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No two cases of lupus are exactly alike. Signs and symptoms may come on suddenly or develop slowly, may be mild or severe and may be temporary or last for a long period of time.
Most people with lupus experience episodes called flares, or worsening signs and symptoms that eventually improve or even disappear completely for a period of time with treatment. The course of the disorder is unpredictable, hence long-term treatment and follow-up is essential.
The signs and symptoms of lupus will depend on which body systems are affected by the disorder.
In general, signs and symptoms of lupus include the following:
• Fever, fatigue and weight loss.• Joint pain, stiffness, swelling and diffuse muscle aches.• Butterfly-shaped rash on the face that covers the cheeks and bridge of the nose which worsens with sun-exposure.• Hair loss, mouth ulcers and easy bruising.• Chest pain and shortness of breath.• Swelling around the eye-lids, swelling of the feet and legs and decrease in urine output.• Psychosis, seizures (fits), memory or behavioural changes, drowsiness or stroke.