Lupus is serious; it is an autoimmune condition, and it is chronic. Essentially, lupus causes inflammation in the body, and the inflammation can be localised or systemic. In effect, the body’s immune system turns inward, attacking and breaking down your body’s cells. Unfortunately, there is no cure; this can be especially hard to take for those that suffer from a more severe form of it. Keep reading to learn more about the symptoms and treatments.
There are several symptoms to look out for if you suspect that you might have Lupus. However, the symptoms are not necessarily exclusive to lupus, which can make it harder. As mentioned above, lupus causes inflammation, and this inflammation can be evident in your skin and joints as well as a number of your internal organs like your heart, lungs, kidneys, and brains. To further the confusion, the symptoms may be permanent or intermittent, coming and going suddenly.
The most common symptoms of lupus can include things like constantly feeling fatigued, having a high fever, or being short of breath. Body aches and joint pain are also common, as are headaches, memory loss, and confusion. Finally, lupus can also present as skin inflammation. It can produce lesions or rashes, the rashes can be anywhere on the body but are often found on the face. Patient breaks down the rashes in more detail, including how they are characterised and how you can tell the difference.
Treatment Options: An Overview
Unfortunately, lupus does not currently have a cure. All that can be done right now revolves around managing the condition and the symptoms it presents. This often includes regular appointments with your GP to work out a treatment plan that can be tweaked or adjusted as necessary. Your lupus can manifest in different ways, with different symptoms appearing over time. The medication prescribed by your doctor will vary depending on your symptoms and their severity.
In addition to trying various treatments, your doctor might also recommend a number of lifestyle changes that could also help you to manage your symptoms. For example, lupus can increase photosensitivity, so your doctor might recommend avoiding an exposure to UV light where possible. You might also be told to change your diet or start taking supplements. Quitting smoking is also highly recommended, as is exercising. In essence, working towards a healthier lifestyle, in general, is seen as a good choice.
The medication that you are prescribed depends entirely on the way that your lupus manifests within your body. For example, you might be prescribed medication designed to calm down your immune system or reduce inflammation and or swelling; you might need to be prescribed medication that is designed to prevent damage to your body internally. Your GP will listen to your symptoms and prescribe the medications accordingly. After that, you will need to be monitored to see whether or not the medications are proving effective. If they aren’t, they will need to be adjusted until they get it right.
What Causes Lupus?
Truthfully, the causes of lupus remain shrouded in mystery. Most of the time, it tends to be attributed to a combination of factors. There are thought to be environmental factors like smoking or toxins in the air. There may also be several internal factors like your genetics or your hormones. Lupus may also be linked to infections and the continued use of some forms of medication.
Lupus can lead to a variety of complications which can have severe effects on your health. Firstly, one of the more common complications involved the kidney. The damage from the inflammation that lupus causes can even lead to kidney failure in some instances. The inflammation can also affect the blood vessels, which can cause issues with blood clots or bleeds.
Lupus can also put you at a greater risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or contracting heart disease if the inflammation affects the heart or the surrounding tissues. In addition, if the lungs are impacted, it can become more difficult to breathe or even painful to do so. Finally, if your nervous system is impacted, you might experience seizures, dizziness, and headaches.
The truth is that Lupus makes you more prone to contracting infections. The condition itself can cause them, but so can the medication used to treat it. This is why it is so important that you work with your GP to develop a treatment plan and stick to it.
The Bottom Line
Lupus is a serious autoimmune disorder, and it can be debilitating for a lot of people, especially if left untreated or if you haven’t worked with your doctor for long enough to come up with the best treatment plan. Unfortunately, there is no cure, which is why managing the condition properly is so important.