The stresses of today can be enough to drain you. Exhaustion is very common among women as we wear many different hats. But extreme fatigue, as well as other symptoms, may point to a serious health problem. Lupus is a disease in which the body attacks its own healthy tissues and organs. It can damage the joints, skin, kidneys, and other parts of the body.
The cause of lupus is unknown. African-American women are three times more likely to get lupus than white women. African-American women tend to develop lupus at a younger age and have more severe symptoms than white women.
The signs of lupus differ from person to person. Some people have just a few signs, while others have more. Common symptoms include:
* Joint pain and stiffness, with or without swelling
* Muscle aches and pains
* Fever with no known cause
* Feeling very tired
* Skin rashes
* Anemia (uh-NEE-me-uh)
* Trouble thinking, memory problems, confusion
* Kidney problems with no known cause
* Chest pain when taking a deep breath
* Butterfly-shaped rash across the nose and cheeks
* Sun or light sensitivity
* Hair loss
About Dr. Sherrer
Dr. Sherrer graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She did her internship, residency and fellow ship in Immunology and Rheumatology at Stanford University. She served as Chairman of the department of Rheumatology at Cleveland Clinic Florida for 8 years prior to opening her own Center: Centre for Rheumatology Immunology and Arthritis. She is currently the medical director there.
Dr. Sherrer has been on numerous national committees including serving a four-year term on the FDA advisory committee for arthritis. She has numerous publications and has been the Principal Investigator in over 150 clinical trials almost exclusively related to arthritis therapeutics. She is a past president of the Florida Society of Rheumatology and is a member of the volunteer clinical staff of the department of Rheumatology at University of Miami. She is an educator and is regularly invited to lecture to physician and other audiences.