Learn the Symptoms

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease, which causes inflammation of various parts of the body, especially the skin, joints and kidneys. It may also affect the blood. The immune system normally protects the body against viruses, bacteria and other foreign invaders. In an autoimmune disease like lupus, the immune system loses its ability to tell the difference between foreign substances and its own cells and tissues. The immune system then makes antibodies directed against the body itself.

When lupus first sets in, symptoms such as fatigue and pain are often non-specific. They can be signs of so many other health problems, which can make diagnosis hard. The most common complaint people have is fatigue that is so severe it stops them from being able to function normally. This fatigue is often related to fibromyalgia. Fever, muscle and joint pain are also quite common.

Select a symptom to learn more about how the body is affected by lupus and how commonly each symptom can occur during the course of lupus.

Muscle & Joint Pain

95% of people with lupus experience muscle and joint pain.

Fever Greater Than 100° F

90% of people with lupus get a fever of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).

Prolonged or Extreme Fatigue

81% of people with lupus suffer from prolonged or extreme fatigue.


71% of people with lupus simultaneously suffer from anemia.

Kidney Problems

50% of people with lupus find that their kidneys are affected. Symptoms include weight gain, swollen ankles, high blood pressure, and decreased kidney function.

Pain in the Chest

45% of people with lupus experience a pain in their chest upon breathing deeply. This condition is called pleurisy.


80% of people with lupus observe rashes on their skin. A butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose is especially common (42%).

Light Sensitivity

30% of people with lupus become sensitive to light, a condition called photosensitivity.

Hair Loss

27% of people with lupus experience hair loss resulting in patchy or bald spots.

Abnormal Blood Clotting

20% of people with lupus report abnormal blood clotting problems.

Eye Disease

20% of people with lupus concurrently suffer from eye complications such as dry eyes, eye inflammation, and eyelid rashes.


15% of people with lupus experience seizures.

Mouth or Nose Ulcers

12% of people with lupus report ulcers on their nose or mouth.

If you have several of these symptoms, please consult your doctor. To determine whether you have lupus, it is necessary to receive a professional medical evaluation.