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Lupus

Lupus

A systemic autoimmune disease characterized by widespread generalize inflammation including skin, joints, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs is known as lupus. Butterfly rash which is a facial rash resembling the wings of a butterfly unfolding across both cheeks is the distinctive sign of lupus.

Symptoms

Most common signs and symptoms include:Lupus SYMPTOMS CAUSES TREATMENT

  • Mild fever
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Joint stiffness, swelling and pain
  • Butterfly rash across the cheeks and nose bridge
  • Photosensitivity
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Dry eyes
  • Pain in chest
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
Causes

Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which immune system of the body attacks own cells and result in a catastrophic inflammation reaction. It can be the result of genetic or environmental factors. Some important triggers include:

  • Sunlight
  • Infections
  • Some medications like antihypertensive, anti-seizures drugs
Complications
  • Serious kidney damage which leads to kidney failure
  • Memory problems, difficulty in explaining thoughts and other complications of central nervous system damage
  • Anemia and vasculitis
  • Pleurisy, which is the inflammation of chest cavity
  • Pericarditis
  • Increase risk of infections, cancers avascular necrosis of bone tissue and pregnancy complications.
Diagnosis

Diagnosis of this condition depends upon detailed medical history and complete general physical examination of the patient. Lupus symptoms can mimic other conditions also so it is crucial to rule out other conditions. Some major tests are done including:

  • Blood tests checking for Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), kidney and liver assessment,
  • Urinalysis,
  • Antinuclear antibody (ANA) test,
  • Imaging tests like chest Xray, echocardiogram
  • Biopsy of kidney and skin to determine the extent of damage
Treatment

Treatment options include:

  • Medications like over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antimalarial drugs, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, biologic medications and Rituximab (Rituxan) [for resistant lupus] are prescribed.
 Home Remedies
  • Avoid going in sun directly or use clothes that block uv rays
  • Be active and exercise regularly
  • Quit smoking
  • Eat healthy organic foods
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