Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease which occurs when the immune system in your body attacks your tissues and organs. Lupus-related inflammation can affect many different body systems — including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs. Here we’ll discuss about the Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors and Prevention of the Lupus.
Diagnosis of lupus can be difficult as the signs and symptoms often resemble those of other conditions. In many but not all cases of lupus, the most distinctive sign of lupus — a facial rash which resembles the wings of a butterfly unfolding across both cheeks — occurs.
Many people are born with a propensity to develop lupus, which can be caused by infections, other drugs or even sunlight. While there is no cure for lupus, therapy will help control symptoms.
Symptoms of Lupus
No two lupus cases are exactly alike. Signs and symptoms may develop suddenly or gradually, may be mild or extreme, and maybe temporary or lasting. Most people with lupus have mild disease characterized by episodes — known as flares — where signs and symptoms get worse for a while, then improve or even fully vanish.
The signs and symptoms of lupus you’re experiencing can depend on which body systems the disease affects. The most common signs and symptoms include:
- Joint pain, stiffness and swelling
- Butterfly-shaped rash on the face which covers the cheeks and nose bridge or rashes elsewhere on the body
- Skin lesions that occur or worsen when exposed to sunlight (photosensitivity)
- Fingertips and toes when exposed to cold or stressful times turn into white or blue (Raynaud’s phenomenon)
- Breath shortness
- Chest pain
- Dry eyes
- Headaches, confusion and loss of memory
When to see a doctor
If you develop an unexplained rash, recurring fever, constant pain or exhaustion, see your doctor.
Causes of Lupus
Lupus happens when the immune system ( autoimmune disease) destroys healthy tissue in your body. Lupus is usually the product of a mixture of your genetics and your atmosphere.
It appears that people with an inherited predisposition for lupus may develop the disease when they come in contact with something that can cause lupus. However, in most cases the cause of lupus is unclear. Possible causes include:
Sunny: Sun exposure can cause lupus skin lesions or can induce an internal reaction in susceptible individuals.
Infections: In some cases, having an infection can trigger lupus or cause a relapse in a certain case.
Medicines: Some types of blood pressure drugs, anti-seizure medicines, and antibiotics may cause lupus. People who have lupus caused by the drug usually get better when not taking the medication. Rarely, symptoms can continue even after stopping the medication.
Risk factors of Lupus
Factors which can increase the lupus risk include:
Your sex: Lupus is often more common amongst women.
Age: While lupus affects people of all ages, but it is diagnosed most commonly between 15 and 45 of ages.
Race: Lupus is often more prevalent in African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans.
Lupus-caused inflammation can affect many parts of your body, including your:
Kidneys: Lupus may trigger severe damage to the kidneys and kidney failure is one of the leading causes of death in lupus’s people.
Brain and central nervous system: If lupus affects your brain, you can experience headaches, dizziness, and changes in behavior, vision problems and even strokes or seizures. Many people with lupus have memory issues and may have difficulty sharing their thoughts.
Blood and blood vessels: Lupus can cause problems the blood, including anaemia and increased risk of bleeding or blood clotting. It can also cause blood vessels to become inflamed (vasculitis).
Lungs: Having lupus raises the risk of experiencing inflammation of the layer of the chest cavity (pleurisy), which may make breathing painful. Also, likely to bleed into the lungs and pneumonia.
Heart: Lupus can trigger your heart muscle, arteries or heart membrane (pericarditis) to swelling. Often, the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease rises significantly.
Other types of complications
Having lupus also increases your risk of:
Infection: People with lupus are more susceptible to infection because the disease can weaken the immune system, as well as its treatments.
Cancer: Getting lupus raises cancer risk, but the risk is low.
Bone tissue death (avascular necrosis): It occurs when blood flow to a bone reduces, often leading to tiny breaks in the bone and eventually to collapse of the bone.
Pregnancy complications: There is an increased risk of miscarriage among women with lupus. The risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy (preeclampsia) and premature birth rises with lupus. Doctors also suggest a delay in pregnancy until the condition has been under control for at least six months, to reduce the likelihood of such complications.
Prevention of Lupus
You cannot automatically cure lupus but you can be prevented causes that trigger the symptoms. For example, you can:
If sun exposure causes a rash, restrict your time in direct sunlight. You should also wear a 70 or higher SPF sunscreen, which blocks both UVA and UVB rays.
Try to avoid medicines, if possible, it makes more sun-sensitive. It includes minocycline (Minocin) and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim) antibiotics, and diuretics like furosemide (Lasix) or hydrochlorothiazide.
Develop stress management techniques. Meditate, practice yoga, or get massages — whatever helps calm your mind.
Stay away from people who are sick with colds and other infections.
Get enough sleep. Go to bed early enough each night to guarantee yourself seven to nine hours of rest.