May is Lupus Awareness Month, which makes it the perfect time to discuss this often-overlooked illness.
Lupus is a disease that causes your own body to attack itself. This causes inflammation, and its symptoms can vary from person to person, because the inflammation is dependent on which organs or tissues are affected.
Lupus is difficult to diagnose due to this, as well as to the fact that its symptoms often overlap with symptoms of other illnesses. However, there are some symptoms that you and/or your home care aide should be on the lookout for, as they can help you to recognize lupus in its earlier stages.
- Butterfly rash – Out of all of the possible symptoms of lupus, this one is the most widely recognized, and the least likely to be misidentified. A rash that appears on the face and extends from one cheek to the other, crossing the nose, is a tell-tale sign of lupus. Due to its placement and shape, it looks like a butterfly, making it easy to identify.
- Fever and tiredness – Have your loved one been feeling unusually tired lately? Have they been running a fever for a few days? Both of these things can be a sign that one’s body is attacking something that it perceives to be a threat, and in the case of lupus, this perceived threat is usually one’s own organs or tissues.
- Marks on skin – Skin lesions that get worse when exposed to sunlight or other bright lights can be another sign of lupus. This can also be a sign of several other illnesses, however, but in either case, it is something that needs to be looked into.
- Joint pain – Pain in one’s joins, as well as stiffness or swelling of said joints can be an indicator of lupus as well. These symptoms are also characteristic of arthritis, though, so it can be difficult at times to know which illness you are dealing with.
- Blue or white fingers and toes – In people with lupus, things like stress and cold temperatures may make fingers or toes turn white or blue. This is a sign of a circulation issue, and should be checked out right away.
- Headaches – Pain in the head, as well as concentration problems and memory loss can, again, be symptoms of a myriad of illnesses. However, these can also be indicators of lupus, and should be investigated by a doctor as soon as possible in any case.
Lupus is an illness that is treatable, so there is no reason to hesitate if you or your home care aide notice any of these symptoms in your aging loved one. The earlier lupus is diagnosed, the better, and the more quickly your loved one can experience some relief.
Keep in mind, though, that even if you don’t suspect that these above symptoms are signs of lupus, you should still address them if they appear in your aging loved one, because they could be a sign that another illness is present.
If you or an aging family member are considering hiring home care in Decatur, GA, please contact the caring staff at Caring Companions of Atlanta 470-514-5954 .
We provide quality non-medical services to our clients in their homes or in a facility if that’s where they live. Our staff is available for care plans for extensive care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or as little as 4 hours per visit. Reach out to us, and one of our outstanding administrative staff will meet with potential clients to assist them and their families in designing an effective, personal plan of care.