May has been designated as Lupus Awareness Month 2022, so now’s the perfect time to learn more about this disease and how to treat it. Let’s start with an overview of what lupus actually is, followed by the ways it can be diagnosed and treated. For more information, check out the links below!
A brief history of lupus awareness month
lupus disease symptoms is an autoimmune condition that manifests in almost every organ of your body; its symptoms are unpredictable and will cause you much pain. A friend of mine, Peter, has suffered from lupus for over 20 years now, but he has learned how to manage his symptoms by modifying his diet as well as keeping a positive outlook on life. He tries not to let his ailments get him down because he’s been able to manage them with these two seemingly simple things: nutrition and mindset. Through his experience of over two decades with lupus, Peter has provided me with plenty of tips on what works best for him. It just so happens that I’ve found a few gems in there as well.
What are the signs of lupus?
The symptoms of lupus can differ from one person to another. For some, they are mild while for others they can be severe. While you may experience a number of different signs, these include fatigue, fever, skin rashes on cheeks or nose (purple or reddish-colored), joint pain, muscle aches and abdominal pain. It’s also common for you to have swollen glands in your face and feel generally unwell. It’s important that you visit your doctor if you feel like something is wrong – do not self-diagnose with lupus as there are other conditions that can cause similar symptoms; it’s best for a health professional to give an accurate diagnosis so that you know what treatment options are available.
How do I know if I have it?
At its most basic level, lupus is an autoimmune disorder. This means that you have a mutated immune system that produces antibodies against its own cells. It also means that symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on your individual case. So far, there are 4 types of lupus: systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), discoid lupus (DLE), drug-induced lupus erythematosus (DILE) and subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosuses (SCLE). Keep in mind that these classifications refer to specific symptoms—not causes. Diagnosis relies heavily on observation, since there are no laboratory tests for it yet.
Myths, facts, and more – things you should know
What’s Lupus? Lupus, an autoimmune disease, causes inflammation of various parts of your body, including skin, joints, kidneys, lungs and brain. This can lead to lupus symptoms that vary greatly from person to person. Who gets lupus? Anyone can develop lupus at any age but more than 90 percent of people with lupus are women. Women between 15-44 years old are most commonly diagnosed with it. How do you diagnose someone with lupus?
The treatments (and a few myths)
To effectively manage your lupus symptoms, you’ll need an understanding of both conventional treatments and complementary therapies. Conventional therapies—which are usually prescribed by a rheumatologist or other qualified physician—include steroids (also known as corticosteroids), immunosuppressants (such as methotrexate) or biologics, which are medications that work on specific aspects of immune responses. If pain is a big factor for you, over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin or ibuprofen may help. And for flares that cause joint stiffness and inflammation, applying heat with a hot water bottle can help relieve some of your symptoms. For more severe flare-ups, contact your doctor immediately to determine if stronger medication might be required.
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