10 Easily-Overlooked Symptoms of Lupus

Lupus is a disease that does not discriminate. In fact, many people who have lupus do not realize that they have it until the disease has progressed. This is often because lupus looks different from one person to the next. Some people have very light symptoms, while others experience lupus more severely. This means that lupus is commonly mistaken for conditions like Lyme disease, blood disorders, arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid issues. Here are a few symptoms you might not have noticed:

1. Fever

If you have experienced a low-grade fever that just never seems to go away, it could indicate something more serious than you think. This can be confusing, because the fever lingers between 98 and 101 degrees, just enough to make you feel “off.” You might not even think it’s necessary to see a doctor for it. When you notice that your fever increases slightly, you could be experiencing a flare-up in the near future. As you become more in tune with your body, you may become more aware of when your fever is running too high.

Make sure to call your doctor if you experience chills or a fever that exceeds 101 degrees. It is a good idea to check your temperature twice each day.

Olena Yakobchuk / Shutterstock.com
Olena Yakobchuk / Shutterstock.com

2. Difficulty Breathing

Do you often become short of breath? If so, you might also notice pain or tightness in your chest. You probably notice deeper pain when you breathe in intensely. This commonly happens because lupus leads to inflamed lungs, and the pain can eventually reach your diaphragm.

Over time, lupus can lead to something called shrinking lung syndrome. This received its name because of the way the lung looks on a CAT scan due to its inability to garner strength. This condition can cause a sharp pain each time you breathe in and out, making your breathing shallower.

wong yu liang / Shutterstock.com
wong yu liang / Shutterstock.com

3. Memory Loss and Confusion

It is not uncommon for lupus to have mental and emotional affects as well. Those who live with lupus sometimes describe having a “lupus fog.” You may suddenly forget many names you used to know, or perhaps you struggle to remember a purchase you recently made. You could start missing doctor’s appointments or fail to perform some of the tasks that once came naturally to you.

Many people who experience these symptoms actually begin to see a therapist or psychiatrist for assistance with emotional and cognitive issues. Different memory aids can be helpful for recalling information.

Jasminko Ibrakovic / Shutterstock.com
Jasminko Ibrakovic / Shutterstock.com
1 of 4