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Introduction to Lupus
The informations provided below are based on my knowledge of Lupus which I've accumulated over many years from being Lupus patient myself. In addition, I also have gained my understanding of Lupus through books, journals and from discussions with my physicians. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms that mention in Lupus, you should seek medical advice. I only want to share the information with you and to spread awareness of this disease.
What is Lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disorder. What this means is that an immune system, our body's defense system doesn't recognize its own body, therefore unable to tell the differences between foreign bodies and itself, thus attacks it own cells and body parts. There are different levels of severity of Lupus but mainly there are 3 types of these conditions; Discoid Lupus which effects mostly skin and connective tissues, Systemic Lupus is more severe which can damage major organs of body like brain, heart, lung and kidney and lastly, Drug-induced Lupus which is caused by certain drugs. Lupus occurs mostly in young female during child-bearing age. About 10% of all Lupus occurs in men.
What are the causes?
The exact cause is unknown. Genetic might contributes a great deal to the cause but there isn't a clear proof.
What are some of the common symptoms?
The most common symptoms include fatigue, joints pain, swollen knees, butterfly rashes on the cheeks, cold hands and feet. Lupus can mimic number of disorders and it is quite easy for doctor to miss diagnose Lupus.
How do I
know if I have Lupus for sure?
If you have symptoms mentioned above and you are not sure whether you have Lupus. You can ask your doctor to get a simple blood test for anti-DNA antibody(anti-double strain DNA) test.
What are treatment options for Lupus?
Lupus is usually treated with anti-malaria drug (no one knows why it works) and immune suppressants such as prednisone and other anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen and Daypro. In severe conditions, patients may require chemotherapy to help treat the symptoms. Lupus is incurable, but it can be treated. You can live pretty comfortable with the right treatment for each symptom and proper life style management.
How can I minimize the flare up of Lupus?
Rest when you feel tired, don't over work yourself. Avoid direct sun exposure if possible. Wear sun-screen, hat and long sleeve tops when going out door. Sun light can really aggravate Lupus to flare up and it can worsen rashes on your face as well. Many clothing stores are now carrying UVF clothing.
These are just some of the main highlights of Lupus that I think general public should be aware of. You might want to visit Lupus Foundation of America site to get more details and information on Lupus.
Do you want to share your Lupus Story? Share it here!