Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the immune system. Also known as systemic lupus erythematosus, it can affect the joints, the skin, or the organs. It is a serious condition that requires care and supervision from a physician in order to be managed effectively.
If you suspect that you or someone you know may have this condition, contact Arthritis & Osteoporosis Clinic today. We can offer you medical advice, evaluate your symptoms, and help you explore treatment options.
What Causes Lupus?
The immune system is the body’s first line of defense against harmful bacteria and viruses. In order to protect the body from these pathogens, the immune system produces antibodies that systematically find pathogens and destroy them. Autoimmune diseases like lupus cause the body to produce antibodies that attack the victim’s own body. These attacks can be limited to a targeted area, such as the skin or the joints or it can be pervasive, affecting several areas of the body.
What are the Symptoms of Lupus?
The most common symptoms of this disorder are
- Pain in the joints of the body due to inflammation
- Extreme fatigue
- Chronic headaches
- Swelling in different parts of the body
- A rash on the skin
- Pain when breathing
- Hair loss
- Cold sores on the nose and mouth
People with LUPUS may go through periods where their symptoms temporarily subside or improve. Just as quickly, these symptoms can return more severe and debilitating then before.
Risk Factors for Lupus
Women are more prone to develop lupus than men. Amongst women, those of African descent have the highest risk of developing the disorder. While these two groups are the most commonly afflicted, it can affect anyone between the age of fifteen and forty.
While lupus cannot necessarily be prevented, individuals with the disorder can make changes in their lifestyle to manage it and improve their quality of life.
Relaxation, massage therapy, and meditation can help lupus victims stay calm. This is important, as stress can trigger flare-ups. Soaking in a hot tub or sitting in a sauna can ease the pain of sore joints. Maintaining a healthy diet that includes foods that with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients can also be helpful.