How long can you have lupus and not know it? (2024)

How long can you have lupus and not know it?

Lupus is known as "the great imitator" because its symptoms mimic many other illnesses. Lupus symptoms can also be unclear, can come and go, and can change. On average, it takes nearly six years for people with lupus to be diagnosed, from the time they first notice their lupus symptoms.

What does undiagnosed lupus feel like?

The most common signs and symptoms include: Fatigue. Fever. Joint pain, stiffness and swelling.

Can you have lupus for years and not know it?

How is lupus diagnosed? Lupus can be hard to diagnose because it has many symptoms that are often mistaken for symptoms of other diseases. Many people have lupus for a while before they find out they have it. If you have symptoms of lupus, tell your doctor right away.

What happens if lupus goes untreated for years?

If lupus nephritis is left untreated, it can lead to permanent scarring in the kidneys. If your kidneys become too damaged to filter the blood properly, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant. Fortunately, treatments to prevent or minimize lupus-related kidney disease are available.

Can lupus go unnoticed?

However, in cases where symptoms are nonspecific, such as fatigue or occasional joint pain, or when symptoms mimic other conditions, lupus can go undiagnosed for several years. It's not unheard of for people to live with lupus for 5 to 10 years or even longer before receiving a definitive diagnosis.

What is the biggest indicator of lupus?

Antinuclear antibody (ANA) autoantibodies, or antibodies produced by the immune system that attack the body's own cells, are a hallmark of lupus. ANA is usually measured as 0 to 4+ or as a titer (the number of times a blood sample can be diluted and still be positive).

What is the number one symptom of lupus?

The most common lupus symptoms (which are the same for men and women) are: Extreme fatigue (feeling tired all the time) Pain or swelling in the joints. Swelling in the hands, feet, or around the eyes.

What gets mistaken for lupus?

As a result, people with lupus are frequently misdiagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, skin disorders, psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression or receive no answers at all.

What is the hardest autoimmune disease to diagnose?

Some common autoimmune diseases, including Type 1 diabetes mellitus, are relatively easy to diagnose, while others, such as vasculitis, Addison's disease, lupus, and other rheumatic diseases, are more difficult.

What part of the body hurts with lupus?

Muscle and joint pain.

You may experience pain and stiffness, with or without swelling. This affects most people with lupus. Common areas for muscle pain and swelling include the neck, thighs, shoulders, and upper arms.

Can you live with lupus without medication?

No form of treatment can cure lupus. However, there is some evidence that certain natural treatments may help reduce the symptoms and inflammation it causes. These include curcumin, omega-3s, vitamin D, and green tea. Natural treatments cannot replace medical treatment for lupus.

What foods make lupus worse?

Foods that could cause inflammation

These include processed and fatty foods high in saturated fats, which could raise cholesterol levels and may contribute to inflammation. Sources include: Fried foods. Commercial baked goods.

What does lupus do to your face?

Thick, scaly patch of skin (discoid lupus)

People who have discoid lupus develop these patches. Most patches appear on the face, scalp, or ears, but patches can develop elsewhere on the skin. Without prompt treatment, these patches tend to stay on the skin for a long time — sometimes for years.

What does untreated lupus feel like?

For example, untreated lupus can lead to blood disorders such as anemia or thrombosis. Other potential serious complications include: Chronic digestive distress that could include difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, indigestion, intestinal inflammation, liver enlargement, or pain when vomiting or feeling nauseous.

Does lupus cause weight gain?

For some people, living with and managing lupus can cause weight gain. Weight gain may also lead to worsening lupus symptoms and complications associated with obesity. Some potential causes of weight gain that relate to lupus may include: being a side effect of medications such as corticosteroids.

What does lupus pain feel like?

Joint pain is common in lupus, especially in the small joints of the hands and feet. The pain often moves from joint to joint. Joint pain, swelling and stiffness can be the main symptoms for some people with lupus. In most cases, lupus is unlikely to cause permanent damage or change the shape of joints.

What are the four stages of lupus?

There are four main types of lupus: neonatal, discoid, drug-induced, and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the type that affects the majority of patients.

What are the early signs of lupus feet?

Foot problems in lupus can involve any of the tissue structures in the foot/ankle. These may include, but are not limited to, joint pain and swelling, skin lesions causing additional pain, tenderness and vascular and/or neurological manifestations in the lower limbs.

What are the early signs of lupus in females?

Common symptoms include fatigue, hair loss, sun sensitivity, painful and swollen joints, unexplained fever, skin rashes, and kidney problems. There is no one test for SLE. Usually, your doctor will ask you about your family and personal medical history and your symptoms. Your doctor will also do some laboratory tests.

Where does lupus rash start?

Skin rashes are a common sign of lupus, an autoimmune disease. A butterfly-shaped rash on your face — called a malar rash — often occurs. This rash reaches across your nose, from cheek to cheek, in a shape that resembles a butterfly. In addition to the malar rash, lupus skin rashes can appear anywhere on your body.

Is lupus worse than MS?

In general, lupus does more generalized damage to your body than MS, which primarily damages the nervous system.

How does a rheumatologist know you don't have lupus?

No one test can tell if you have RA or lupus. Instead, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and family history, do a physical exam, and order some lab and imaging tests. During the physical exam, your doctor will feel your joints to see if the swelling feels hard.

What is the distinguishing feature of lupus?

The main symptom of chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus, or DLE, is a rash that can leave major scars. It's typically on your face, neck and scalp, but may also be on or in your ears and, less frequently, on your upper torso.

How does lupus affect your legs?

Some people with lupus develop myositis, an inflammation of the skeletal muscles that causes weakness and loss of strength. Lupus myositis often affects the muscles of your neck, pelvis, thighs, shoulders and upper arms; difficulty in climbing stairs and getting up from a chair are early symptoms.

How can you tell the difference between lupus and Hashimoto's?

How are lupus and Hashimotos diseases diagnosed? Since the symptoms are so alike, it can be difficult to distinguish between lupus and Hashimoto's disease unless you have a characteristic sign, such as a butterfly rash or notable family history.

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