I just joined the group so I could find out more info about lupus. I recently went to the dermatogist because of a rash on my feet and she did a biopsy. The results pointed towards lupus so she did another biopsy and blood work. I dont go back to her for another week and I am really nervous. My feet are always ice cold, my joints hurt all over, i am extremely tired and the whites of my eyes are always red and burning. I do know that the joint pain and rash are a part of lupus but what about the coldness, tiredness and red irritated eyes?
07-10-2007, 09:24 AM
One of the things about Lupus is that it generally opens the door to other autoimmune disorders. Almost all of us with Lupus also have other illnesses. Myself, I have Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Raynaud's Syndrome and others. With reference to the symptoms that you asked about, people with Lupus often suffer with overlap illnesses that have the symptoms you described.
For instance, cold feet could possibly be a symptom of Raynaud's Syndrome. Raynaud's syndrome is a disorder that affects the blood vessels in the fingers, toes, ears, and nose. This disorder is characterised by episodic attacks, called vasospastic attacks, that cause the blood vessels in the fingers and toes to constrict. For most people, an attack is usually triggered by exposure to cold or emotional stress. In general, attacks affect the fingers or toes but may affect the nose, lips, or ear lobes.When a person is exposed to cold, the body's normal response is to slow the loss of heat and preserve its core temperature. To maintain this temperature, the blood vessels that control blood flow to the skin surface move blood from arteries near the surface to veins deeper in the body. For people who have Raynaud's syndrome, this normal body response is intensified by the sudden spasmodic contractions of the small blood vessels (arterioles) that supply blood to the fingers and toes. The arteries of the fingers and toes may also collapse. As a result, the blood supply to the extremities is greatly decreased, causing a reaction that includes skin discoloration and other changes.Once the attack begins, a person may experience three phases of skin colour changes (white, blue, and red) in the fingers or toes. The order of the changes of colour is not the same for all people, and not everyone has all three colors. Pallor (whiteness) may occur in response to spasm of the arterioles and the resulting collapse of the digital arteries. Cyanosis (blueness) may appear because the fingers or toes are not getting enough oxygen-rich blood. The fingers or toes may also feel cold and numb. Finally, as the arterioles dilate (relax) and blood returns to the digits, rubor (redness) may occur. As the attack ends, throbbing and tingling may occur in the fingers and toes. An attack can last from less than a minute to several hours.
Fatigue is a common symptom of Lupus. However, many researchers believe that Fibromyalgia may be the cause of much of the fatigue that we feel. However, fatigue in Lupus affects up to 80% of us. It is felt that the fatigue is likely to result from a number of contributing factors, such as disease activity, mood disorder (such as depression), poor sleep patterns, low levels of aerobic fitness, and, as I mentioned earlier, associated fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia has been reported to occur with high prevalence in systemic lupus erythematosus. The primary symptoms of fibromyalgia include widespread musculoskeletal pain, severe fatigue, and disturbed sleep. Fibromyalgia means pain in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons – the soft fibrous tissues in the body. Many of these symptoms are also symptoms of Lupus, so many of us have difficulty distinguishing the symptoms of one illness from the other. Most patients with fibromyalgia say that they ache all over. The muscles may feel like they were pulled or overworked. Sometimes fibromyalgia symptoms include muscle twitches and burning sensations.
WIth reference to red eyes, some 1 in 10 people with lupus develop conjunctivitis. The symptoms are usually slightly gritty red eyes which can be sore and itchy. Depending on the cause this may require steroid or antibiotic eyedrops. Also, one of the conditions that can occur along with lupus is Sjögren's syndrome. This occurs in about 1 in 5 to 1 in 10 people with lupus. In Sjögren's syndrome, the immune system attacks the glands that produce fluids to lubricate different parts of the body. This most commonly produces dry eyes and dry mouth.
I hope that this information has been helpful to you. Let me know if you need anything further!
Peace and Blessings
07-10-2007, 12:50 PM
Welcome to the Forum! :D I'm really glad that you found us! :D
Please just know that anytime you need advice, support, information or just to vent or chat, we're all here for you!
Let us know how your next Dermatology appointment goes!
Keep well! :)