Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)
When To Call a Doctor
Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if you have symptoms of a heart attack. These may include:
- Chest pain or pressure, or a strange feeling in the chest.
- Shortness of breath.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Pain, pressure, or a strange feeling in the back, neck, jaw, or upper belly, or one or both shoulders or arms.
- Lightheadedness or sudden weakness.
- A fast or irregular heartbeat.
After you call 911 , the operator may tell you to chew 1 adult-strength or 2 to 4 low-dose aspirin. Wait for an ambulance. Do not try to drive yourself.
Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if you have one or more of the following signs of a stroke:
- Sudden numbness, tingling, or weakness in or an inability to move (paralysis) part or all of one side of the body (such as the face, arm, and leg)
- Vision changes that come on suddenly, such as dimness, blurring, double vision, or loss of vision in one or both eyes
- A Reference seizure Opens New Window
- Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden nausea or vomiting
- A sudden, severe headache, different from previous headaches, that occurs without a known cause
- Sudden dizziness, clumsiness, staggering, or fainting (loss of consciousness)
Call a doctor immediately if you:
- Are short of breath.
- Have blood in your urine or are urinating less often and in smaller amounts than usual.
- Have a fever over 100.5°F (38.1°C), with or without headache and body aches, but you haven't recently been exposed to a cold or the flu.
- Experience Reference depression Opens New Window or any changes in behavior or thinking.
- Have numbness or tingling in the hands or feet.
- Are dizzy or have muscle weakness.
- Have swelling of the lower legs or feet.
Call a doctor as soon as possible if you develop any new symptoms of lupus. Also call your doctor if any symptoms that you have had for a period of time get worse.
If you have not been diagnosed with lupus and you have symptoms such as joint pain, fatigue, or skin rashes, see your doctor or tell your doctor about your concerns at your next medical appointment.
Who to see
To evaluate initial symptoms and treat mild lupus, you can talk with:
- A Reference family medicine doctor Opens New Window or an Reference internist Opens New Window.
- A Reference rheumatologist Opens New Window.
- An Reference immunologist Opens New Window.
For long-term management of complicated lupus, talk with:
- A rheumatologist.
- An immunologist.
For more complicated cases of lupus, a rheumatologist is usually the primary doctor. Other specialists are consulted as needed.
- For mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, Reference psychosis Opens New Window, or other behavioral changes, see your family medical doctor or internist, or a Reference psychiatrist Opens New Window.
- For the treatment of organ problems, a doctor who specializes in diseases of that particular organ system may work together with a rheumatologist or immunologist. The following practitioners typically treat vital organ problems caused by lupus:
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Reference Making the Most of Your Appointment.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 10, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Nancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology