Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue, primarily in the kidney, lungs, and/ or blood. The attack on the healthy tissue can cause inflammation in those affected by lupus. The disease also causes damage to various organs and glands throughout the body. If left untreated, lupus can lead to kidney failure and other complications. There are many types of lupus, each with its specific symptoms and severity. This article will discuss everything you need to know about lupus for the average person including its symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis, treatment options, and when to see a doctor.
Overview of Lupus
Lupus is an autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation of various organs, including the kidneys, lungs, and blood. The most common form of lupus is systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), which occurs when the immune system attacks the kidneys, liver, and other organs. SLE is a very serious disease that can affect multiple body systems, including the skin. The symptoms can vary from person to person, but they may include a rash, joint pain, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, arms, or legs. Many other types of lupus also exist, although they occur less often. Most people have a form of lupus that occurs in only a small number of organs, such as the skin or eyes.
Risk factors for lupus
Certain factors increase your risk of developing lupus, including being female, African American, having a family history of lupus, having another autoimmune disease, or getting older. Certain medications can also increase your risk, including steroids, certain antibiotics, and chemotherapy drugs. Some of the risk factors for lupus are as follows: – Being female – African American – Having a family member with lupus – Having an autoimmune disease – Having certain medications in your system – Getting older Lupus is more common in women than men.
Symptoms of Lupus
The symptoms of lupus may vary, but they often start with a red rash on the skin and can include (but are not limited to) the following: – A red rash – Swollen joints – Difficulty breathing – Neurological issues, including headaches, dizziness, or a feeling of numbness – A change in mood – Fatigue There are many possible symptoms of lupus, but they can be difficult to recognize. The rash may be mistaken for a bruise or cut. Swelling or pain in the joints can also be mistaken for a common injury or other joint overuse. A change in mood, fatigue, or a neurological issue, such as nerve pain, can also be a sign of lupus. If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Causes of Lupus
Scientists do not know what causes lupus, but some risk factors include a family history of autoimmune disorders. Moreover, women are more likely to get lupus than men. There are many possible causes of lupus, including genetic factors and certain infections, but scientists do not yet know what causes lupus.
Diagnosis of Lupus
The typical symptoms of lupus may help your doctor diagnose lupus, but some tests may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis. These tests include a blood test that checks blood antibodies that are associated with the disease and an ultrasound of the kidneys to look for a swollen, enlarged kidney. Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms often vary from person to person and do not always occur together. If you have any of the symptoms listed above, it is important to see a doctor immediately. It may also be a good idea to see a doctor if you have had a serious viral or bacterial infection in the last month, or if you have recently had a steroid or antibiotic in your system.
Treatments for Lupus
There are several treatments for lupus, including medications to help manage the disease and prevent complications, such as kidney failure. These medications will also help control any symptoms associated with lupus. For example, some lupus patients may need long-term, daily medications to decrease the inflammation in their bodies. In addition to medications, many people with lupus choose to undergo treatment with lasers or other devices to help reduce their symptoms.
Prognosis of Lupus
Fortunately, lupus can often be treated successfully. With proper diagnosis and treatment, most people living with lupus feel better sooner than later. The prognosis of lupus depends on the type of lupus you have and whether or not it has led to serious complications. Lupus that has not led to serious damage to the body, such as kidney failure, is likely to get better over time. The prognosis of lupus also depends on the patient’s age. People under the age of 30 are more likely to improve with treatment than those who are older. Some lupus treatments are more effective in those under the age of 30, but research is ongoing.
Lupus is a disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. The attack on the healthy tissue can cause inflammation in those affected by lupus, including kidney damage, lung damage, and rash. Symptoms of lupus may include a red rash and joint pain. Many other types of lupus also exist, but they occur less often. If you have lupus, you will likely have to deal with several symptoms. There are many treatment options available. The prognosis of lupus depends on the patient’s age, the severity of the disease, and the medications used.