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Symptoms of Lupus in Children to Be Aware of

The human immune system functions to protect the body by fighting off infectious infections. But under certain conditions, the immune system attacks cells in the body (autoimmune) so that various complaints arise. One common autoimmune disorder is systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) or better known as lupus. As a parent, you also need to recognize the symptoms of lupus in children.

What is lupus?

Lupus is an autoimmune disease caused by the body producing excessive antibodies, which attack its own tissues in various organs. These conditions cause damage, and over time trigger various complaints and symptoms.

Lupus if detected at the age of children is called Juvenile SLE. This disease is more about girls, and the incidence increases with age. Lupus in children usually occurs in ages 9-15 years (puberty).

Some research that has been done shows that lupus can be caused by various factors, such as genetics, hormones, environmental conditions, and habits that are carried out.

Detect lupus early

Lupus is difficult to recognize, because the symptoms are very diverse. Every child who experiences the disease is very likely to feel symptoms that are different from each other.

As for some complaints that are often associated with symptoms of lupus, including:

1. Prolonged fever

Often lupus patients come to the hospital because of complaints of low-grade fever, intermittent, and long-lasting.

This fever can occur for weeks or even months. More confusing, the cause of the fever is unknown.

2. The child looks pale

This symptom is more obvious if the child has a history of repeated blood transfusions. If the child looks pale, easily tired, and lethargic, there is a history of repeated blood transfusions, one of the diseases that must be considered is lupus.

Children with this condition may experience autoimmune hemolytic anemia, which can later develop into lupus.

3. Easy to get tired

Have you ever seen a child suddenly less active and easily tired, when usually he is very active? If children are often like this, then you need to suspect lupus.

There is no harm in suspecting lupus if the mother's child who is usually active then becomes inactive or lazy to move.

4. Pain and swelling in the joints

Children with lupus often complain of pain and swelling in the joints. This condition generally occurs in large joints, such as the elbows and knees.

5. Swelling of the eyelids and lower legs

One symptom that can arise due to lupus is swelling of the eyelids and lower limbs. This condition is usually accompanied by urination that is less than usual, due to abnormalities in the kidneys.

6. Skin rashes

The rash appears on the face shaped like a butterfly wing or what is called a rash butterfly (malar spots). Other rashes that are round in shape can also appear on parts of the body other than the face, such as the neck, arms, and legs (discoid spots).

7. Hair loss

If a child's hair falls more than 100 strands per day, one of the conditions that could be the culprit is lupus.

8. Skin sensitive to sunlight

The skin of people with lupus can easily experience reddish spots that persist when exposed to sunlight.

9. Shortness of breath and chest pain

Lupus can attack the lung organs and heart, so children with the disease are very likely to complain of pain in the chest area and shortness of breath.

If there are symptoms that are identical to lupus in children, parents should not panic immediately. Stay calm so you can think clearly to determine the next step for the good of the baby. Immediately check with a pediatrician for several investigations, such as blood tests, urine, chest x-ray, and cardiac examination (echocardiography) to establish a definite diagnosis.

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