Oral ulcers are also commonly seen in SLE patients. Gastric reflux is the most common GIT complaint in lupus patients. Patients present with dyspepsia, nausea and epigastric pain. Vomiting, diarrhea, digestive problems, and constipation are other warning signs of the disease. Patients suffering from lupus are at increased risk of being affected by other gastrointestinal autoimmune disorders such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Inflammation of the peritoneum (lining of the abdomen), which is also referred to as peritonitis, can occur in 25% of the patients. In the advanced stage of the disease, symptoms may progress to ascites, severe abdominal pain, and lack of bowel movements.
Apart from the gastrointestinal tract, the liver is another major organ severely affected by lupus. In SLE, the liver is enlarged, and in late stages of the disease, it is common to have a drastic decrease in its functional ability. Autoimmune hepatitis is observed in many lupus cases. The patients with autoimmune hepatitis present with jaundice and elevated liver enzymes. It is important for them to immediately consult the doctor in order to prevent severe complications of the disease.