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Make sure you never ignore these symptoms

Make sure you never ignore these symptoms
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If you have more than four of any of these symptoms of lupus, it may be time to call your doctor.

You feel like you have the flu, but you’re not getting better

You feel like you have the flu, but you’re not getting better
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Fever, chills, muscle aches, and sleepiness are all classic signs of the common flu. But many people don’t realise they’re also lupus symptoms as well, says Delphine Lee, MD, PhD. “The difference between the flu and lupus is that the flu gets better in four to ten days,” she says, adding that these signs of lupus may last for weeks or months or come and go in cycles.

Find out which 15 flu myths doctors wish you’d stop believing.

You’re losing weight but you’re not on a diet

You’re losing weight but you’re not on a diet
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Sudden overnight weight loss may sound like a dream, but it may be one of the first lupus symptoms. Because lupus is an autoimmune disorder, causing the body’s immune system to attack itself, it can throw your thyroid and hormones out of whack which in turn affects your weight. Oddly enough, weight gain can also be one of the signs of lupus. Dr. Lee says weight loss is more common but lupus can also cause water retention which may manifest as weight gain in some people.

If you are trying to lose weight, find out which 16 low-carb diet mistakes you should never make.

You have tender bumps on your neck

You have tender bumps on your neck
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Lymph nodes are small bean-shaped structures throughout your body that help fight infection and filter out harmful substances. Normally you can’t see or feel them but when they’re working overtime, as in the case of lupus, they can become visibly swollen and painful to touch. The most common place to feel them is along your neck, down your jaw, and behind your ears but they can also swell in your groin, abdomen, armpits, clavicle and other places. Those looking out for lupus symptoms will want to check in on their lymph nodes from time to time.

Discover more strange symptoms that can signal a serious disease.

You get a rash in bright sunlight

You get a rash in bright sunlight
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A red, butterfly-shaped rash over your nose and cheeks that is triggered by sunlight is one of the more unique symptoms of lupus, Dr. Lee says. At first, it may look like you simply have a flushed face from the heat but unlike a heat rash, a lupus rash may linger long after you’ve left the sun.

“Exhausted” doesn’t even begin to describe how tired you feel

“Exhausted” doesn’t even begin to describe how tired you feel
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“This isn’t just your everyday tiredness; with lupus, you feel like you literally can’t get out of bed,” Dr. Lee says. Of course, exhaustion can have many causes ranging from depression to cancer to mononucleosis so this symptom on its own isn’t indicative of lupus but if it’s one of a longer list of lupus symptoms it’s worth considering.

Don’t miss this essential guide to a deeper sleep.

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You have blisters in weird places

You have blisters in weird places
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A blister on your heel? Call a cobbler. A constellation of blisters inside your nose or mouth? Call a doctor. There are other illnesses that cause painful bumps on your body (such as STDs) but lesions on your mucous membranes are one of the common signs of lupus, Dr. Lee says.

Your hair is coming out in clumps

Your hair is coming out in clumps
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While lupus can affect either gender, 90 percent of all cases diagnosed are in women between the ages of 15 and 44. And one of the most devastating symptoms of lupus is the loss of your beautiful locks, Lee says. You may notice your hair thinning and losing significant volume over a short period of time.

Find out how to cope with female hair loss.

Your hands are freezing, even in the summer

Your hands are freezing, even in the summer
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Many women have cold hands and feet, as many men can attest. (“Did you just marry me because you wanted a bed warmer?”) But if your fingers or toes often get extremely cold, turn blue or feel numb it could be Raynaud’s syndrome. This syndrome is an illness that affects circulation in the extremities and can be one of the signs of lupus, Dr. Lee says.

You feel like you’ve got arthritis but you’re only 30

You feel like you’ve got arthritis but you’re only 30
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Painful, swollen joints aren’t supposed to be a problem until you’re elderly, right? Not so fast, Dr. Lee says. Unfortunately, many young lupus patients experience arthritis-like symptoms in their joints, especially in their legs, with the pain being the worst in the morning and getting better as the day goes on.

Find out how to effectively deal with arthritis symptoms.

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