Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system malfunctions and attacks healthy tissue and organs. It causes swelling and affects areas throughout your body, including your joints, connective tissue (supports your skin and internal organs), blood, and blood vessels. It can affect your kidneys, skin, heart, brain, and other organs.
Each person’s symptoms are different, depending on the area of the body that’s affected. Symptoms can develop quickly or arise more slowly, they can be temporary or permanent, and they can range from mild to life threatening. Most people with lupus have periodic symptom flares — when symptoms worsen for a period of time and then improve or go away completely.
Although symptoms will vary, the most common signs of lupus include:
- Blood disorders, such as anemia, low platelet or white blood cell counts, and blood clots
- Butterfly-shaped rash over your cheeks and nose that looks like a sunburn
- Dry eyes and mouth
- Fatigue that doesn't go away with rest
- Hair loss
- Low-grade fever
- Kidney problems
- Memory problems and confusion
- Painful, swollen joints
- Sensitivity to light, which can cause symptoms to get worse
- Shortness of breath or chest pain with breathing, laughing, coughing, or sneezing
Many of the symptoms of lupus are shared by numerous other health problems, so it's important to work with someone who specializes in autoimmune diseases. Rheumatologists at University of Miami Health System have advanced experience diagnosing and treating lupus, so you can be confident you’ll receive the most effective care. With locations throughout South Florida, you can find a lupus specialist nearby.
Why Choose UHealth?
The latest treatments for lupus and other rheumatic diseases. In addition to treating patients, our rheumatologists conduct research to find better approaches for managing the disease. That means you receive care from specialists on the leading edge of lupus care. You have access to some of today’s most promising therapies through clinical trials — including treatments you can’t find anywhere else nearby.
Comprehensive care from a team of specialists. Lupus can affect many areas of the body, so our rheumatologists work with doctors in a full range of medical specialties to give you comprehensive, coordinated care — such as hematologists (blood disorders), dermatologists, cardiologists, vascular specialists, neurologists, pulmonologists (lung diseases), nephrologists (kidney diseases), and others.
Expert diagnosis and personalized attention. Treatment for lupus isn’t one size fits all. We develop a personalized treatment plan that’s designed to relieve your symptoms. We consider your lifestyle and changing needs to ensure you get the best possible results from treatment.
Specialized care to improve your quality of life. Your team will educate you about lupus and help you learn how to prevent symptom flares through a nutritious diet, exercise, plenty of rest, and other healthy lifestyle habits. We make sure you have the support and resources you need to cope with lupus. You won’t face this alone.