Patients with lupus may notice several symptoms including fatigue, fever, rash on the face, shortness of breath and emotional symptoms such as anxiety, depression and memory loss. Inflammation that causes swelling, stiffness and joint pain may also be present. Upon noticing symptoms of lupus, patients should seek medical advice immediately to relieve these symptoms, diagnose lupus or another condition and begin treatment.
Who to See
Which doctor to see depends in large part on your symptoms. A family doctor, rheumatologist or immunologist may treat mild cases of lupus and certain symptoms associated with lupus. A rheumatologist or immunologist should provide long-term treatment. Severe cases of lupus should be treated by a rheumatologist, with specialists providing treatment and medical advice as necessary. Some doctors that one may need to see include a psychiatrist, cardiologist, dermatologist, hematologist, nephrologist, neurologist or pulmonologist.
Upon noticing symptoms that may point to lupus, patients should seek a healthcare specialist that is experienced in treating lupus. The doctor should be certified and licensed to practice medicine in your state. Never receive treatment or medical advice from an unlicensed person. Make sure that you feel comfortable with the rheumatologist or immunologist who will be providing you with long-term care and treatment. Establish a good rapport with the doctor so that you feel confident in asking him or her questions about your condition. When you need to see a specialist for certain conditions or symptoms arising as a result of the lupus, make sure that the doctor is also licensed and certified to practice medicine in your state and is experienced in their field. You should also feel comfortable with this doctor, as you may require repeat visits and treatments.
Where to Go
The clinic at which you receive treatment or consult with your physician should be clean and hygienic. As the doctor may take blood tests and may perform other tests that may require medical tools or instruments, hygiene and cleanliness are very important in looking after your safety. Since you will probably require multiple visits with the doctor (especially the doctor primarily treating your condition), you should make sure that it is conveniently located nearby your home. Try to avoid a lengthy commute to and from your doctor.