6 Lesser Known Lupus Symptoms You May Not Be Aware Of

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by Marta Ribeiro |

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While every case of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is different, there are a few common symptoms most lupus patients share. These include joint pain, a “butterfly” rash on the face, fever, fatigue, and sensitivity to the sun. While many are aware of the common symptoms, there are other less common symptoms that few have heard of.

MORE: How diet and nutrition can help lupus patients

According to New Life Outlook, these are six of those symptoms:

1. Psychological symptoms
While it’s well-known that lupus patients have higher rates of depression and anxiety, it’s unknown if some cases are more situational than biological. Lupus psychosis can occur during the disease onset, during the first years of the disease, or during a flare. Treatment with steroids can help and the psychosis is usually short-lived.

2. Severe headaches
Regular headaches that most people experience every once in a while are likely unrelated to lupus, but some individuals with lupus may experience crushing migraine-type headaches.

3. Nerve complications
Sometimes lupus can cause changes to the nervous system that manifest in odd sensations that range from feeling like you have a sunburn to sheer pain. Such sensations may come and go or stay throughout the day.

MORE: Possible symptoms that could point to lupus.

4. Vertigo
Though most instances of vertigo are not related to lupus, some are connected, particularly in combination with hearing loss. It can also be related to inflamed arteries and restricted blood flow.

5. Dental complications
While most people with lupus know that the disease can cause mouth sores or ulcers, there are other issues of the mouth, such as Sjogren’s syndrome which is characterized by dry orifices, including the mouth. A dry mouth can also lead to the oral yeast infection candida, or periodontitis which is the medical term for a gum infection. Bone issues with lupus such as osteoporosis can affect the jaw.

6. Rashes and skin involvement
Most people with lupus have a butterfly rash cross the face that can be controlled with medication, but there are other types of rashes that occur in lupus patients. The rash subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosu could develop in sun-exposed areas of the body. Livedo reticularis, which is caused by abnormal blood flow through the capillaries, appears in a purple, lace-like pattern on the skin.

MORE: What to know about discoid lupus erythematosus

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