Although the consequences of untreated lupus nephritis are serious, the symptoms are not always dramatic. They can vary from person to person and even from day to day in the same person. Symptoms include:
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure
- Swelling around the eyes, legs, ankles or fingers. This is often the first noticeable symptom. The swelling is usually absent in the morning. It gradually gets worse as a person walks about during the day.
- Dark urine
- Foamy, frothy urine and the need to get up to urinate during the night can suggest a loss of protein in the urine
- In severe cases, kidney failure can occur.
Causes and Risk Factors
It is not yet known what causes lupus. Some possibilities under investigation are infections and viruses or environmental causes. There are some indications that there may be an inherited factor to lupus. Lupus affects more women than men.