria and viruses.
However, when the body develops lupus, the immune system is rendered incapable of detecting harmful bacteria and germs, and differentiating them from health tissues. This leads to the development of a protein that triggers severe pain and inflammation, and causes damage to healthy and vital tissues, primarily the lungs, skin, joints, heart, and like Selena Gomez, even the kidneys.
Even though it’s pretty scary that lupus is capable of causing a great deal of damage within the body, a lot scarier is the fact that this disease is incredibly challenging and difficult to diagnose. This is mainly because it is a rare condition, and even rarer is the possibility of two patients experiencing similar symptoms.
Experts tend to regard the patients suffering from lupus as snowflakes, which are never exactly similar to one another. Moreover, the symptoms of lupus often tend to exhibit themselves as other ailments, and people suffering from these symptoms often consult doctors suspecting other diseases, and they eventually find out that they are suffering from lupus.
Patients tend to believe that they have arthritis, or the Lyme disease, because they experience constant and severe joint aches, along with profound fatigue. Another alarming fact is that many doctors don’t even consider the possibility of lupus when they examine patients with certain correlating symptoms, such as exhaustion, fatigue and joint aches.
Therefore, getting a speedy lupus diagnosis is a challenging and tricky process, which needs you to be fully aware and persist about your health issues. It is extremely important for you to understand the combination of symptoms that mark the onset of lupus so you can confidently ask your doctor whether or not you have the disease. As is the case with any disease, the sooner you detect, the greater your chances of recovery.
It is important to note that there is no permanent cure to eliminate lupus, you can effectively manage the symptoms with a mindful combination of healthy lifestyle changes, a nutritious diet and certain medicines.
Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at some easy-to-miss symptoms that indicate the development of lupus:
1. A butterfly-like rash has emerged on your face
If you want to identify the most obvious, and earliest symptom of lupus, it is the emergence of a butterfly-shaped rash on the face. This butterfly-like rash is a lot like a sunburn-induced rash that tends to emerge across the cheeks and nose, mimicking the shape of a butterfly. This unique shape associates it with lupus, and nearly 30% of the patients diagnosed with lupus tend to notice the emergence of this rash.