5 Lupus Complications You Might Want to Know About

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by Wendy Henderson |

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Lupus is an autoimmune disease which can affect the body in various different ways. No two lupus patients are alike, and therefore will suffer from different symptoms. Here are five different complications that can occur due to lupus, based on information from the Mayo Clinic.


Kidney damage is a common complication of lupus and sadly, one of the complications most likely to result in death amongst lupus patients.

Signs of kidney problems include chest pain, itching, swelling of the legs (edema) and nausea and vomiting.

Blood profiling may help identify lupus patients most at risk of kidney failure. 


Lupus can cause the central nervous system (CNS) and brain to become inflamed, leading to complications such as memory problems, dizziness, and headaches. More serious issues can arise such as hallucinations, behavioral changes, seizures, and strokes.

Stroke risk in lupus patients may be linked to cerebral small vessel disease. 


Common complications from lupus include internal bleeding, blood clots, and anemia. Blood vessels can also become inflamed which could lead to vasculitis.

Find out more about the different types and causes of autoimmune diseases. 


Inflammation of the lining of the chest cavity can lead to lung problems such as difficulty in breathing, pleurisy and pose a higher risk of contracting infections such as pneumonia.

Lupus linked to higher risks of respiratory failure. 


Inflammation of the heart and its membranes and arteries is a serious lupus complication that can lead to cardiovascular diseases and increase the risk of a heart attack.

African-American lupus patients have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

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