Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease, which means it can affect many different organs and tissues in the body. The severity and type of symptoms can vary greatly from person to person, and some people with lupus may have only mild symptoms, while others may experience more severe symptoms.
The organs and tissues most commonly affected by lupus include:
- Skin: Lupus can cause a range of skin problems, including rashes, lesions, and photosensitivity (sensitivity to sunlight).
- Joints: Lupus can cause joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, often affecting the hands, wrists, and knees.
- Kidneys: Lupus can cause inflammation of the kidneys (nephritis), which can lead to kidney damage and kidney failure if left untreated.
- Heart and lungs: Lupus can cause inflammation of the heart and lungs, which can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, and other respiratory symptoms.
- Brain and nervous system: Lupus can cause inflammation of the brain and nervous system, leading to symptoms such as headaches, seizures, and cognitive dysfunction.
- Blood vessels: Lupus can cause inflammation of the blood vessels, which can lead to vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels), blood clots, and other circulatory problems.
It’s important to note that not all people with lupus will experience symptoms in all of these organs and tissues, and the severity of symptoms can vary greatly from person to person. If you are experiencing any symptoms of lupus, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.