How Lupus Affects Your Whole Body
What is the biggest complaint for patients?
Hi! I'm Dr. Bob Lahita and I am the Chairman of Medicine at the Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, which is part of Barnabas Health and Professor of Medicine at UMDNJ in Newark, New Jersey. And I am here to talk about how lupus affects the entire body.The biggest complaint that patients have with this disease, is weakness and fatigue: a feeling that they have a chronic case of the flu that never stops. Muscle aches, joint pains, hair loss, rashes, low-grade fevers, night sweats... All of these are common things that are associated with the disease lupus. So you would expect the whole body to be involved and I know that many of you are concerned about that.These symptoms, when given to your physician will be extremely helpful in allowing him or her to diagnose the disease. It is a disease that is not easy to diagnose because of the many organs that are potentially involved. In fact I would say one thing: many patients just present with kidney failure to the emergency room for the first time... many patients present to their dermatologist with patches of hair that have fallen out and many patients simply go to their general practitioner and primary care physician with a flu that never stops.They've had a flu or what they think is a bad cold for a period of weeks and they go and they get checked out and lo and behold they are found to have the disease systemic lupus. So that's how the entire body is affected by the disease.This is Dr. Bob Lahita for About.com and you can go on the website and get more information.