What Are The Symptoms Of Lupus?

The 11 Symptoms of Lupus

The American College of Rheumatology created an 11-symptom criteria to more clearly identify the autoimmune condition. The easiest way to see if you are experiencing the symptoms of lupus is to take the lupus diagnosis quiz below to see how many of the 11 symptoms you are experiencing.

Click Start Below to take the lupus diagnosis quiz

Lupus can be a challenge to diagnose as many symptoms are confused with other health conditions.

Learn about the difficulties in getting a lupus diagnosis and tips for speaking with your doctor about your symptoms. And, take the above lupus diagnosis quiz to better understand the symptoms associated with lupus.

It is not uncommon for the process to take months or years as doctors evaluate the web of symptoms that are associated with this complex disease. Providing clinicians with a complete and accurate medical history is essential to getting a proper diagnosis. With lupus, symptoms may seem to appear and fade over time. Keeping a hand-written symptom journal or using digital tools, such as Karate Health, are excellent strategies. It will help you maximize time during your clinic visits AND eliminate the possibility that you forget to report symptoms.

Click here to learn more about how to start tracking symptoms

Getting a diagnosis can be overwhelming.
You may feel unheard. It can be exhausting.
Push through!

Any physician can diagnose you with lupus including your primary care provider (PCP), hospitalists, or pediatricians. However, rheumatologists are experts in diagnosing and treating autoimmune diseases such as lupus. Even with that expertise, a diagnosis is not guaranteed as many symptoms are not specific to lupus, and they may develop or evolve over time.

We conducted a poll of 119 people diagnosed with lupus who shared their experiences with getting diagnosed. More than 1/3 reported seeing 6 or more doctors before getting a diagnosis. Only 14% reported getting a diagnosis from their original doctor.

While this may suggest that seeing more doctors will hasten your diagnosis, keep in mind the complexities involved in reaching a lupus diagnosis. Each new doctor will need to conduct a thorough review of your current and past symptoms. Because medical records are still not always quickly or effectively shared between hospital systems, this further highlights the need for you to habitually track your symptoms.

In addition to your medical history, clinicians will review your current symptoms, your laboratory test results, and the medical history of close family members such as your parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, and uncles. Despite all of this information, it can still be difficult to determine a diagnosis. No single laboratory test determines if a person has lupus. Test results may be inconsistent over time – being positive at one time and negative at another.

The American College of Rheumatology has developed a list of eleven symptoms of lupus. If your doctor determines that you have at least four of the symptoms of lupus, and there is no other reason why those symptoms would be present, then you may have lupus.

Read more about the ACR symptoms of lupus by exploring the Symptoms category here – and remember to take the lupus diagnosis quiz above!

Latest Posts

Hygiene Practices, Cleanliness, and Lupus

Good hygiene, the practice of keeping yourself and your living space clean, is an important part of remaining healthy. These days, it's absolutely essential for everyone, including Lupus Warriors. Hygiene comes from…

NSAIDS, Pain Management, & Lupus

NSAIDs such as aspirin and ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation in people with lupus. In fact, about 80% of Lupus Warriors include the medication as part of their treatment plan.…

Tattoos and Lupus: Is There a Risk?

Tattoos are a part of many cultures and en vogue these days. But, what are the potential risks for Lupus Warriors? Tattoos are a permanent image on the skin formed by injecting…

Disability Benefits, Supplemental Income, and Lupus

Disability benefits and supplemental security income (SSI) can act as a financial “safety net” for people with severe symptoms of lupus. Lupus brings large bills for medications, treatments, and lab tests. It…

Prednisone, Corticosteroids, and Lupus

Prednisone is a corticosteroid that can reduce the symptoms of lupus. However, it comes with several severe side effects, making it a challenging medication to manage. Lupus Warriors are likely familiar with…

Health Insurance for Lupus Warriors | Q&A Forum

Finding the perfect health insurance plan when living with lupus can be difficult. It requires research, analysis of personal health needs, & an understanding of risk tolerances. For this month's Q&A Forum,…

Coronavirus and Lupus | Things to Know

Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a respiratory disease related to the common cold. Although most healthy people do not need to worry about the disease, people with lupus should be careful.…

Kratom, Pain Management, and Lupus

Some Lupus Warriors use kratom, an herbal supplement, to relieve pain, anxiety, and get through the day. However, the risks may not outweigh the benefits. Kratom (Mytragyna speciose) is a plant native…

Moon Face, Facial Swelling, and Lupus

Moon face is a colloquial name for extreme facial swelling. It is a common side effect of certain lupus medications, especially prednisone. We humans are visual creatures. Our face is deeply linked…

Britt Clark | My Lupus Story

Britt Clark is the founder of Lupus Lyfe, a lupus blog with a mission of spreading awareness and inspiration to those living with lupus. She is also a contributor to The Mighty.…