Effects of Lupus on Internal Organs

Effects of Lupus on Internal Organs

Lupus is a lifelong disorder of the immune system. While there is no definitive cure, lupus can show different symptoms in the body. On the other hand, it negatively affects the internal organs.

Lupus is a lifelong disorder of the immune system. Immune cells attack the body's own healthy tissues, causing inflammation and tissue damage. Symptoms are not limited to the skin. Lupus also causes internal problems such as joint pain. In severe cases, it can damage the heart, kidneys and other vital internal organs. Although there is no cure, there are treatment options that can minimize the damage.

Effects of Lupus on Internal Organs

Kidney Problems

Three out of four people with lupus may develop kidney problems. These problems may not cause symptoms, but some people may notice swelling in their legs or ankles. Most patients find out about kidney problems only when a urine test reveals blood or abnormal protein levels.

Heart Problems

The most common heart problem associated with lupus is inflammation of the sac around the heart. This can cause severe pain on the left side of the chest. People with lupus are more likely to develop plaques that narrow or block arteries. This can lead to coronary artery disease. Other complications include heart valve disease and inflammation of the heart muscle.

Lung Problems

One in three people with lupus have inflammation in the tissue surrounding their lungs. This may cause painful breathing or chest pain, or may not cause any symptoms. Sometimes lupus causes chest pain not related to the lungs or heart. Instead, the pain comes from an inflamed chest muscle or rib joint.

Digestive Problems

Digestive problems are not common in lupus, but some people may experience abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, or inflammation of the liver or pancreas. This may be related to the lupus itself or to medications used to treat the disease.


Lupus and the drugs used in its treatment can cause anemia in some patients. This means it has too few red blood cells because the body can't produce enough or because the red blood cells are destroyed faster than they can be replaced. Symptoms include fatigue and shortness of breath.

Nervous system

Lupus can trigger a wide variety of nervous system problems, most commonly headaches. Mild memory problems are a less common complaint. Some people with lupus have a higher risk of having a stroke.

Mental Health

Depression and anxiety are a risk for people with lupus. This may be the result of the condition's effect on the nervous system combined with the emotional strain of coping with a chronic illness.

Source: WebMB
Photos: Unsplash

Post a comment