A GI disorder
Twenty percent of those diagnosed with Crohn’s disease (make sure you know the symptoms) or irritable bowel disease (IBD) may also have arthritic symptoms, says Howard R. Smith, MD, director of the Lupus Clinic, Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Diseases at Cleveland Clinic. “I ask patients, ‘by the way, do you have diarrhea?'” he says. It’s often a surprise, as people rarely think that errant bathroom behavior could be related to joint issues. If a patient says yes, Dr. Smith sends them to a GI specialist, who will assess if a colonoscopy is needed.
Linked to miscarriage
Infertility is heartbreaking, particularly when you get—but can’t stay—pregnant. Unfortunately, miscarriages are more common than you might think, though not for the reasons you may have heard. Frequent miscarriages can be a sign of undetected lupus, says Dr. Smith. Lupus is an autoimmune condition that can affect your kidneys, brain, and blood vessel problems. More than 90 percent of patients experience joint or muscle pain. Antiphospholipid antibodies may be responsible for miscarriage. In addition, those who have lupus are also more likely to have preeclampsia, a condition marked by high blood pressure that can lead to dangerous complications for mom and baby.