10 Early Signs of Lupus

5. Pulmonary issues

Inflammation of the pulmonary system is another possible symptom of lupus. The lungs become inflamed, and the swelling can extend to lung blood vessels. Even the diaphragm may be affected. These conditions can all lead to chest pain when you try to breathe in. This condition is often referred to as pleuritic chest pain.

Over time, breathing issues from lupus can shrink lung size. Ongoing chest pain and shortness of breath characterize this condition. It’s sometimes called vanishing (or shrinking lung syndrome). The diaphragmatic muscles are so weak they appear to move up in CT scan images, according to the Lupus Foundation of America.

6. Kidney inflammation

People with lupus can develop a kidney inflammation called nephritis. Inflammation makes it harder for the kidneys to filter toxins and waste from the blood. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, nephritis usually begins within five years of the start of lupus.

Symptoms include:

  • swelling in the lower legs and feet
  • high blood pressure
  • blood in your urine
  • darker urine
  • having to urinate more frequently at night
  • pain in your side

Early symptoms may go unnoticed. After diagnosis, monitoring of kidney function is recommended. Untreated lupus nephritis can lead to end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

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