Lupus is a long-standing type of disease caused by inflammations with tissue damages due to entry of foreign substances that are harmful to the body. This condition is observed to be more common in women. Lupus has no cure; however several home treatments as well as medications can be done in order to control the worsening of inflammation.
Only 70 percent of individuals affected with lupus disease can live at least 20 years of age. Lupus is hard to predict due to the fact that the signs and symptoms appear (known as flare) and then go away (known as remissions).
Just like other diseases lupus is classified into different types based on its cause.
- Discoid lupus is known to affect the neck, back, hand and certain parts of the head like ears, cheeks and nose. Appearance of thick and red colored scale-like patches on the surface of the skin which when removed leaves dark pigmentations.
- Neonatal lupus occurs in infants due to inheritance of genes that cause the condition. The mother serves as a carrier of lupus since she does not have the symptoms however, when she bares a child, the child suffers the symptoms.
- Drug-induced systemic lupus is caused by constant use of certain types of drugs that can trigger development of lupus disease.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus is the most common as well as the most severe type of lupus that affects several body organs.
Lupus can be inherited from parents and only appears at certain time due to triggering factors that sets off body’s autoimmune processes. The following are factors that trigger lupus:
- Some studies suggest that smoking can enhance the risk of acquiring lupus as well as make it worst.
- Certain drugs can also trigger lupus and flare symptoms.
- Exposure to sunlight is also considered to trigger lupus and flares due to ultraviolet light.
- Patients with hepatitis C, Fifth disease, and Cytomegalovirus are prone to having lupus disease. And children with Epstein – Barr virus are easily affected with the disease.
When a triggering factor sets off the autoimmune system, it reacts by attacking the normal body system as if it was a foreign substance. For this reason inflammation and tissue damage occurs throughout the body.
The major parts of the body that inflammation affects are the skin and the joints. However, other organs like the lungs, kidney, heart, and nervous systems are also affected.
Lupus is called as the disease with a thousand faces. This is due to the fact that there are several different symptoms that are unpredictable and each person affected by the disease acquires different indications.
- The degree of exhaustion is far as compared to the type of activity being done.
- Occurrence of a low-fever in a long period of time or high fever sudden fever.
- Swollen lymph nodes.
- Quick loss of weight.
- Red colored and swelling of joints with feeling of muscle pains particularly at the knee, elbows as well as the ankles.
- Appearance of skin rashes together with skin sores and red spots is a sign of development of lupus disease. Butterfly rushes that appear in nose and cheeks of patients are also signs of skin problems.
- When being out in the open where there is sunlight, patient’s rash becomes worst and spreads throughout his body.
- Constant headaches are one sign of lupus. This is caused by problems acquired in the nervous system of the individual.
- Sudden feeling of pain on the chest that extends in certain portions like back and neck is due to the developed inflammation in the pericarditis of the heart.
- Lung problems, coughing, and chest pain with a stabbing-like sensation indicates lupus.
- Caused by kidney problems, patients suffer from swollen hands and feet.
- Decrease in production of red blood cells causing the disease Anemia is a sign of severe lupus condition.
Since lupus is hard to determine. Several tests can help in determining if the signs and symptoms are caused by development of lupus disease.
- Checking of medical history and family history
- Physical checkups
- Antibody blood tests
- Kidney biopsy
- Complement test
- Erythrocyte sedimentation test
Treatment and medications
Lupus has no cure. However, self-care is one important treatment that can help in lessening occurrence of worst effects.
- Get a lot of rest.
- Use creams and lotions that can help lessen skin rashes like corticosteroid creams.
- Stay in shady places in order to avoid the sun.
- Carry out activities that can help relax your mind to avoid stress.
- Check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels regularly.
- Take vaccinations in order to avoid flu and other triggering sicknesses.
- Eating a healthy nutritious food every day is necessary.
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