15 Silent Signs of Lupus You Should Never Ignore

This autoimmune disease is tricky to diagnose because it mimics so many other illnesses. 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

Fever, chills, muscle aches, and sleepiness are all classic signs of the common flu. But many people don’t realize they’re also some of the first signs of lupus as well, says Delphine Lee, MD, PhD, director of the Dirks/Dougherty Laboratory for Cancer Research and Department of Translational Immunology at John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. “The difference between the flu and lupus is that the flu gets better in four to 10 days,” she says, adding that lupus symptoms may last for weeks or months or come and go in cycles.

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

Sudden overnight weight loss may sound like a dream, but with lupus it may be one of the first signals of a nightmare. 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. Dr. Lee says weight loss is most common but lupus can also cause water retention which may manifest as weight gain in some people. Check out these other signs you’ve got a thyroid problem.

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