What is Lupus?

What is Lupus?

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the immune system. Also known as systemic lupus erythematosus, it can affect the joints, the skin or the organs. Lupus is a serious condition that requires care and supervision from a physician for effective management. We will answer the question, “What is lupus?”, as well as discuss the symptoms of lupus, risk factors, management and treatment options.

What is Lupus?

Causes of Lupus

The immune system is your body’s first line of defense against harmful bacteria and viruses. To protect your body from these pathogens, your immune system produces antibodies that systematically find pathogens and destroy them.

Autoimmune diseases like lupus cause the body to produce antibodies that attack the victim’s own body. These attacks can be limited to a targeted area, such as the skin or the joints. Conversely, it can be pervasive, affecting several areas of the body.

Symptoms of Lupus

The most common symptoms of lupus include the following:

  • Pain in the joints of the body due to inflammation
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Chronic headaches
  • Swelling in different parts of the body
  • A rash on the skin
  • Pain when breathing
  • Fever
  • Hair loss
  • Cold sores on the nose and mouth

People with lupus may go through periods where their symptoms temporarily subside or improve. Just as quickly, these symptoms can return more sever and debilitating than before.

Risk Factors for Lupus

Women are more prone to develop lupus than men. Amongst women, those of African descent have the highest risk of developing lupus. While these two groups are the most commonly afflicted, it can affect anyone between the age of fifteen and forty.

Management and Treatment for Lupus

While there’s not necessarily a way to prevent lupus, individuals with the disorder can make changes in their lifestyle to manage it and improve their quality of life.

Relaxation, massage therapy and meditation can help lupus victims stay calm. This is important, as stress can trigger flare-ups. Soaking in a hot tub or sitting in a sauna can easy the pain in sore joints.

Maintaining a healthy diet that includes foods with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients can also be helpful.

These are just the basics of “What is Lupus?”, as well as the symptoms of lupus, risk factors, management, prevention and treatment options for this condition. If you are having difficulty managing lupus or have questions about lupus treatment options, contact us today. Our trained doctors can provide a customized treatment plan to meet your needs.

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