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Everything You Need To Know About Lupus
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease. It can cause many different symptoms such as fever, fatigue, rash, body aches and confusion. Although there is no cure, your care team may recommend medications and diet and lifestyle changes to manage these symptoms.
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Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can cause inflammation throughout the body. However, it is usually a local condition, so it is not always systemic.
An autoimmune disease is a condition in which your body’s immune system is responsible for inflaming and destroying its own cells.
Many people with lupus experience a mild version of it, but it can become severe without proper treatment. There is currently no known cure for lupus, so treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and reducing inflammation.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the most common type of lupus. When you hear someone say they have lupus, they are probably referring to SLE.
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SLE gets its name because it typically affects multiple organ systems in your body.
SLE can range from mild to severe. The condition causes symptoms that may worsen over time and then improve. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, times when symptoms get worse are called flares. Periods when they improve or disappear are known as remissions.
This type of lupus is usually limited to the skin. It can cause a rash and permanent scarring. A
Although acute cutaneous lupus is often associated with lupus elsewhere in the body, subacute and chronic cutaneous lupus typically occurs only on the skin.
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This condition is very rare and affects children whose parents have certain autoimmune antibodies at birth. These autoimmune antibodies are transferred from the parent to the fetus through the placenta.
Mothers who give birth to a baby with neonatal lupus do not have symptoms of lupus. However, it is estimated that
Although some babies may have heart development problems, most have symptoms that go away after several months.
If you have these antibodies, you should be closely monitored during pregnancy. Your care team often includes specialists such as a rheumatologist and a high-risk obstetrician. An obstetrician is a doctor who specializes in fetal and maternal medicine.
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Taking some prescription medications can lead to drug-induced lupus (DIL). DIL can also be called drug-induced lupus erythematosus (DILE).
Shows that DIL can develop with long-term use of certain prescribed drugs. It usually happens within a few months of taking the medicine.
Although DIL mimics the symptoms of SLE, in most cases the condition does not usually affect major organs. However, it can cause pericarditis and pleurisy. DIL usually goes away within a few weeks of stopping the drug that caused it.
There is currently no cure for lupus. However, many different treatments can help you manage your symptoms.
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Following a medication regimen recommended by your healthcare professional is important to managing your symptoms and living a full life.
The symptoms of lupus can depend on which parts of the body it affects. The inflammation seen in lupus can affect different organs and tissues in your body, including:
Although too much sun can be harmful to anyone, many people with lupus are also photosensitivity. Photosensitivity means that you are especially sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is the radiation found in sunlight or even certain types of artificial light.
Some people with lupus may find that exposure to sunlight triggers certain symptoms, according to the Lupus Foundation of America. These may include:
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If you have lupus and go outside, it’s important to wear sun protective clothing and apply sunscreen. You can buy sunscreen and sun protective clothing online.
Lupus symptoms typically begin in adulthood. This can be anywhere from a teenager to a 30-year-old.
These are similar to symptoms of other diseases, so experiencing them does not necessarily mean you have lupus. However, it is important to make an appointment with a healthcare professional to discuss the matter.
Although there is currently no cure for lupus, there are medications available to help you manage your lupus symptoms and prevent your lupus from getting worse. A doctor takes lupus symptoms and their severity into account when recommending lupus treatments.
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It is important to visit the doctor regularly. This allows them to better monitor your condition and determine if your treatment plan is working to control your symptoms.
Lupus symptoms can also change over time. Because of this, your doctor may change your medications or change the dose of your current medication.
The National Health Service (NHS) says that in addition to medication, your doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes to help manage lupus symptoms. These may include, for example, the following:
The medicine you are given may depend on your symptoms and their severity. Medicines can help treat lupus symptoms in several ways, including:
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It is important to monitor the effect of medications on symptoms. If your medicine has side effects or is no longer helping to treat your symptoms, tell your doctor.
If you eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, you may need to watch your intake. These fish can have high levels of mercury.
There are also certain foods that lupus patients should generally avoid, mainly because of the medications they normally take. Some examples of foods to stay away from include:
Also, if you have photosensitivity as a result of lupus, you may have a vitamin D deficiency. Taking a vitamin D supplement may help. You can buy vitamin D supplements online.
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These rashes can be raised, smooth or scaly, and in some cases they can be painful or itchy. Rashes also usually appear red or purple and may be more noticeable in people with darker skin.
A butterfly rash sparing the nasolabial folds is a hallmark of lupus. This is also called malar rash. Photo: Doktorinternet/Wikimedia
Discoid lupus erythematosus is a skin disease that causes inflammation and scarring in different areas of the body. The rash is typically disc-shaped, hence the name discoid. This is also called chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus. Scott Camazine / Alamy Stock Photo
Lupus can cause liveso reticularis, which typically affects the skin of the legs. Photo: DermNet New Zealand
How Do I Know If I Have Lupus?
While experts don’t know exactly what causes lupus, they think it may be a combination of several underlying factors. These include:
It is also possible that you have not experienced any of the known possible causes of lupus listed here, but still have an autoimmune disease.
Certain groups may have a higher risk of developing lupus. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, examples of risk factors for lupus include:
Remember that having lupus risk factors does not mean you have lupus. It just means that you are at greater risk than those without risk factors.
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Doctors do not use a single blood test or imaging test to diagnose lupus. Instead, they consider a person’s signs and symptoms and rule out other possible conditions that could be causing them.
Studies have shown that some antibodies are highly specific for lupus, including double-stranded DNA (ds-DNA) and Smith’s (Sm) antibody. The Sm antibody is also associated with kidney disease (nephritis) associated with SLE.
Your doctor will first take your medical history and perform a physical exam. They’ll ask you about your symptoms, including how long you’ve had them and whether you have a family history of lupus or other autoimmune diseases.
In addition to a detailed history and physical exam, your doctor may perform the following tests to diagnose lupus:
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Lupus has various complications. They are caused by inflammation associated with the disease. Possible complications of lupus can include problems with:
People with lupus are also more prone to infections. This is not only because of the disease, but also because many of the drugs used to treat lupus weaken or suppress the immune system.
If you have lupus, it is very important that you follow the treatment plan that your doctor gives you. This can also help prevent lupus flares and organ damage.
. It happens when your immune system attacks the part of your kidneys that filters your blood.
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It is important to recognize the symptoms of lupus nephritis so that you can get prompt treatment. Symptoms may include:
Lupus nephritis has several stages, classified from class I to class VI. Class I is the least serious, while Class VI is the most serious.
It is not clear what exactly causes fatigue in people with lupus. However, some factors can affect it, including:
Coping with lupus can be difficult at times. It is very common to experience feelings of frustration or sadness. However, it is important to distinguish between temporary negative emotions and states such as depression.
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Depression can often occur in people with lupus. According to a 2018 study, about 25 percent of people with lupus
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