Introduction: What is Lupus Nephritis?
Lupus nephritis is a severe kidney disorder that occurs as a result of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune disease. When the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues, it can lead to inflammation in various parts of the body. In the case of lupus nephritis, the kidneys become the primary target of this inflammatory response, which impairs their function and may eventually cause kidney failure.
It is crucial to be aware of the symptoms of lupus nephritis so that you can identify and manage the condition early. Timely diagnosis and treatment can help prevent further damage to the kidneys and improve overall health outcomes. In this article, we will explore 15 symptoms of lupus nephritis, providing you with the necessary knowledge to recognize and address this debilitating disease.
Symptom 1. Swelling in the Legs, Ankles, and Feet
One of the most common signs of lupus nephritis is swelling (edema) in the lower extremities. This occurs when excess fluid builds up in the body’s tissues, causing puffiness and discomfort. The kidneys are responsible for removing excess fluid from the body, but when their function is compromised, fluid can accumulate in the legs, ankles, and feet.
The severity of the swelling may vary depending on the extent of kidney damage. In some cases, it may only be noticeable after a long day of standing or walking, while in others, it can be more persistent and pronounced. Moreover, the swelling may be accompanied by a feeling of heaviness in the legs, making it difficult to move or walk comfortably.
To manage this symptom, patients can try elevating their legs when sitting or lying down, wearing compression stockings, or reducing their salt intake to minimize fluid retention. However, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice and treatment. (1)