Lupus is an autoimmune disease, meaning a deformity in your immune system causes it. As a result, it causes pain and inflammation in your body parts.
An autoimmune disease originates when your immune system does not protect your body from intruders. As a result, your body's defence system starts to behave abnormally and harms the healthy tissues.
Lupus can cause skin sensitivity, rashes, and joint pain. In addition, it can cause damage to your internal organs like the brain, lungs, kidneys, and heart. If you have lupus, you may experience mild symptoms that may come and go, whereas some people experience intense pain and other symptoms that may hinder their daily activities.
Different kinds of lupus can impact your health. The most common lupus types are:
- Cutaneous lupus erythematosus
Cutaneous lupus erythematosus affects the skin. It can cause hair loss and skin sensation. In addition, you may get skin rashes, sunburn etc.
- Drug-induced lupus
The intake of certain medications causes drug-induced lupus. It is a temporary lupus form that goes away after stopping the lupus-causing medication. Its symptoms resemble the symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus.
- Neonatal lupus
Neonatal lupus is found in infants. A child is affected by neonatal lupus through their mother. If a mother has lupus during the pregnancy period, it may cause neonatal lupus in the child. However, neonatal lupus does not affect every child who is born with this condition.
The most common lupus form is systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus can affect anyone, including men, women, the elderly, children, and newborns. However, it is more frequent in women who belong to the reproductive age. Almost 90% of the lupus cases are diagnosed in women of reproductive age. It is hard to diagnose lupus as the symptoms vary and resemble the symptoms of other medical conditions.
As lupus symptoms resemble other medical conditions, many patients may not get a proper diagnosis during their lifetime. Your chances of getting affected with lupus increase when you have a family member with an autoimmune disorder or lupus. In addition, it is more common in Asian, African-American, and Native American women.
There are differences in every lupus case as the signs and symptoms may take time to develop. In some cases, the symptoms appear quickly, while in others, it may take time. Moreover, the severity also fluctuates, and one may get severe symptoms, while others get mild or non-existent symptoms. Lupus may occur in episodes called flares. During flares, the symptoms can cause an extreme sensation.
The symptoms also depend on the affected area. However, the common signs and symptoms of lupus include:
- Joint pain and swelling
- Chest pain
- Dry eyes
- Memory loss or confusion
- Breath shortness
- Skin lesions
- Rashes on the cheek and nose bridge that appears like a butterfly
- Rashes on other body parts
- White or blue fingers and toes. The situation may worsen during sun exposure.
It would help if you visited a hospital or clinic at the earliest after witnessing the symptoms mentioned above. Moreover, if you have persistent body pain or aches and high fever, you may call a doctor immediately.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease; however, your genes and environmental factors play a crucial role in deciding the limit of this disease. People with an inherited vulnerability for lupus may develop the disease when they contact certain ecological conditions. It is challenging to understand the exact cause of lupus. However, some common factors that may trigger lupus include:
Enhanced sun exposure may trigger lupus in the people who have this disease. Moreover, it can trigger lupus-causing factors in susceptible people. Therefore, it is beneficial to keep a safe distance from scorching summers. In addition, you need to take extra care while stepping out during summers.
Infections can cause lupus in some people. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that hampers the functioning of the immune system. It enhances the chances of getting an infection, and certain infections can trigger lupus. Your skin rashes and butterfly-shaped rashes may be a result of infection-related lupus.
If you take blood pressure and anti-seizure medications along with antibiotics, you increase the chance of lupus. The chemical composition of these diseases can trigger lupus. If you are diagnosed with drug-related lupus, you can see a difference in your situation after stopping the medications. However, in rare cases, the symptoms may persist for a longer time.
- Sex: Generally, women are more prone to lupus. Major lupus cases are found in women who are in their reproductive age.
- Age: Lupus can affect people in all age groups, including newborns. However, it is common in people between 15-45 years.
- Race: Certain ethnicities like Asians, African-Americans, and Hispanics are more prone to lupus.
It is better to contact a medical care professional immediately after seeing the signs and symptoms of lupus.
Lupus inflammation can cause damage to other body parts. These include:
Lupus can cause severe damage to your kidney. Many times the damage develops into kidney failure. It is one of the prominent reasons for death among lupus patients.
Lupus may affect your brain and cause headaches, dizziness, behavioural changes, vision problems, strokes, and seizures. In addition, some people may experience a foggy memory that can lead to confusion and the inability to express their thoughts.
- Blood and blood vessels
Lupus can make your blood vessels inflamed. Moreover, you may develop the risk of bleeding or blood clotting. Lupus affects the blood flow and causes an imbalance in red blood cells, leading to anaemia.
Lupus may cause pneumonia and bleed into the lungs. As a result, you may find it tricky to breathe correctly. Moreover, it may cause inflammation in the chest cavity lining.
Lupus increases the chances of heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases. In addition, it can cause inflammation in your heart membrane and muscles.
Lupus may lead to other diseases that can affect your health severely. It includes:
As discussed earlier, lupus is an autoimmune disease. Therefore, the condition and its treatment make the immune system weak. The chances of viral and bacterial infection rise due to a reduced immune response.
Although the risk of cancer is small, lupus may bring you closer to it.
- Bone tissue death
Lupus decreases the blood supply to the bones, and the reduced blood supply may lead to tiny breaks in the bones. It may lead to a collapse of the bone.
- Pregnancy complications
Lupus enhances the chances of miscarriage. Moreover, it may lead to high blood pressure during pregnancy and premature delivery.
In pregnancy-related complications, doctors may advise you to delay pregnancy until your disease is managed.
The symptoms of lupus vary greatly, and hence it is challenging to diagnose the disease. Moreover, the symptoms may change over time and make the treatment challenging.
Your doctor may suggest a combination of tests to diagnose lupus. For example, a combination of blood and urine tests and physical examination works well in diagnosing lupus.
Blood and urine tests may include:
- Blood count: It determines the levels of red and white blood cells, haemoglobin, and platelets in your blood.
- Kidney and liver assessment: Lupus can affect your kidney and liver, and this test checks the functioning of these organs.
- Urinalysis: It shows increased protein and red blood cells level in your urine.
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate: It determines the blood flow and records the time taken by your blood to settle at the bottom of a tube within an hour.
- Antinuclear antibody test: ANA test is conducted to check your immune response.
You may need to undergo all or a combination of these tests for a correct diagnosis.
The primary imaging tests for lupus include chest x-ray and echocardiogram.
- Chest X-ray: It is used to diagnose fluid accumulation in your lungs.
- Echocardiogram: It is used to check the deformity in your heart muscles and valves. The test uses sound waves to produce images of your heart.
Both the tests measure the fault in your respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
Lupus affects your kidney and may lead to a failed kidney. Therefore, it is essential to find the correct treatment at the right time. Your doctor may suggest a biopsy to see the extent of the damage. In this process, a small quantity of kidney tissue is extracted using a needle or incision.
Skin biopsy is a great option to determine the extent of skin lupus.
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that hits your immune system badly. Your immunity depends on your genes, environmental factors, physical, mental, and emotional balance. Homeopathy medicines work on the psyche and physical aspects of an individual. The treatment aims to cure a patient from within. It is believed that homeopathy controls the underlying causes of a disease efficiently.
People have certain myths about lupus, and one of them is that it is contagious. However, lupus does not spread from touching an infected person. Therefore, it is impossible to get infected by this disease through touch or sexual activity.
The symptoms can be managed by taking homeopathic medicines. In addition, if you take the medication for a longer time, you can improve your situation.