What Is Lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in various body organs like skin, lungs, brain, heart, and kidneys.
In an autoimmune disease, your immune system fails to differentiate between your own body and foreign bodies like bacteria. In such a condition, the immune system starts breaking down its own cells which causes inflammation in the body.
There are four types of lupus:
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Cutaneous lupus
- Neonatal lupus
- Drug-induced lupus
Lupus symptoms depend on the organs it has affected. These symptoms can stay permanently, disappear all of a sudden or come up occasionally. Although most of the symptoms of lupus vary depending on the organs, there are a few common symptoms such as:
- Body ache
- Pain in joints
- Rashes on body
- Breath shortness
- Pain in chest
Who Is At Risk?
There are certain factors that increase the chance of a person developing the condition. These lupus risk factors are as follows:
- Gender: More women suffer from this disease than men. However, the severity of the disease is usually noted high in men than in women.
- Age: Though this disease can develop in a person of any age, people of age 15 to 44 are more likely to get affected.
- Ethnicity: Certain races are more likely to have this condition than others.
- Family history: If a person in your family is already diagnosed with lupus, you are more likely to develop this condition.
The causes of lupus are not known to scientists yet. It is assumed that there can be a number of reasons for lupus such as:
- Environment: Exposure to certain chemicals like silica are identified to trigger the condition.
- Genes: As of yet, around 50 genes are identified that associated with this condition.
- Hormones: Increased levels of estrogen in the body can help developing lupus.
- Medicines: There are certain medicines that can induce this condition if used in the long-term.
These are factors that push the development of this condition. It is possible that a person experiences none of these factors and still has lupus.
How Is Lupus Diagnosed?
Lupus diagnosis involves a number of tests such as:
- Physical test and medical history: The doctor first checks the physically appearing symptoms and then asks the history of how they developed. Family history is also asked as it is a big risk factor.
- Blood tests: Complete blood test, C-reactive protein test, anti-nuclear antibody test are taken to check the response of the immunity system and composition of your blood.
- Urine tests: An increased level of blood and protein in the urine suggest affected kidneys.
- X-rays: Inflammation and fluids around your lungs and chest are diagnosed by performing an X-rays test.
How Is Lupus Treated?
Currently, there is no lupus cure available. Doctors try medicines to reduce symptoms. In lupus treatment, doctors take care of the following:
- To manage symptoms and prevent flares, your lupus doctor will give you medications.
- Doctors change medications regularly according to the severity of the condition.
- As symptoms change with time, medicine for lupus is also changed.
If you are someone who is looking for lupus diagnosis or treatment, carefit can prove very helpful for you. Our team of experienced doctors check the condition patiently and give consultation. To take an appointment with a rheumatologist, visit carefit app or website.
How Can Lupus be Prevented?
Prevention of lupus is not possible in most of the cases. However, there are a few exceptions such as drug-induced lupus. It is important for a patient to go to the doctors regularly as even small mistakes in lupus can prove fatal.
There are a few methods that can reduce the flare-ups of lupus, such as:
- Avoid sunlight: Exposure to direct sunlight can cause rashes. You should always try to apply sunscreen before going out, or even try to not going out when there is sun outside.
- Stress management: You should practice yoga or mediation to relieve the stress caused by the disease.
- Infection prevention: Basic infection prevention techniques like washing hands and avoiding direct contact with an infected person should be implemented.
- Getting rest: You should take plenty of rest to get rid of fatigue.
- Stick to the treatment: You should visit your doctor regularly and stick to your treatment plan to prevent flare-ups of lupus.