Patients usually give a confused look when doctors talk about lupus. This disease is not a well – understood condition. People are often amused to know about the facts that the body attacks itself in the case of this disease and it might also occur in the case of other autoimmune diseases. When you have lupus, the body attacks its own cells and tissues affecting the skin, joints, kidney, heart, lungs and nervous system. Doctors had diagnosed this disease in men, toddlers, and senior citizens. While women under the age of 13 to 49 years are being affected 9 times more than men.
Here, genetics also play an important role. A person without a family history of lupus has very less chance of getting affected by this disease. Anyone who has a family history of being affected by this disease is more prone to being detected with it. There are about five million people in the world who are suffering from this disease. Above all, They are not even aware of it.
Symptoms of Lupus Differs from Person to Person
Symptoms of this disease often glimmer from mild to even life-threatening. Hence, awareness of this disease is important for everyone. Moreover, the symptom of this disease can be similar to other conditions for which it might be difficult to diagnose. Some of the symptoms are:
- Continuous fatigue
- Joint pain
- Rash which looks like a butterfly might occur around nose and cheeks
- Increasing hair loss
- Blood clots
- Sensitivity when exposed to light
- Pain in the chest while breathing
- Mouth sores
- Swelling around the eyes.
Different Types of Lupus are:
- Systemic Lupus(SLE): This is the most common type which can occur in almost all parts of the body.
- Discoid Lupus: It usually affects the skin without any other complications in the organs.
- Drug-induced Lupus erythematosus(DILE): It happens once a person takes a triggering medication. This type of disease is similar to SLE symptoms but DILE can typically be lessened down by lowering the intake of those medicines.
- Neonatal Lupus: It is one of the rarest types which can occur to a newborn infant whose mother is suffering from this disease.
A disease of Flares and Abeyance
The flare-ups of this disease can be mild and can be severe at times. Almost 75 percent of people suffer from skin problem and arthritis. Kidney problems can also occur because of this. Moreover, people suffering from lupus can be more prone to infections than others.
Factors that Increases the Flares
There are some factors which might trigger the flare for this disease. They are as follows:
- Certain medicines
- Ultraviolet rays
Prone to Other Diseases
It is not a lethal disease but the effects of this disease in one’s body can be life-threatening. People who are suffering from this disease are more viable to other kinds of diseases. It includes poor mental health, cardiovascular disease, blood clotting, renal disease, heart failure stroke, and high blood pressure.
Lupus is not Infectious
It is a non-communicable disease. It can only be hereditary.
An “Invisible Disease”
People suffering from this disease do not look sick as compared to other diseases. The common butterfly rash can be an obvious visible sign but many other symptoms are not such as pain, fever and organ fatigue.
A Simple Blood Test Can Diagnose Lupus
Anti-nuclear antibody(ANA) test is being given by the doctor if he/she suspects it with this disease. ANA test usually shows positive in a person suffering from it However, even if a person is not suffering from lupus, the results may show affirmative. So, when the results come, it is important to have some other test as well. A doctor diagnoses the symptoms with the 11 criteria for lupus. Out of 11, if four or more are similar, a person is suffering from this disease
Rheumatologist can help Treat Lupus
A rheumatologist generally treats this disease. They deal with non-surgical treatment of auto-immune, and other inflammatory diseases.
Treatment Depends on the Severity of the Disease
A doctor usually treats mild inflammation and joint pain with acetaminophen or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as naproxen or ibuprofen. Plaquenil drug, an anti-malaria helps to treat arthritis, fatigue and skin disease. Topical steroid creams treat rashes. It is important to note that diagnosis and treatments are also getting better with time.
Majority of the People Live a Normal Life
With proper diagnoses and treatments, most of the people are living a normal life. There may be certain restrictions for a person suffering from this disease but if there is proper management of disease, a good life can be sustained. The situation might get worse when the patient loses his hope, willingness to recover and lives in frustration and depression.
A Helping Hand
If a person wants to create an impact on the lives of the person suffering from this disease or who are more prone to it can certainly be a helping hand to them. It may not seem much but he or she can spread awareness about this illness. Therefore, people need to be more conscious and by reading these interesting facts about lupus can help everyone in tackling this disease better.