What Are The Indicators That Your Child May Have Lupus?
Before delving into the symptoms of Lupus in children, let us first learn about what Lupus is. Lupus is an chronic disease. It is a type of inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects the connective blood and tissue of an individual. Two types of Lupus-might affect an individual. They are:
1. Systematic Lupus Erythematosus or the SLE lupus. This lupus is a very serious one and can be lethal and severe, as it mainly affects not only the organs of our body as well as blood and connective tissues as well.
2. The second one is the Discoid Lupus Erythematosus or the DLE Lupus. This lupus mainly affects the bare area of our body such as the skin. Sometimes, DLE can also affect the joints as well.
Lupus symptoms in children are similar to those seen in adults. Depending on the affected system or part of the body, different kinds of signs and symptoms might appear. Generally, the Lupus symptoms do not stay for long. They appear suddenly and then subside for while only to reappear again after some time. When these symptoms appear, they intensify and make the child suffer by exhausting them. This period is known as the Flaring period.
Some of the most common symptoms and sign of Lupus in children are as follows:
- Swelling of Lymph glands and nodes
- Nose ulcers and oral ulcers
- Sensitivity to sun’s ray
- Various kinds of kidney disorders
- Inflammation in joins and also arthritis
- Unexplained fever
- Extreme fatigue and tiredness even though the child is having enough food and rest
- The child might also experience Raynaud’s phenomenon in which his or her toes and fingers will turn white and/or blue and red when exposed to stress or cold
- Lower than normal count of red and white blood platelets and cells
- Tightness in the chest area accompanied by shortness in breath
- Seizures, memory loss, loss of concentration and other kinds of nervous system disorder
- Inflammation of heart and lungs
- Accumulation of fluid in various internal organs
According to the severity of the Lupus and according to the organs that the disease has affected, the Symptoms of Lupus in children can vary greatly from one child to another. The SLE or the serious type of Lupus usually occurs suddenly. The signs start to come slowly. It starts with children having random episodes of fever. These fevers drain the child out of energy and the child will fell stressed and fatigued.
With DLE, the children experience various kinds of rashes in various parts of the body. Rashes appear in the face, neck, chest area and on the elbow. These rashes start of as simple red rash in color. These rashes can be circular in color and might thicken the affected area. In some cases, the rashes also leave scars as well. They can also appear on the scalp and on the face. In some cases, lupus also causes hair loss. Lupus affected child can experience hair loss in patches or in the complete scalp area. In the case of SLE, children experience rashes on face. These rashes cover the bridge of the nose and the cheeks and thus they appear to be of butterfly shape. However, butterfly rashes do not leave behind any kind of scar marks and the hair loss that occurs due to Lupus is not permanent.
Sometimes, SLE affected children also experience pain and discomfort in their joints. They can also experience muscle pain as well. As parents often mistake SLE muscle and joint pains as regular growth pains, often Lupus is not diagnosed. If it is not diagnosed and treated in earlier stages, the affected child will suffer from muscular contraction and can even experience deformation of joints.
Some other Lupus symptoms in children include sores on lip, mouth and nose. They appear as ulcers. Children might also show signs of inflammation of hands and fingers as well. They might also become sensitive to light as well. As the membrane that surrounds the heart can become inflamed due to Lupus, children might also experience chest pain and breathing problem. They might also suffer from anemia, inflammation of lungs lining, iron deficiency, various kinds of kidney disorders etc. Children might also experience swelling of their lymph nodes that will leave them vulnerable to various kinds of disease.