1. Joint swelling and pain
“Joint pains and joint swelling and stiffness in the morning,” are all classic signs of lupus, Buyon says. It most commonly presents in the wrists, knuckles, and fingers. This also makes it easy to confused with rheumatoid arthritis. “The textbook difference between lupus and rheumatoid arthritis is that lupus can affect joints on one side and not the other, whereas RA usually affects both sides equally,” Buyon explains. Swelling can also come and go with lupus and doesn’t get progressively worse and disfiguring like it does in RA. “Lupus also tends to occur in younger patients.”
2. Face rash
Developing a skin rash when exposed to sunlight is a very characteristic symptom of lupus. It’s called a butterfly rash and usually extends from the bridge of the nose, down the cheekbone, to the jawbone.
3. Water retention and bloody urine
Kidney problems are another hallmark symptom and typically occur in more serious manifestations of the disease. The problem is, that someone can have deteriorating kidneys without knowing until it gets bad, Buyon says. Kidney problems can cause water retention, resulting a swollen or puffy feeling, and causing water-weight gain. It can also lead to bloody urine.