Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects multiple organ systems at the same time causing damage to tissue and organs. Lupus is widely known for its severity in young women, though it can rarely affect men as well. Your immune system is the body system that usually fights infections, it attacks healthy tissue instead.
Your symptoms might develop quickly, or they may come on slowly. Some could be mild and others severe.
Your symptoms may include the following:
- Intense fatigue
- Severe joint pain and muscle aches
- Skin rash on the face or body
- Extreme sun sensitivity
- Weight Loss
- Chest pain on taking a deep breath
- Nose, mouth, or throat sores
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Poor circulation in fingers and toes
- Bald patches and hair loss
Doctors don’t know exactly what causes Lupus. They think genetics, hormones, and your environment may be involved.
Scientists haven’t discovered a particualar gene that causes Lupus yet. They have discovered that it tends to run in certain families. If you have a family member with Lupus you are between 5 and 13 percent more likely to get Lupus according to some.
Certain ethnic groups share common genes that may make them more likely to get Lupus. Your chances are higher of getting the disease if you are:
- Native American
- Native Hawaiian
- Pacific Islander
Doctors think that Estrogen a hormone may have something to do with Lupus. Men and Women have Estrogen in their bodies, but Women have much more and this may have something to do with why Women tend to get Lupus more often than Men.
Some women with Lupus also get symptom flare-ups around their period or during pregnancy when Estrogen levels are higher. But this doesn’t prove that Estrogen causes Lupus.
Your treatment might include medicines to:
- Reduce swelling and pain
- Calm your immune system to prevent it from attacking the organs and tissues in your body
- Reduce or prevent damage to the joints
- Reduce or prevent organ damage
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- Antimalarial drugs.
- BLyS-specific inhibitors.
- Immunosuppressive agents/chemotherapy.
- Other medicines.
What To Expect
Lupus is a serious disease. Lupus can cause death, but thanks to new and better treatments most of the people suffering with Lupus can expect to live a long and healthy lifestyle.
Work with your doctor to manage your Lupus symptoms. Take your medicine as your doctor tells you to and make good, healthy choices. For example, not smoking, eating healthy foods, getting regular physical activity, and managing your weight.