What is Lupus: Know the symptoms and treatment of the disease

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What is lupus? What are its symptoms and treatment? These two questions are asked by many people who believe they may have this chronic autoimmune disease that is confused with many other diseases. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that is very complex because it can affect many areas and organs of the body. In fact, it is the immune system itself that damages your healthy tissues and cells without a clear cause.

In this article, the Nomenial team want to explain to you what this disease, catalogued as rare, is all about:

How is Lupus contracted and what causes it?

It is not clear how you get Lupus, as the causes of it are unknown to medicine today.

However, there are several theories, but none of them have demonstrated what exactly produces it. Further research is needed into this rare disease which, according to the Lupus Foundation of America, affects more than 5 million people worldwide.

Experts believe that certain external factors such as the type of environment a person lives in, exposure to sunlight, chemicals or taking certain medications can cause lupus.

Other factors such as stress or some types of infections are other possible causes.

Everyone regardless of age can get lupus, but women are most at risk of having the disease in their bodies.

Lupus in the older adults

The type of lupus that manifests itself in the older adults and infirm is known as systemic lupus erythematosus, the most common of the existing types, and usually appears after the age of 65. However, it has different characteristics in these more adult patients.

Lupus in the older adults differs greatly from that developed in younger people because it is more indolent and accounts for only 10 to 20 percent of cases in the general population.

It also has a different clinical course and unspecific early clinical manifestations.

Types of Lupus:

These are the different types of lupus:

1. Systemic lupus erythematosus: as we have seen is the most common and can manifest itself (more severely or mildly) in many areas of the body.

2. Discoid lupus: this causes a permanent rash on the skin of those affected.

3. Subacute cutaneous lupus: during exposure to the sun it appears as a blister.

4. Neonatal lupus: affects newborn children and is thought to be caused by the mother’s antibodies. It is the least common of these.

5. Lupus due to medication: usually disappears when you stop taking the medication that is causing it.

Lupus – symptoms of the disease:

The symptoms of lupus affect each person differently, as well as any organ or area of the body. One person may have a fever and muscle pain, for example, and another may get a rash from exposure to the sun.

Those who suffer from the disease may even have various symptoms, known as outbreaks, which occur for a time and even disappear.

During the appearance of these outbreaks the person feels worse; until they remit and that is when they feel relief and are better.

Some of the symptoms of lupus can lead medical experts to believe that another disease is causing them.

These are some of the symptoms of lupus:

  • Mouth sores on the palate, gums, lips and more areas of the mouth.
  • Eye diseases, which cause dry or inflamed eyes, or rashes on the eyelids.
  • Pain in the joints and muscles.
  • Fever above 37 and a half degrees for no apparent reason.
  • Rashes on any part of the body due to exposure to the sun.
  • Chest pain due to inflammation in the lining of the lungs.
  • Hair loss in focused areas in the form of small bald patches.
  • Prolonged and intense tiredness, which may or may not be caused by anaemia, also caused by lupus.
  • Photosensitivity, which can cause some of the symptoms described above.
  • Blood clots, which can occur in the lungs and legs and can lead to a stroke or heart attack.
  • Memory problems, as described by some patients.
  • Kidney problems that cause weight gain, high blood pressure, or swelling of the ankles.

Our recommendation is that if the person suffers any of these symptoms, they should go to the doctor for a check-up so that he or she can diagnose what illness or disease they are suffering from. In order to rule out lupus or if you really have it, you should start a specific treatment.

It is true, however, that there are no specific tests to diagnose it and it may take a long time, months or even years, before the specialist diagnoses the disease or can even rule it out. Although progress is being made in diagnosis.

What is the treatment for lupus?

Today there is no cure for lupus, but there are drug-based treatments and lifestyle changes available to help control the disease.

People with lupus usually have to go to their general practitioner first, who will refer them to different specialists, depending on how the disease manifests itself in them, to determine the best treatment to follow.

The family doctor will always coordinate the treatment with the different specialists so that it works and the case is followed up correctly.

To conclude, we hope that this article from Nomenial on lupus symptoms and treatment has been able to clarify many of your doubts about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

We also want to inform you that after improvements in diagnostic techniques, lupus is detected more quickly every day and with current treatments, 90 percent of those affected can have a normal life expectancy.