Lupus is a complicated disease. Whether it has been suggested you may have lupus, or you have a definitive diagnosis, you should know these basic facts about lupus.
What Is Lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disorder which affects organ systems, skin, joints, and internal organs. Lupus basically is a Latin word that literally means “wolf”. Lupus is a disease that often induces a facial rash that causes its victims to have the appearance of a wolf. Individuals with lupus will generate antibodies to their own body tissues. The consequential soreness can cause damage in many organs of the body including kidney, joints, blood vessels, heart and lungs.
Who Can Suffer From Lupus?
Both men and women can get affected by Lupus, but it is eight times as likely in women. It can also occur at any age, but the typical age range for someone to get Lupus is ten to fifty. It is normally more common in African American people as well as Asian people. This is a disease that is usually hereditary, but in some cases there is no family history of Lupus.
Lupus is a disease that turns the defenses of the body against the body itself. Lupus occurs when antibodies attack the healthy cells in the body. Certain drugs can cause Lupus as well. A number of cases have some family background to them, but in a few cases there is no obvious cause for the disease. The disease has been greatly researched and has been associated to other disorders, but only in theory.
Symptoms can differ in a wide range of areas in the body. In the musculoskeletal area, the joints are affected and it causes mild to severe joint pain. Lupus is known to cause arthritis in the hands. The skin is affected by rashes, skin cuts, and painful nodules that appear to be raised bruises. Kidneys produce protein deposits and can have renal failure, leading to dialysis. The Nervous System can cause mental dysfunction, seizures, psychosis, and severe headaches. Blood clots can occur as well as pulmonary embolism. The heart could produce chest pain. The symptoms in the heart could also be associated with the effects Lupus has in the blood, with the clotting that can occur. Shortness of breath and even pleurisy can occur within the lungs due to Lupus.
Forms of treatment for Lupus have to concentrate on its side effects. There is no cure for the disease itself, so easing the symptoms is all a person can do. Anti-inflammatory medication is given for arthritis pain as well as the pleurisy. Skin rashes can be helped with corticosteroids, which typically comes in a cream form or lotion to not only clear up the rash, but to also sooth it. Relentless symptoms need to be checked by a specialist. Changing lifestyles to healthy habits, such as eating balanced meals and getting minimal exercise will help. Having a stress free environment also helps enormously.