Lupus is a condition in which the body's immune system attacks its own tissues and organs (called autoimmune disease). Lupus can cause inflammation in the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs, among other physiological systems. Lupus is difficult to diagnose since its symptoms and signs are often similar to those of other illnesses. The most distinguishing symptom of lupus is a face rash that looks like butterfly wings unfolding over both cheeks. This rash appears in many but not all cases of lupus. Some people are predisposed to lupus, which can be caused by infections, certain medications, or even sunshine. Although there is no cure for lupus, there are therapies that can help manage symptoms.
Symptoms of Lupus
There are no two cases of lupus that are the same. Symptoms and signs might appear abruptly or gradually, be moderate or severe, and be transitory or permanent. Most people with lupus have a moderate form of the disease marked by flares, which occur when signs and symptoms worsen for a period of time before improving or perhaps disappearing completely. Your lupus signs and symptoms will vary depending on which body systems are affected by the condition. The following are the most common signs and symptoms:
- Joint pain
- Joint stiffness or swelling
- Butterfly-shaped rash on the face from cheeks and bridge of the nose
- Skin lesions
- Fingers and toes turn white or blue when exposed to cold
- Chest pain
- Dry eyes
- Memory loss
Nerve damage symptoms-
- Skin numbness in the impacted regions
- Muscle weakness or paralysis is usually observed in the hands and feet.
- Nerves are enlarged.
- Problems with the eyes could lead to blindness.
Since leprosy disease damages the nerves, the patient can experience loss of feeling or sensation in the affected regions. Due to this loss of sensation, burns or any other injuries may go unnoticed. As there is no pain felt, the affected body parts may get injured.
When to see a doctor?
If you develop an inexplicable rash, a persistent fever, or persistent aches or exhaustion, see your doctor. Get the best treatment for lupus from highly experienced Doctors at Medicover Hospitals.
Lupus is an autoimmune illness in which the immune system assaults healthy tissue in the body. Lupus is most likely caused by a mix of your genetics and your environment. It indicates that people who have a hereditary susceptibility to lupus may get the disease if they come into contact with a trigger in the environment. However, in the vast majority of instances, the cause of lupus is unknown.
The following are some possible triggers:
A person with lupus, exposure to the sun might cause skin lesions.
Infections can trigger lupus.
Certain blood pressure drugs, anti-seizure medications, and antibiotics can all cause lupus.
The following factors may raise your lupus risk:
- Women are more likely to develop lupus.
- Lupus can affect persons of any age, however, it is most commonly diagnosed in people between the ages of 15 and 45 years.
Lupus-related inflammation can affect numerous parts of your body, including-
Lupus can damage the kidneys severely, and renal failure is one of the most common causes of death among lupus patients.
The central nervous system and the brain
You may endure headaches, dizziness, behavioural changes, vision issues, and even strokes or seizures if your brain is impacted by lupus. Many persons with lupus have memory problems and may find it difficult to articulate themselves.
Blood vessels and blood
Lupus can cause blood issues, such as anemia (low red blood cell count) and an increased risk of bleeding and blood clotting. It can also lead to blood vessel irritation.
If you have lupus, you're more likely to develop an inflammation of the lining of your chest cavity, which can make breathing difficult. Bleeding into the lungs and pneumonia are also possible complications.
Lupus can irritate your heart muscle, arteries, or heart membrane, causing inflammation. In addition, the risk of cardiovascular illness and heart attacks rises dramatically.
Some other complications
Having lupus raises your chances of developing:
Because both the disease and its therapies can impair the immune system, people with lupus are more susceptible to infection.
It appears that having lupus increases your risk of cancer, but the danger is minimal.
Death of bone tissue
When the blood flow to a bone decreases, microscopic cracks in the bone form, eventually leading to the bone's collapse.
Complications of pregnancy
Miscarriage is more likely in women with lupus. During pregnancy, lupus raises the risk of high blood pressure and preterm birth. Doctors frequently advise deferring conception until your disease has been under control for at least six months to lessen the risk of severe consequences.
Diagnosis of Lupus
Lupus is difficult to diagnose since indications and symptoms differ greatly from person to person. Lupus symptoms might fluctuate over time and overlap with those of a variety of other illnesses. Lupus cannot be diagnosed with a single test. The diagnosis is made using a combination of blood and urine testing, signs and symptoms, and physical examination findings.
The following tests may be performed on your blood or urine:
Complete blood count
This test determines the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, as well as the amount of hemoglobin, a protein contained in red blood cells. The findings could indicate that you have anemia, which is common in lupus patients. A decreased white blood cell or platelet count is another symptom of lupus.
Erythrocytes Sedimentation Rate
This blood test determines how quickly red blood cells drop to the bottom of a tube in one hour. A higher-than-normal rate may indicate a systemic disease such as lupus. The rate of sedimentation isn't exclusive to any one condition. It may be elevated if you have lupus, an infection, another inflammatory illness, or cancer.
