What is lupus
Lupus can be very difficult to diagnose because its systems are often like symptoms of other diseases. It is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs.
Lupus causes inflammation and this can affect many parts of the body including the kidney, skin blood cells joint brain heart lungs There are people who are born with an inclination toward Lupus which can be triggered by sunlight certain drugs or by an infection
A facial rash that resembles the wings of a butterfly unfolding across both cheeks is one of the distinctive symptoms of lupus that can occur in many but not all cases
Symptoms (copied from the Mayo Clinic Website)
Signs and symptoms develop suddenly or slowly, and it can be mild or severe and may be temporary or permanent.
Most people with lupus have a mild case of the disease and is characterized by episode or flares ups which could get worse for a while, then improve or even disappear completely for a time.
. The most common signs and symptoms include:
Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling
A butterfly-shaped rash on the face that covers the cheeks and bridge of the nose or rashes elsewhere on the body
Skin lesions that appear or worsen with sun exposure (photo sensitivity)
Fingers and toes that turn white or blue when exposed to cold or during stressful periods (Raynaud’s phenomenon)
Shortness of breath
Headaches, confusion and memory loss
What is the cause of Lupus
Lupus is an autoimmune disease and it occurs when your immune system attacks healthy tissue in your body. It is thought that lupus is caused by your genetics and your environment.
People with a predisposition for lupus may develop the disease when they come into contact with something in the environment that can trigger lupus.
Some potential triggers include:
Exposure to sunlight can trigger an internal response in people that are predisposed to lupus and it can also bring on lupus skin lesions
Having an infection can initiate lupus or cause a relapse in some people.
Lupus is sometimes triggered by certain types of medications like blood pressure medications, anti-seizure medications, and antibiotics.
Lupus symptoms triggered by medications usually get better when they stop taking the medication.
This disease can affect people of all ages but those between the ages of 15 and 45 are the age group that is often affected
Lupus is found to be more common in African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans women.
Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many areas of your body, including your:
Kidney damage and kidney failure leading to death are one of the leading cause of death of lupus patients.
Many people whose brain are affected by lupus may sometimes experience headaches, dizziness, behavior changes, vision problems, and even strokes or seizures, some may even experience memory problems and may have difficulty expressing their thoughts.
Lupus can also cause inflammation of the blood vessels and may lead to blood problems, including anemia and increased risk of bleeding or blood clotting.
The chances of developing an inflammation of the chest cavity lining (pleurisy), which can make breathing painful increases with having lupus Bleeding into lungs and pneumonia also are possible.
The risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks increases greatly as Lupus can cause inflammation of your heart muscle, your arteries or heart membrane.
Other types of complications
Having lupus also increases your risk of:
Lupus Disease along with the treatment weakens the immune system and make people with lupus are more vulnerable to infection
There is a small risk of cancer associated with having lupus This occurs when the blood supply to a bone diminishes, often leading to tiny breaks in the bone and eventually to the bone’s collapse.
Lupus increases the risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia) and preterm birth, which can cause miscarriage
Living with lupus
Living with lupus can make everyday life challenging. Especially when there is a flare-up with your lupus symptoms, symptoms like joint stiffness, pain, fatigue, confusion, or depression can make simple tasks difficult — and sometimes impossible.
These symptoms aren’t visible, and the surrounding people may have trouble understanding just how you feel.
It is important that the limitations that come with this disease are not ignored. However, there are steps that be taken to help you stay involved with work, relationships, and the activities that you care about.
Start by letting family and friends understand the disease of lupus is, so they know how they can help, which can be hard to describe.
Explain What Lupus Is
Lupus is an Autoimmune disease
Lupus is a chronic disease there is no cure.
Lupus has many symptoms and affects each person differently
Lupus is not contagious it cannot be contracted
Lupus is not a virus like HIV
Lupus symptoms can appear, disappear, and change.
Make adjustments within the family
Share with your family all the details of the symptoms of the lupus disease that affects you and how they can help when these symptoms occur keeping your family informed can lessen their concerns. It’ll also help them understand why you may sometimes you may not want to participate in any of their activities.
You should also :
Maintain a time schedule that is manageable to you and be sure to schedule time for breaks.
Assign household responsibilities to other members of the family as needed.
If needed ask for additional help from friends or extended family members.
Be sure to tell children if there is any about your disease and how it affects you.
Take time for yourself
Living with lupus may affect many areas of your life it is important to remember to take time out and enjoy some activities do not be totally consumed with the disease.
Manage to work with lupus
In most cases you will be able to continue working there may be some changes that will have to be made but this can be accomplished with the approval of your supervisor or the HR dept. Depending on what your lupus symptoms are.
You may have to change your work schedule you may have to work fewer hours per day or go to part-time or in some cases, you may have to stop working altogether if this is the case there is help from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You can also contact your social security office and get information on benefits for disabilities.
If you are going to school the same thing applies as at work, have manageable schedules. You may have to do some courses online or doing fewer subjects at a time but remember to take care of yourself.
There is no special diet for lupus just be sure to eat a good balance died and if any food seems to cause a flare-up to stay away from such foods. This varies from person to person and there is no one food that causes a flare-up of the disease symptoms.
Strength training helps
A study done in 2015 of 146 women with lupus found that women with more lower-body muscle strength tended to be better at common activities such as lifting, bending, and climbing stairs. Plus, exercise can give you a mental boost: “Lupus-induced lack of energy is often mental and physical,” says Dr. Kamen. “Strength training helps counter that fatigue.”
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Even though there is no cure for lupus once diagnosed you will have it for life it is very important that you take care of your self you may not die of lupus but this disease can affect different important organs of the body that will lead to death
It is very important that you follow you Doctors instruction with regard to taking your medication and if there is a support group for lupus patients it would be good to join such a group
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