Lupus is a disease that can manifest itself in various ways, and patients may have a variety of symptoms. Many patients will show symptoms of lupus for years before getting a diagnosis. Broward Community and Family Health Centers can assist you in understanding the sickness and point you in the right direction for getting help.
What is Lupus?
Lupus is an immune system disorder. Your immune system defends you against infection, but if you have lupus, it may target your tissues instead.
Types of Lupus
There are four types, namely:
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
This is the most prevalent kind, in which a malfunctioning immune system causes inflammation in a variety of organs.
The severity of SLE can range from moderate to severe. Symptoms may heighten and then improve as the illness progresses. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, flares are periods when your symptoms worsen and remissions are the times when they improve or disappear.
Here are the organs usually affected by SLE:
- Nervous system
- Cutaneous lupus
This is the kind that usually affects only your skin. It can cause rashes and scars from persistent sores.
There are different types of cutaneous lupus:
- Acute cutaneous lupus
This kind results in a distinctive butterfly rash. This rash develops as a red rash on the cheeks and nose.
- Subacute cutaneous lupus
This is the kind that produces a red, raised, and scaly rash that appears on the skin. It usually occurs in places that have been exposed to sunlight and do not leave scars.
- Chronic cutaneous lupus
The rash is purple or crimson. Skin discoloration, scarring, and hair loss are all possible side effects. Discoid lupus is another name for it.
While this kind is frequently accompanied by lupus elsewhere on the body, subacute and chronic cutaneous usually affect just the skin.
- Neonatal lupus
This rare illness affects infants whose parents have specific autoimmune antibodies. These autoimmune antibodies are passed down from the parent to the fetus through the placenta.
This disorder can cause the following symptoms:
- Itchy rash
- A low number of blood cells
- Difficulties with the liver after birth
While some newborns may have heart development difficulties, most symptoms will subside after a few months.
- Drug-induced lupus
Drug-induced can be caused by using certain prescription drugs. According to research, DIL may occur with long-term usage of some prescription drugs. It usually happens after only a few months of using a medicine. DIL can be caused by a variety of medications, such as:
- Anticonvulsant drugs
- Arrhythmia drugs
- Drugs for high blood pressure
- Anti-TNF-alpha agents
Symptoms of Lupus
Symptoms differ from one individual to the next. Some people experience a few symptoms, while others have a lot of them. Any area of your body might be affected by the disease.
Here are the common symptoms associated:
- High fever
- Aching and swollen joints
- Severe fatigue
- Skin rash
- Chest pain
- Hair loss
- Mouth sores
- Pale fingers
- Memory loss
Is Lupus Curable?
The specific cause of lupus is unknown. However, it is believed that something or a combination of things causes your immune system to assault your body. That’s why the majority of treatments try to impair your immune system.
According to a 2019 review, the treatment relies on numerous factors:
- Treating the symptoms once you have them
- Avoiding the onset of flares
- Lowering the amount of damage to joints and organs
Doctors don’t utilize a single blood test or imaging scan to diagnose lupus. Instead, they look at a person’s indications and symptoms and rule out other possible causes.
Your doctor will ask for your medical history and do a physical examination first. They’ll inquire about your symptoms, including the length of time you’ve been experiencing them and whether you have a family history of lupus or other autoimmune disorders.
Health providers from Broward Community and Family Health Centers may ask you for:
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Imaging tests
- Tissue biopsy
While there is no cure for the disease at this time, there are drugs that can help you manage your symptoms and avoid flare-ups. When thinking of therapies, your doctor will consider the severity of your symptoms.
So as a precaution, you must visit your doctor regularly. This helps them keep a closer eye on your health and see if your treatment strategy is helping you manage your symptoms.
According to the National Health Service (NHS), your doctor may prescribe lifestyle modifications in addition to medicine to help control your symptoms. These might include things like:
- Avoiding excessive UV light exposure
- Consuming a nutritious diet
- Vitamin D, calcium, and fish oil are some supplements that may assist in alleviating discomfort
- Regular physical activity
- Letting go of smoking
Living with People with Lupus
- Learn more about lupus and how to treat it. Knowing what to expect from the condition might help you give greater support and understanding.
- Take them to the doctor as soon as possible. This is a terrific opportunity to show your support while listening to what the doctor has to say. The other person may become overwhelmed and forget facts.
- Encourage the individual to look for themselves and follow the doctor’s care plan, but do it gently. Don’t nag, and be patient.
While the disease might have a negative impact on your health, it doesn’t have to. You may live a healthy life by concentrating on your meds and overall wellness. Visit Broward Community and Family Health Centers for a diagnosis and treatment for lupus or call 954-624-3200.