Lupus is a type of inflammatory disease that occurs when the body’s immune system turn against itself. The immune system attacks the organs and tissues of the body. The inflammation caused by lupus disease can affect various parts of the body. The joints, muscles, heart, lungs, kidneys, and the brain are some of the organs that can be affected by lupus disease.
Lupus is a very common disease. According to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), about 1.4 million Americans are affected by lupus disease (see reference 1). Lupus disease is more prevalent among women than men. There are four main types of lupus: drug induced lupus, systemic lupus erythematosus, discoid lupus, and neonatal lupus. However, systemic lupus erythematosus is the most common type of lupus disease. The following information shows signs and symptoms of lupus disease and possible treatment options.
Lupus Disease Symptoms
The symptoms of lupus varies among patients, and the symptoms may come quickly or slowly overtime. The symptoms vary from mild to severe, and the disease itself can last permanently. Fatigue, dizziness, weight loss, mouth sores, fever, inflammations, skin rashes, chest pain, dry eyes, hair loss, skin ulcers, joint pain, sunlight sensitivity, and skin lesions are common lupus disease symptoms. In numerous cases of lupus disease, the patients have a butterfly-shaped rash near the nasal area.
Lupus Disease Treatment
It is important to consult a doctor after detecting strange unexplained rashes, frequent fevers, and fatigue. If the patient has been previously diagnosed with lupus disease, it is recommended to consult a doctor to see if the symptoms are not recurring. Unfortunately, there is no exact cure for lupus disease.
The treatment depends on how seriously the organs the have been affected by the disease. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NAIDS), anti-malarial drugs, and corticosteroids are the three main drugs OptingHealth recommends to treat mild and severe symptoms (see reference 2). Be sure to ask the doctor about the possible side effects and the efficacy of the drugs before taking them.
If the patient is experiencing joint pain and swelling, NAIDS can be taken to alleviate the symptoms. However, NAIDS include side effects of stomach bleeding, kidney problems, and heart problems. Corticosteroids are used to treat the inflammations in the lungs. Take corticosteroids very lightly because it can trigger side effects of weight gain, bone weakness (osteoporosis), and high blood pressure. Although doctors do not know why they work, anti-malarial drugs are very effective to treat lupus disease. Antimalarial drugs can be used to treat joint problems, and prevent the flares caused by lupus disease.