What is Lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that happens when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissue instead. Some factors that lead the immune system to mistake parts of the body as foreign and attack them include hormones, genetic defects, infectious agents, and certain medications. When diagnosed with this condition, patients can experience pain and inflammation that can affect any part of the body, including the kidneys, blood cells, heart, brain, lungs, and skin.
Things to know about Lupus
Here are five common things to know about lupus:
- Lupus is more likely to develop in women: Women are more commonly affected by lupus than men. One possible reason for this is the higher level of oestrogen, which is commonly associated with women and encourages the development of autoimmune conditions like lupus.
- There is no single method to diagnose lupus: With its ability to mimic the symptoms of numerous other disorders, lupus tends to be difficult to diagnose. That is why rheumatologists have to administer more than one test for accuracy. Some of these tests include blood work, urine tests, and physical tests. These tests will be combined with the patient’s symptoms, detailed medical history, and family’s medical background.
- There are numerous symptoms for lupus: Patients with lupus may experience varying symptoms that range in severity depending on the body parts affected. It can also change from time to time and may overlap with other health conditions. Usually, the most common symptoms may include muscle and joint pain, rash, fatigue, hair loss, light or sun sensitivity, mouth sores, and kidney problems.
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is the most common kind of lupus: There are different types of lupus, but the most common one is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). The exact cause of SLE is not fully understood, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors.
- Lupus is treatable: There is still ongoing research to find a cure for lupus. But its symptoms can be managed through various treatments that are tailored to each patient. Treatment may include antimalarial drugs, corticosteroids, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Lupus is a complex and multifaceted disease, but it is important to remember that it is treatable. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of lupus, see a doctor right away for early diagnosis and prompt treatment.