Systemic lupus erythematosus
Symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) can vary widely from person to person. Some people may only experience a few mild symptoms, whereas others may be more severely affected.
Even if you usually have mild symptoms, SLE can "flare up", with symptoms becoming more severe or new symptoms developing.
The three main symptoms of SLE are:
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of SLE. You may feel very tired even though youget plenty of sleep. Carrying out everyday tasks, such as housework or office work, can leave you feeling exhausted.
Many people with SLE find that fatigue is the most distressing and disruptive aspect ofthe conditionbecause it has a negative impact ontheir work and social life.
If you have SLE, you're likely to experience joint pain in your hands and feet. You may find the pain changes from one set of joints to another quite quickly, and is usually worse in the morning.
Unlike some other conditions that affect the joints, SLE is unlikely to cause your joints to become permanently damaged or deformed.
Many people with SLE develop rashes on their skin most commonly on the face, wrists and hands. A rash over the cheeks and the bridge of the nose is particularly common and is known as a "butterfly rash" or "malar rash".
Rashes caused by SLE mayget betterafter a few days or weeks, but can last longer or even be permanent.
Rashes caused by SLE can sometimes be itchy or painful. They may get worse if they are exposed to sunlight.
SLE can also cause a wide range of other symptoms.However, you're unlikelyto have all of the symptoms listed below, and many people with the condition only experiencethe above main symptoms.
Otherfeatures of SLE may include:
You should see your GP if you have persistent or troublesome symptoms that you think could be caused by SLE.
While it is likely that your symptoms are being caused by a more common condition, it's important to see a doctor for a diagnosis.
Read about lupus, a complex and poorly understood condition that affects many parts of the body. It causes symptoms ranging from mild to life-threatening
Read about the symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which can vary widely from person to person. Some people may only experience a few mild symptoms
Read about the causes of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). SLE is an autoimmune condition, which means it's caused by problems with the immune system
Read about diagnosing systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which can be difficult as it has similar symptoms to several other conditions
Read about treating systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). There's currently no cure for SLE but treatments that can ease the symptoms and make it easier to live with are available
Read about complications of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). If SLE is mild or well-controlled, you may find it barely affects your day-to-day life