Did you know that May is Lupus Awareness Month as well as Women’s Health Month? As a family medical practice who specializes in women’s health Bedford TX, we want to raise awareness about the early signs and symptoms of lupus in women. We also want to help patients better understand when to seek help from a healthcare professional. Early detection and treatment of lupus are the keys to managing the condition and preventing complications. Read on to learn the basics of early signs and symptoms of lupus in women.
Lupus, also known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects millions of people, predominantly women. It occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues, causing inflammation and damage to various organs in the body. Lupus can affect different organs in the body, including the skin, joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, brain, and blood cells.
Common Early Signs and Symptoms of Lupus in Women
The symptoms of lupus can vary widely, and it can be challenging to diagnose, as it can mimic other conditions. However, there are common early signs and symptoms that women should be aware of. If you or a loved one experiences more than 3 of the following symptoms for more than 3 consecutive months, we recommend visiting one of our doctors for women Bedford TX clinic location.
Fatigue: Persistent and unexplained fatigue or exhaustion that does not improve with rest can be an early sign of lupus. Lupus-related fatigue can be severe and debilitating, affecting a woman’s ability to carry out daily activities.
Joint pain and swelling: Joint pain and swelling, especially in the small joints of the hands, wrists, and feet, are common early symptoms of lupus. The joint pain may be accompanied by stiffness, warmth, and redness.
Skin rash: A butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose, known as a malar rash, is a hallmark sign of lupus. This rash may worsen with sun exposure and may also appear on other parts of the body.
Photosensitivity: Increased sensitivity to sunlight can be an early symptom of lupus. Women with lupus may develop a rash or experience worsening of existing skin rash after exposure to sunlight.
Hair loss: Hair loss, either in patches or overall thinning, can be an early sign of lupus. This can occur on the scalp or other body parts.
Fever: Unexplained fever that is persistent or recurrent can be a sign of lupus. Fever may be low-grade or high-grade and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, and rash.
Raynaud’s phenomenon: Raynaud’s phenomenon is a condition in which the fingers and toes turn white or blue in response to cold or stress. It can be an early sign of lupus, as it may indicate impaired blood flow due to inflammation and damage to blood vessels.
When to Seek Help from a Healthcare Professional
If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned early signs and symptoms of lupus, it’s important to seek help from a healthcare professional promptly. Lupus is a complex condition that requires a thorough evaluation and diagnosis by a qualified healthcare provider. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent complications and manage the disease effectively.
It’s especially important to seek medical attention if you have a family history of lupus or other autoimmune diseases, as genetics can increase the risk of developing lupus. Additionally, if you have other risk factors such as being a woman of childbearing age, being of African, Asian, or Hispanic descent, or having a history of exposure to certain medications or chemicals known to trigger lupus, you should be vigilant about monitoring for early signs and symptoms of lupus.
It can be difficult to focus on your health when you have so much going on in your life, especially if you’re a mother with children preoccupying most of your time and energy. At Your Family Medical, we put your health first. We offer a wide range of comprehensive women’s health and wellness care for women of all ages so that you can continue living your life happily. Our providers are renowned medical professionals that aim to address your concerns and ensure a fulfilling experience with us. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and learn more about our women’s health services.