Lupus is one of the health conditions that generally isn’t well-known to many people, even if they are getting calls from the Lupus Foundation of America asking for clothes donations. But the truth is, Lupus is a serious and often unpredictable and mysterious condition that can ultimately lead to death, and many need to know about it, as symptoms can be hard to pick up.
What Is Lupus?
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease than can hurt the joints, skin, and organs inside the body. The immune system is the part of your body that fights off bacteria, germs, and other nasty things like viruses; in normal situations, the body will produce what is known as antibodies, to combat these unwanted visitors. But for those of us with Lupus, it can be very different.
Lupus makes something go wrong with your autoimmune system and your body will not be able to tell the difference between healthy tissue and the unhealthy viruses, germs, and bacteria. This means that it creates something known as autoantibodies that attack the healthy tissue, causing pain and inflammation in various parts of the body.
Symptoms of Lupus
Each case is different, but fevers and fatigue were a big factor for me getting checked out. Depending on how mild or severe your case is, flares will either happen frequently or not often. Flares are when the symptoms of Lupus worsen and you feel ill, followed by a remission period where you’ll feel much better. The symptoms of Lupus can be confused for different maladies, so it is always important to get checked out by a doctor. Other symptoms can include:
-Stiff and swollen joints, which are painful
-A rash on the fact that runs along the cheeks and bridge of the nose
-Persistent fatigue and ongoing fever
Diagnosing and Treating Lupus
There is not one test to diagnose Lupus, as it can be difficult to diagnose based on its symptoms and signs varying from person to person. After many blood and urine tests, along with physical examinations, and the symptoms you present, a doctor will eventually be able to diagnose you.
Based on your needs, you may have to see different doctors like rheumatologists, dermatologists, etc. to treat your condition. Lupus can range from mild, which is my case, to life threatening, so one always wants to keep in contact with their doctors. With the proper care, you can have a full and wonderful life. Smoking worsened the effects of lupus on my blood vessels, and I have since made several lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking to help my overall well-being. I also make sure to get adequate rest and I get regular exercise.
For more information regarding Lupus, visit these websites: