Lupus, also termed Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is a chronic autoimmune disease. It is a condition in which the immune system induces inflammation and cell breakdown in your body. Lupus causes widespread inflammation in the body, which affects many organs. However, since it is primarily a localized disease, it is not always systemic. Many people with lupus have a moderate form of the disease. But it may become serious if left untreated as there is no permanent cure for lupus. So, lupus patients residing in Mumbai can consult Dr. Rishabh Nanavati rheumatologist in Mumbai who provides a treatment that focuses on reducing inflammation and alleviating symptoms.
Lupus can cause several health issues. It can also be lethal in severe cases. You are more likely to be affected if you are a young woman between 15 and 44.
Now let's know, What Causes Lupus?
Lupus can occur due to genetic and environmental factors. Lupus can affect the heart, lungs, brain, and kidneys, among other body organs. When the heart, lungs, brain, or kidneys are involved, the disease can be even more severe.
What Effect Does Lupus Have On Any Of These Organs?
Naturally, the immune system defends the body's tissues from foreign invaders. Lupus is an autoimmune disease. Here, the immune cells attack the tissues which protect us from foreign bodies. This process is known as autoimmunity or "loss of self-tolerance." As the attack progresses, the entire immune system joins the battle. It causes severe and prolonged inflammation.
Now let's know, Symptoms Associated with Lupus
The following are the three most common lupus symptoms:
- Joint pains
- Rashes on the skin (often in reaction to sunlight exposure), malar rash (a butterfly-shaped rash on the cheeks), or discoid rash (a red rash with raised circular or oval patches)
- Fatigue is a term for extreme tiredness. Fatigue is one of the widespread lupus symptoms, affecting 50 to 90% of people.
Symptoms that aren't specific to lupus are common in people with the disease. Fever, weight loss, blood clots, and hair loss are some of these symptoms. These may also include heartburn, stomach pain, and poor circulation in the fingers and toes.
Are There Any Complications In Lupus?
- Lupus flare-ups can vary from mild to severe. The majority of patients have phases when the disease is active accompanied by periods of remission.
- Each lupus patient is likely to have its own set of symptoms and flares. However, the severity of symptoms can change over time.
- Women can suffer from miscarriages. It may flare up during pregnancy and affect the baby's outcome.
- Lupus, particularly when active, can cause accelerated atherosclerosis (artery-clogging), leading to heart attacks, heart failure, and strokes in young women.
- Renal inflammation is one of the most frequent and severe lupus symptoms. It could go undetected, resulting in renal failure and the need for dialysis.
- Due to the weakened immunity caused by both the disease and its treatments, people with lupus are more vulnerable to infections such as urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, yeast infections, salmonella, herpes, and shingles.
- Cancer, bone tissue death, and pregnancy complications, such as miscarriage and pre-eclampsia, are also elevated risks.
How Is Lupus Diagnosed?
- Lupus diagnosis can be difficult due to the wide variety of symptoms that appear gradually and evolve.
- A physical examination and blood tests are needed for the diagnosis.
- Whether or not a person is having typical lupus symptoms, and irregular blood test result is often the first sign of lupus.
- The symptoms typically start in one or two areas of the body. But as time goes on, they may develop more.
How Is Lupus Treated?
- Dr. Rishabh can assess if a patient has lupus and counsel them on treatment options since they are specialists in diagnosing and treating autoimmune disorders like lupus.
- Lupus is a chronic autoimmune condition. Hence, there is no permanent cure. The treatment aims to ease symptoms, reduce flare-ups, and address the development of lupus complications. Physical exams and laboratory testing are required regularly to monitor patient's responses to treatment and detect new organ system involvement.
- The more life-threatening health problems of lupus, such as renal (kidney) and neurological complications, require aggressive treatment.
- It is essential to see the rheumatologist regularly and inform them of any new symptoms.
- The majority of lupus patients can lead normal lives. Patients with lupus must exercise, relieve stress, limit exposure to sunlight.
- They should reduce other risk factors for cardiac disease, like high blood pressure, smoking, and high cholesterol, in addition to regulating their condition.
- If anyone finds that a specific drug aggravates their symptoms, they should avoid it.