SLE can be hard to diagnose because:

  • Symptoms are like many other health problems
  • There is no test
  • Each person with SLE may have different signs of it

Your doctor may think you have it if you have at least four of these signs:

  • Butterfly rash over your cheeks and nose—a key sign
  • Rashes that can lead to scarring
  • Skin that gets burned easy in the sun
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Joint swelling, pain, and warmth
  • Inflammation of the lining of the heart
  • Seizures or psychosis

Changes in the blood and kidneys may be found through:

Blood Tests

SLE can cause changes in the blood. They differ from person to person, but may be:

  • Having antinuclear antibodies (ANA) that attack your body's cells
  • Signs of inflammation
  • Unusual findings from a blood cell measurement
  • Signs of substances that are normally filtered by the kidneys

Urine Tests

You may have a change in kidney function if you have proteins, blood, or other substances in your urine.

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