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Health Spotlight: Symptoms of lupus vary

(WISH) — From hair loss to muscle and joint pain, lupus affects people in many different ways.

The autoimmune disease happens when the body’s immune system attacks tissues and organs. About 1.5 million Americans have lupus, and there are at least 16,000 new cases each year.

Award-winning singer Toni Braxton was diagnosed with lupus in 2008. Her most persistent symptom has been blood clots. Despite her illness, Braxton is still releasing new music.

Dr. Richard Nash of the Colorado Blood Cancer Institute said, “Some autoimmune diseases can be mild and, and vary, can be manageable, and some can be very severe and then resistant to therapy.”

No two patients share the same exact symptoms. In fact, there are quite a few symptoms that are lesser known.

One of those is lupus psychosis. It is described as delusions or hallucinations. About 12% of lupus patients experience it.

A few more little-known symptoms are vertigo, Raynaud’s syndrome, and oral health problems such as gum disease.

Nash said, “Common treatments are treatments that are going to suppress the immune system so that when patients develop an autoimmune disorder, there’s activity of the immune system against that organ system.”

Some other symptoms of lupus are severe headaches, nerve complications, vision loss, and weight fluctuations.

This story was created from a script aired on WISH-TV. Health Spotlight is presented by Community Health Network.