Test of the kidneys and liver
Blood tests can be used to determine how well your kidneys and liver are working.
A test of a sample of your urine may reveal an elevated protein level or red blood cells in the urine if your kidneys have been damaged by lupus.
Test for antinuclear antibodies (ANA)
A positive test for these antibodies, which your immune system produces, indicates that your immune system is activated. While the majority of people with lupus have a positive ANA test, the majority of those who do not have lupus do not have a positive ANA test. If you test positive for ANA, your doctor may offer more specific antibody testing.
If your doctor feels that lupus is damaging your lungs or heart, he or she may recommend the following Imaging test:
X-ray of the chest
Abnormal shadows in your chest picture could indicate fluid or inflammation in your lungs.
Sound waves are used to create real-time photographs of your beating heart in this exam. It can look for abnormalities with your heart's valves and other parts.
Lupus can damage your kidneys in a variety of ways and therapies vary depending on the severity of the damage. In some circumstances, a small sample of kidney tissue must be tested to establish the best treatment option. A needle or a minor incision might be used to acquire the sample.
A skin biopsy may be used to confirm a diagnosis of lupus that affects the skin.
Treatment for Lupus
Lupus treatment is determined by your indications and symptoms. Determining whether you should be treated and which medications to take necessitates a thorough discussion with your doctor about the benefits and hazards. You and your doctor may need to adjust drugs or dosages as your signs and symptoms flare and subside. The following are the most regularly prescribed lupus medications:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs)
Medications that are used to treat inflammation (NSAIDs). Pain, edema, and fever associated with lupus can be treated with over-the-counter NSAIDs. Prescriptions are available for stronger NSAIDs. Stomach bleeding, kidney difficulties, and an increased risk of heart problems are all possible side effects of NSAIDs.
These are used to treat malaria - Medications like hydroxychloroquine, which are routinely used to treat malaria, influence the immune system and can help reduce the likelihood of lupus flares. Stomach discomfort and, in rare cases, damage to the retina of the eye is possible side effects. When taking these medications, it's a good idea to get your eyes checked on a regular basis
Prednisone and other corticosteroids can help to reduce lupus inflammation. Steroids in high doses, such as methylprednisolone (Medrol), are frequently used to treat significant renal and brain diseases. Weight gain, easy bruising, thinning bones, high blood pressure, diabetes, and an increased risk of infection are all possible side effects. With higher doses and longer treatment periods, the risk of side effects increases.
In severe forms of lupus, immune-suppressing drugs may be beneficial.
In some people, a different form of drug called belimumab (Benlysta) that is given intravenously lowers lupus symptoms. Nausea, diarrhea, and infections are some of the side effects. Depression can deteriorate in rare cases.
Lifestyle changes and self care
Following will help you to cure your lupus - Visit doctor regularly and take regular checkups instead. Monitor routine health checkups, stress, diet and exercise that can help prevent lupus complications.
- Protect yourself from sunlight, direct ultraviolet rays can trigger a flare, wear protective clothing when going out, and use sunscreen.
- Regular exercise will keep your bones strong, reduce your risk of heart attack and promote general well-being.
- Smoking raises your risk of heart disease and can exacerbate the effects of lupus on the heart and blood vessels.
- Fruits, veggies, and whole grains are all important components of a balanced diet. Dietary restrictions may be necessary, especially if you have high blood pressure, kidney disease, or gastrointestinal issues.
- If you require vitamin D and calcium supplements, consult your doctor. Supplemental vitamin D may be beneficial to persons with lupus.
Dos and Don’ts
Following are some sets of do’s and don’ts one has to follow in order to decrease complications of lupus:
|Take your medications regularly.||Don't get overtired.|
|Go for regular doctor visits.||Don't take too much of stress.|
|Get the right exercise.||Don't smoke when you have been diagnosed with lupus.|
|Do take proper diet.||Don't plan a pregnancy while taking treatment for lupus.|
|Do inform your doctor about your medical history and the medicines you are taking.||Don't go out without sunscreen.|
Management of the condition is the key in living with Lupus. Take all the necessary precautions, be watchful for your symptoms and seek medical care on time. A little lifestyle management can help you a lot in reducing the severity of your symptoms.
Care at Medicover Hospitals
At Medicover Hospitals, we have the most trusted team of doctors and medical experts who are experienced in providing excellent healthcare services to our patients. Our dedicated team of experts, trained nurses and other paramedical staff offer the best care to a patient. We make use of advanced medical technology and state-of-the-art facilities for the diagnosis of conditions and treatment of a number of health disorders. For the treatment of Lupus, we have an experienced team of doctors who diagnose and treat this condition with utmost precision and bring successful treatment outcomes.