Lupus is a long-term autoimmune disease that affects the immune system of a person thus making it hyperactive and it starts attacking the healthy tissues in the body. Lupus is a complex disease and thus it is commonly known as the “disease of a thousand faces.”
According to the Lupus Foundation of America, there are around 16,000 new cases of lupus in the United States each year, and up to 1.5 million people are living with the condition in the U.S. The common type of Lupus can affect different organs of the body like lungs, kidneys, skin, joints, heart, etc. If the condition keeps worsening, you might be experiencing lupus flare-ups.
In order to help you understand the disease better, we have a list of causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment for lupus disease,
Lupus: Signs & Symptoms
According to Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the symptoms of lupus occur in times of flare-ups else there are no symptoms during times of remission.
Pain in the muscles and joints
Chest pain while breathing deeply
Sensitivity to sunlight
Memory related problems
Rashes around the nose and cheeks
Sudden hair loss
Fingers turning pale from cold or stress
According to doctors of the Mayo Clinic, lupus is an autoimmune disease that occurs when your immune system begins to attack healthy tissue in your body. It may be due to a combination of problems like genetics and your environment.
There might be different triggers for lupus flare-ups. The disease may begin to show symptoms when the patients come into contact with something in the environment that might be triggering. The cause of lupus is unknown. Few potential triggers include:
Exposure to sunlight may trigger lupus skin lesions or an internal response in susceptible people.
An infection can initiate lupus or be the reason for relapse in some people.
Certain types of blood pressure medications, anti-seizure medications, and antibiotics may cause drug-induced lupus and the symptoms may disappear once the drugs are stopped.
Lupus is more common in females
Lupus can affect anyone but people between 15 to 45 years have higher risk.
According to Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, there are various ways to diagnose lupus, and few of them include:
Your doctor may ask about your medical history or symptoms that you may experience in the past few weeks.
Your doctors may ask you about family history of lupus or other autoimmune diseases.
Your doctor will look for rashes and other signs of lupus.
Healthcare professionals may recommend blood and urine tests to check if your immune system is more likely to make the autoantibodies of lupus.
A skin or kidney biopsy may show signs of an autoimmune disease.
According to MedicalNewsToday, here are a few treatment option to manage lupus:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like naproxen sodium (Aleve) and ibuprofen help reduce pain, swelling and fever.
Antimalarial drugs like hydroxychloroquine affect the immune system and can help reduce the risk of lupus flares.
Corticosteroids can help fight inflammation associated with lupus.
Immunosuppressants may be prescribed in serious cases of lupus.
Biologics are a different type of medication that may help reduce lupus symptoms in some people.