What is the difference between MS and lupus?
Symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) appear because the body attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. This damage interferes with the way the body communicates with the brain.
Lupus is an autoimmune condition. It causes the immune system to attack different areas of the body, such as the skin, joints, and organs. In some people, lupus attacks the nervous system.
It is possible to have both MS and lupus, though the chances are slim.
In this article, learn more about the differences between MS and lupus, their symptoms, and the diagnostic process for each.
MS vs. lupus symptoms
Both MS and lupus can cause fever and body aches.
The symptoms of MS and lupus tend to flare up and go away.
The symptoms that mark these flare-ups can vary and may get worse over time.
In a person with MS, the immune system attacks nerve cells, damaging their protective sheaths.
This makes it harder for the brain and body to communicate and may result in neurological symptoms, including:
unexplained numbness, sometimes in the limbs
vision problems, such as blurred or double vision
weakness in the limbs
Lupus is an autoimmune condition that can cause inflammation in many areas of the body, including the nervous system, but this system is not always involved. Lupus can also attack the skin, joints, and organs.
According to the Lupus Foundation of America, many scientists believe that the condition results from a combination of hormones, genetics, and environmental factors.
The most common symptoms of lupus are:
painful or swollen joints
The following symptoms are more common when lupus is affecting the nervous system and less common in people with MS:
changes in personality
The two conditions share some symptoms, such as fatigue. People with these conditions can also experience similar aches and pains.