What is Lupus?

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease which is caused by the inflammation or swelling. It can affect everyone in different ways like some people have mild symptoms and others have severe symptoms. It is not sexually transmitted or contagious; people who have this disease, their own antibodies attack and destroy healthy tissue in the internal organs, skin, joints, etc.

Lupus is also called as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an illness of the immune system, whereby the antibodies that usually help fight infection and disease are overproduced and can cause inflammation almost anywhere within the body. Lupus is a complex disease often varying within the individual over months or years and quite frequently manifesting itself differently from patient to patient.

Everything you need to know about Lupus

Signs of lupus

Symptoms usually start in early adulthood, anywhere from the teen years into the 30s. Some of the signs and lupus symptoms in women:

  • gastrointestinal problems
  • fatigue
  • fever
  • hair loss
  • pulmonary problems
  • dry mouth and eyes
  • rash
  • kidney problems
  • swollen joints
  • thyroid problems

How can you cope up with lupus?

  • Pay attention to your body
  • slow down if you are tired
  • stay involved in activities
  • pace yourself
  • do not blame yourself for your fatigue
  • consider support groups and counseling
  • practice meditation and yoga
  • Exercise and eat healthy.

Types of lupus

Lupus is actually five specific kinds that affect the body in various ways.

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the most common (70% of all lupus cases)
  • It can impact the entire body, affect skin, kidneys, joints, heart, lungs, and brain.
  • Cutaneous lupus erythematosus (10%)- includes discoid lupus erythematosus
  • Drug induced lupus erythematosus (10%)
  • Other overlap syndrome or mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD)
  • Sub-acute cutaneous lupus erythematosus
  • Neonatal Lupus

How lupus affect the patient?

Extreme tiredness and joint or muscle pain are invariably present rashes, hair loss, anaemia, fever, mouth ulcers, depression another symptomcan also be in evidence. One patient in three is likely to have a form of kidney involvement and the heart, lungs or brain can also be affected. Miscarriage often recurrent may be a possibility. Lupus can too easily be life threatening for some patients and result in disability for many others.

How to find Lupus?

  • Medical history
  • Skin or kidney biopsy
  • Complete physical examination
  • Lab testing of blood and urine

Top 5 things you do not know about lupus

  • Lupus affects nine times more women than men, and more women of color than white women
  • Lupus symptoms can differ greatly from person to person
  • Lupus is a disease of flares and remissions
  • Lupus may often be diagnosed with some simple tests
  • Treatment depends on the type of flare-ups you have

The “Eleven Criteria of Lupus”

  • Malar rash
  • Discoid (skin) rash
  • Photosensitivity
  • Neurologic disorder
  • Mouth or nose ulcers
  • Nonerosive Arthritis
  • Cardiopulmonary involvement
  • Renal (kidney) disorder
  • Hematologic (blood) disorder
  • Immunologic disorder
  • Anti nuclear antibodies (ANA)

Treatment for lupus

Treatment for lupus will depend on your signs and symptoms, based on your signs and symptoms of lupus, your doctor will suggest you medication to treat lupus. The common treatment and medication for lupus include the following:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Corticosteroids
  • Anti-malarial drugs
  • Immunosuppressants

Diet for lupus

  • Organic and unprocessed food
    Consuming foods in their natural, whole form limits your exposure to synthetic additives, toxins or pesticides.
  • Raw and cooked vegetables
    whether eaten raw or cooked some of the best choices including leafy greens, garlic, asparagus, onion, artichoke, beets, bell peppers mushrooms, and avocados.
  • Fresh fruits
    Berries, cherries, pomegranate are especially beneficial due to their high antioxidants levels.
  • Wild caught fish
    Many types of wild seafood provide omega 3 fats that help to reduce inflammation.
  • Probiotic foods
    Several foods that contain natural probiotics are yogurt, kombucha, kefir and cultured veggies like sauerkraut or kimchi.
  • Bone broth
    Consume 8-16 ounces of bone broth daily as a beverage or as part of a soup.
  • Herbs, spice, and tea
    Turmeric, ginger basil oregano thyme etc plus green tea are all beneficial.

What is the prognosis?

Lupus is for life and over 90% of patients remain on continuous medication often steroids. Which in turn can bring side effects? Partners, family member and friends are therefore all co-sufferers of lupus.

Better awareness by the general public and above all by the medical proffering will be the only way to help towards speedier diagnosis and proper management of this ongoing debilitating condition

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