10 Early Signs of Lupus

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).

7. Painful, swollen joints

Inflammation can cause pain, stiffness, and visible swelling in your joints, particularly in the morning. It may be mild at first and gradually become more obvious. Like other symptoms of lupus, joint problems can come and go.

If over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications don’t help, see your doctor. There may be better treatment options. But your doctor must determine if your joint problems are caused by lupus or another condition, such as arthritis.

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