Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack its own organs and tissues. Symptoms include rashes, muscle and joint pain, hair loss, mouth sores, memory problems, and more. Luckily there are some treatments to help manage these symptoms, such as the lupus infusion medication Benlysta, Riuxan, Cellcept, and Medrol. Lupus is most commonly diagnosed in women within childbearing ages, 15-44. The disease can cause damage to any organ in the body and result in a variety of symptoms, even some that affect the whole body. Here are 5 lupus symptoms in women that affect the whole body:
1. Sun sensitivity
With lupus, patients are much more sensitive and susceptible to UV radiation damage. Typically, when cells in the body are damaged, the body clears them for you with the immune system; however, with lupus, the clearance of cells becomes much slower. Not only does sun exposure trigger skin rashes, itching, and burning, but without proper cell clearance, the dead cells in the body can trigger an entire immune system attack. That’s why it’s so important to wear sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats, and other protective items to keep you safe from the sun.
2. Unexplained fever
With lupus, your body experiences a lot of inflammation and infection, which can then cause a fever. A fever may be accompanied by chills, sweats, headache, and feelings of weakness. This symptom is quite common in lupus patients and the fevers can range from mild to severe. There are some lupus medications that can help manage and prevent fevers from occurring.
As mentioned, with lupus, your body experiences significant inflammation. Inflammation can impact any part of the body and sometimes cause permanent tissue damage. Some common areas of inflammation include the skin, joints, heart, blood cells, brain, lungs, kidneys, and more.
4. Low blood cell counts
Lupus can result in low blood cell counts, whether that be red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. With low blood cell counts, this can result in a multitude of blood conditions or disorders such as anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and more. Symptoms of these blood conditions on top of lupus symptoms can be very challenging to deal with and very hard on the body, leaving you feeling extremely weak.
Fatigue is a feeling of extreme tiredness that doesn’t go away with a nap or a full night’s rest. The majority of lupus patients experience fatigue accompanying their lupus flare-ups. Lupus fatigue is generally described as a heaviness, as if there is a weight pushing down on their body. This can leave your body feeling extremely weak and every day tasks may be challenging to complete with low energy levels.