Lupus Warriors and doctors need to be on the lookout for signs of organ involvement. Unfortunately, the signs of kidney damage can be easy to overlook.
Lupus can cause inflammation throughout the body, including internal organs. While skin involvement (in the form of a facial rash) and arthritis are common, the heart, lungs, and kidneys can also be damaged by chronic flare-ups. You may not be aware of any kidney damage until you are nearing kidney failure, because symptoms can be easily overlooked until only 10 percent of one kidney is functioning.
In fact, lupus is one of the most common underlying conditions leading to the need for permanent dialysis or a kidney transplant. Dialysis helps keep your body in balance by performing the typical duties of the kidneys including:
- removing waste, salt, and extra water
- maintaining a balance of chemicals like potassium and sodium
- helping control blood pressure
To learn more about dialysis, check out The National Kidney Foundation.