Lupus is a disorder of the immune system, in which a body’s own cells attackhealthy tissues. It is nine times more common among women than men. Unlike other forms of immune disorder and/or arthritis, lupus also attacks vital organs like the kidneys, lung, heart, and brain. Lupus is also more common among African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and Native Americans.
Lupus has many symptoms, but the most common are joint pain and swelling, fever, muscle pain, rashes (usually on the face), and feeling tired. Lupus can also cause chest pain when breathing deeply, hair loss, pale or purple fingers and toes, sunsensitivity, mouth ulcers and swollen glands. The most misdiagnosed symptom of lupus is swelling in the legs.
Some of the symptoms of lupus headaches, dizziness, depression, and confusion are mistaken for menopause. Other lupus symptoms, like seizures, can be mistaken for life-threatening conditions like septic fever, an aneurysm, diabetic low blood sugar, or substance abuse withdrawal.
Because lupus affects so many areas of the body, patients may need to consult a number of specialists such as immunologists, rheumatologists, neurologists, cardiologists, skin and blood specialists, and doctors who treat glandular/hormonal defects.
Lupus is suspected to have a genetic link, and in the future, it may be possible to prevent lupus. At the moment, lupus treatment is aimed at preserving organ function, preventing damaging flares, and treating the pain and sometimes unique difficulties that come with lupus.
Consistent medical care is needed to anticipate lupus flares, which can begin with fatigue, pain, rashes, fever, stomach troubles, headaches, or dizziness. Doctors can prevent these extreme lupus episodes from doing even more damage by prescribing pharmaceuticals that reduce swelling, balance hormones, control pain, and suppress immune reactions. These include antimalarial drugs like hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), oral corticosteroids like prednisone, and immune suppression drugs like belimumab, methotrexate, or mycophenolate mofetil.