What is Lupus?
Lupus is a life-threatening autoimmune disease that can attack anyone, at any age. It is a disease that is hard to diagnose. However, you can recognize its signs and symptoms early.
“Symptoms vary between people and may be mild to severe. Common symptoms include painful and swollen joints, fever, chest pain, hair loss, mouth ulcers, swollen lymph nodes, feeling tired, and a red rash which is most commonly on the face. Often there are periods of illness, called flares, and periods of remission during which there are few symptoms.” Wikipedia
Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms often mimic those of other ailments. The most distinctive sign of lupus is the facial rash that resembles the wings of a butterfly unfolding across both cheeks. This occurs in many but not all cases of lupus.
Some people are born with a tendency toward developing lupus, which may be triggered by infections, certain drugs or even sunlight. While there’s no cure for lupus, treatments can help control symptoms.
The signs and symptoms of lupus that you experience will depend on which body systems are affected by the disease. The most common signs and other detailed symptoms include:
- Joint pain, stiffness and swelling
- Butterfly-shaped rash on the face that covers the cheeks and bridge of the nose or rashes elsewhere on the body
- Skin lesions that appear or worsen with sun exposure
- Fingers and toes that turn white or blue when exposed to cold or during stressful periods
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Dry eyes
- Headaches, confusion and memory loss
It is possible that lupus can be the result of a combination of your genetics and/or something in the environment, which when you come in contact with, can trigger lupus. In most cases, however, the cause is unknown.
The following can be triggers:
- Sunlight. Sun may bring on lupus skin lesions or trigger other causes of lupus.
- Infections. An infection can initiate lupus or cause a relapse in some people.
- Medications. Can trigger lupus and it may persist even after the drug is stopped.
Complications from inflammation caused by lupus can affect many areas of your body, to include:
- Kidneys. Which can be serious as serious kidney failure is one of the leading causes of death among people with lupus.
- Brain and central nervous system. You may experience headaches, dizziness, behavior changes, vision problems, and even strokes or seizures, memory problems and difficulty in expressing their thoughts.
- Blood and blood vessels. Blood problems include a reduced number of healthy red blood cells (anemia) and an increased risk of bleeding or blood clotting. It can also cause inflammation of the blood vessels.
- Lungs. Lupus can increase your chances of developing an inflammation of the chest cavity lining, which can make breathing painful. Bleeding into lungs and pneumonia also are possible.
- Heart. Lupus can also cause inflammation of your heart muscle, your arteries or heart membrane which in turn increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks
- Infection. Infection because both the disease and its treatments can weaken the immune system.
- Cancer. Lupus appears to increase your risk of cancer; however, the risk is small.
- Bone tissue death. This occurs when the blood supply to a bone declines, often leading to tiny breaks in the bone and eventually to the bone’s collapse.
- Pregnancy complications. Pregnant women with lupus have an increased risk of miscarriage. It increases the risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy and preterm birth. To reduce the risk of these complications, doctors often recommend delaying pregnancy until your disease has been under control for at least six months.
Basically after being diagnosed you will find yourself fighting a private battle; you have to depend on others to provide things you cannot get or do on your own. It will be difficult for you to take care of yourself. You continue to need good medical treatment, and will require support from friends and family. You will experience brain fog which will seem to be constant. You can plan on being sick one way or the other for much of your life, will be despondent, and will eventually have a deep appreciation for life.
HOW TO TREAT?
Your immune system plays an important role in treating lupus. You will need to focus on your diet to keep the disease in check.
Holistic and natural ways include a change in lifestyle, and an anti-inflammatory diet which can be very beneficial; and should include the following:
- Foods rich in omega-3, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna.
- Foods high in antioxidants, such as beans, cranberries, dark chocolate.
- Raw organic fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries and pumpkin.
- Olive oil and coconut oil.
- This is a short list. For more fruits and veggies as well as recipes check the internet, as well as books.
There are prescription medications for which you need to consult your personal physician. Then, do more of your own research on the internet.
Bottom line: Those in the medical field claim there is no cure for LUPUS, but it can be controlled.
HAPPY RESEARCHING and MAY GOD SHOW YOU THE WAY!