What Are the First Signs of Lupus?
Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that impacts approximately 1.5 million people in the United States. The disease occurs when a person’s immune system attacks the organs and other tissues in his or her body. Lupus can impact many different parts of the body, including the joints, heart, lungs, kidneys, blood cells and brain. Lupus likely results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. While there is no cure for lupus, there are different treatments available to help control symptoms.
Of course, the first step to receiving a diagnosis and treatment for lupus is recognizing the symptoms that it causes. Unfortunately, it is difficult to discuss this condition in a general manner, as no two cases are alike. Lupus can cause many different symptoms, ranging from mild to severe, based on which body systems it affects. Additionally, some individuals may develop symptoms suddenly, while others may experience symptoms that develop slowly over time.
That said, the most common symptoms of lupus include:
- Butterfly-shaped rash on the face
- Chest pain
- Fingers or toes that turn blue due to cold or stress (Raynaud’s phenomenon)
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Shortness of breath
- Skin lesions
If you have one or more of these symptoms that worsen or persist over several days, you should consult with your primary care physician or a rheumatologist. Diagnosis and treatment are key in managing lupus. With the right treatments, those affected by this condition can lead full, meaningful lives.
Lupus Treatment at Tufts Medical Center Community Care
The rheumatology specialists at Tufts Medical Center Community Care diagnose, treat and provide ongoing management for patients with lupus. Our multispecialty team reviews each patient’s case in order to recommend the best course of action for his or her situation. Because lupus affects everyone differently, this specialized approach is key in helping patients manage their symptoms so that they can fully enjoy their lives. Furthermore, our specialists regularly collaborate with patients’ primary care physicians and other specialists, as necessary, in order to provide the highest-quality care.
Lupus requires ongoing medical care, and individuals with this condition will need to see their physicians regularly. At Tufts Medical Center Community Care, we aim to make it as easy as possible to receive the world-class medical care you deserve. All of our conveniently located centers have ample parking and shorter-than-average wait times. We also offer online scheduling and telemedicine services, when appropriate.
If you are showing symptoms of lupus and wish to be evaluated by experts, or if you have already received a diagnosis and would like to learn more about our approach to patient care, contact the friendly staff at Tufts Medical Center Community Care today. We have primary care physicians who can evaluate your symptoms and then refer you to our rheumatology specialists if necessary. We have locations throughout north suburban Boston and offer weekend and evening appointments. Our practice accepts most health insurance plans.