Everything You Need To Know About Lupus – The autoimmune disease lupus can affect your body. Here are the facts about common lupus comorbidities and how to prevent and manage them.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that occurs when your immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Inflammation from lupus can affect many different parts of the body, including the kidneys, brain and central nervous system, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and more.
- 1 Everything You Need To Know About Lupus
- 2 Lupus: Signs, Symptoms, And Complications
- 3 Everything You Need To Know About Lupus In Pregnancy
- 4 Va Disability Rating For Lupus
- 5 What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Lupus?
Everything You Need To Know About Lupus
Lupus affects different people in different ways. Symptoms may come on suddenly or develop over time. They can be easy or hard. Many lupus diseases are characterized by flares, the symptoms are temporarily aggravated and then improved or disappear for a while.
Lupus: Signs, Symptoms, And Complications
There are many different types of lupus. The most common form of lupus erythematosus (SLE) accounts for approximately 70 percent of all lupus cases, according to the Lupus Foundation of America. Patients with SLE have multiple comorbidities, a UK study shows. Discoid lupus erythematosus is only on the skin. Drug-induced lupus is a type of lupus caused by certain medications. Read more basic facts about lupus.
Lupus complications often occur when lupus is not well controlled, which is why a major part of lupus treatment is trying to prevent complications. Today, more treatment options than ever have been developed to manage lupus, and many more are currently being studied. The right treatment for you depends on what type of lupus you have and what symptoms you have. Common medications for lupus include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil); corticosteroids; immunosuppressive drugs such as azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil and methotrexate; and certain biologics approved to treat lupus.
The most important thing you can do right away as a lupus patient is to find a health care provider you trust, says Jill Buon, MD, a rheumatologist and director of the Lupus Center and Division of Rheumatology at New Langone Health in New York City. .
Once you’ve read this list of lupus complications, bring up any questions or concerns with your doctor. You may need to create a health care team that includes different specialists—such as a rheumatologist, cardiologist, and nephrologist—or facilitate better communication between them to make sure you’re getting the best care for your lupus and related diseases.
Everything You Need To Know About Lupus In Pregnancy
According to the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, 50 percent of lupus patients have heart problems. “Inflammation from lupus increases the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Lisa Christian-Schrieber, MD, associate professor of medicine and rheumatology training and director of the Women’s Internal Medicine Program at Duke’s Department of Medicine in Durham. North Carolina.
It showed at least a two-fold increased cardiovascular risk in patients with SLE. “The most common heart complications of lupus are atherosclerosis (where plaque clogs the arteries) and heart failure,” says Christopher Collins, M.D., a rheumatologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. The early stages of atherosclerosis don’t have many symptoms, but when plaque builds up and starts to block the artery, it can cause:
Heart failure is more likely to occur in lupus patients at a younger age than in the general population. “Lupus patients are underrecognized as having this independent risk factor,” Dr. Collins said. Doctors and patients may dismiss chest pain in patients with lupus, thinking they are too young to have a heart attack.
Heart complications of lupus also include pericarditis, which is inflammation of the pericardium, the lining around the heart. Symptoms include shortness of breath and chest pain when you take a deep breath, cough or swallow.
Lupus: What To Eat For Better Management
Lupus patients may need additional treatment, such as blood pressure or cholesterol medications, to control heart disease risk factors. Exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and quitting smoking can help reduce the risk of certain types of heart disease.
Approximately 50 percent of people with lupus develop antiphospholipid antibodies. These antibodies are directed at the fatty parts of your cell membrane. One of these antibodies, lupus anticoagulant, can trigger blood clots that can lead to strokes and heart attacks.
Antiphospholipid antibodies don’t necessarily correlate with lupus disease activity, which means they can cause problems even if your lupus is under control. Many people with antiphospholipid antibodies have purple or red lacy patterns under the skin on their hands and feet, known as lividos. However, leprosy is associated with other vascular diseases, so it does not necessarily mean that you have antiphospholipid antibodies.
People who have problems with antiphospholipid antibodies, such as blood clots or miscarriage, are thought to have antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS). APS often requires medication to help prevent blood clotting, such as blood thinners or daily baby aspirin.
Lupus Signs And Symptoms: How To Tell If You Could Have Lupus
Involvement of the lungs in the lupus process is very common; It affects about half of patients, according to the Johns Hopkins Lupus Center. The most common lung problem in people with lupus is inflammation of the pleura, the lining that lines the outside of the lungs and chest cavity. This is also called pleurisy, also called pleurisy. Symptoms of pleurisy include severe, sharp, stabbing pain that worsens when you take a deep breath, cough, sneeze, or laugh. You may have shortness of breath. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, 40 to 60 percent of people with lupus develop a condition called pleurisy.
Treatment for pleurisy includes steroids, such as prednisone, which can help relieve lupus flare-ups, says Dr. Collins. Immunosuppressive drugs such as methotrexate may also be prescribed to prevent the disease. Sometimes the two drugs are taken at the same time, Dr. Collins.
Blood is made up of many parts. Red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are the most commonly affected in lupus. Anemia, described below, affects about half of people with active lupus.
The most common blood disorder that affects lupus patients is called chronic anemia. Anemia means you have very low levels of red blood cells, or hemoglobin, the part of red blood cells that carry oxygen from the lungs to body tissues. It can be associated with many conditions, including lupus.
All You Need To Know About Different Types Of Lupus
Fatigue is the most common symptom of anemia. Treatment of anemia in lupus depends on the cause. If your anemia is caused by inflammation, it is usually treated with prednisone. “That’s why at every visit, every three months or so, your blood is tested for those silent blood functions that don’t have symptoms,” Dr. Collins said.
Lupus patients have hemolytic anemia, in which red blood cells are destroyed faster than they can be made. Symptoms include weakness, dizziness, unusually pale and dark-colored urine. Treatment varies depending on the cause of the pain, but may include blood transfusions or taking the biologic Rituximab (Rituxan).
One of the symptoms of lupus – which can help patients recognize it – is the presence of a butterfly-shaped rash on your nose and cheeks, which is called a malaria rash. It has a red or purple color. It covers the cheeks and bridge of your nose, but usually not the rest of your face. The rash may be raised or flat. “It’s often confused with rosacea,” Dr. Buon said. Many medical conditions can cause the rash, including lupus and other autoimmune diseases.
Another lupus skin condition that is a complication of lupus is called discoid lupus. It is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the skin causing a red, scaly, thick and round rash. It gets its name from the coin-shaped lesions it produces. The rash can appear on the scalp and face and can be confused with psoriasis, says Dr. Buon. The exact cause of discoid lupus is not clear. It can be an autoimmune disease with genetic and environmental triggers. It does not pass from person to person.
Va Disability Rating For Lupus
People with lupus also experience photosensitivity, where your skin reacts to the ultraviolet rays of sunlight and light sources such as indoor fluorescent lighting. Photosensitivity from lupus can cause a rash, fever, fatigue, and joint pain. Although each person handles exposure to ultraviolet rays differently. Prevent skin problems by reducing sun exposure, applying sunscreen, and wearing wide-brimmed hats and protective clothing.
More than 90 percent of people with lupus experience joint and/or muscle pain during an illness, according to the Lupus Foundation of America. More than half of people diagnosed with lupus report joint pain as their first symptom.
Lupus often causes people to experience arthritis or joint pain. Lupus causes inflammation throughout the body, including the joints. But the form of arthritis caused by lupus is different from that caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Lupus arthritis is much less common than rheumatoid arthritis.Lupus arthritis does not affect the joints as long as other forms of arthritis, but it can cause pain in the joints. People with lupus experience muscle aches and pains or inflammation of certain muscle groups.
You can get joint pain relief from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen. You may also be given steroids such as prednisone. “Drugs really depend on the severity of the disease,” said Dr. Buon. Reduce joint stiffness with ice packs. Stay active with low-impact sports like yoga or walking.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Lupus?
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