Chronic conditions, as the name implies, are ongoing, the symptoms may be managed, but there isn’t a cure for them as of yet. This isn’t to say that they won’t ever be cured because scientific advancements happen every day. Lupus is an autoimmune condition that essentially causes inflammation within the body. It is chronic, but there may be periods of respite between flare-ups. If you have recently been diagnosed with lupus, then learning more about the condition can be incredibly helpful. Keep reading for more information.
In all honesty, not very much is known about what specifically causes lupus. For the most part, it seems to come down to several contributing factors. There is thought to be an environmental component as well as a genetic component, although it has also been linked to the prolonged use of medications and some forms of infections. To put it simply, the cause or causes of lupus are still somewhat mysterious.
There are a few different symptoms that indicate lupus, although it is worth pointing out that the symptoms themselves are not always exclusive to lupus which can make it more difficult to diagnose. Lupus is a condition that causes inflammation; now, the inflammation can be evidenced in almost any area of the body. It can affect internal organs, your skin, muscles, joints, and even the brain. The symptoms themselves may come and go as the inflammation flare-ups, and they can range in severity too.
A lot of people living with lupus report feelings of exhaustion; the fatigue tends to be pretty constant. You might also experience shortness of breath or a high temperature. Depending on where the inflammation is localized, you might also find that you have muscle aches or pain in your joints. One of the symptoms that tend to be exclusive to lupus is the lupus rash which is often found on the face. Finally, headaches, brain fog, and even memory loss can also indicate lupus.
As the symptoms are varied, it can be difficult to manage lupus. As mentioned above, there currently is no cure, so your doctor will likely focus on alleviating your symptoms as and when they appear. Usually, your doctor will do their best to work with you to develop a treatment plan that tackles all of the manifestations of the condition. The symptoms can change, too, which is why regular communication with your doctor is vital.
As mentioned above, there is no cure and treating lupus is more about treating the symptoms. In that respect, the treatment options or medications that you are offered can vary wildly depending on the symptoms that you exhibit and the way in which your condition has manifested. Therefore, your treatment plan and medications will be tailor-made for you. In that regard, it is hard to outline the treatments that you can expect.
What Can You Do?
When diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, it can feel like you have little control over your life. Things are suddenly decided for you; your doctor provides you with a treatment plan that dictates how you need to live your life. However, you can regain some control by choosing to adopt a number of lifestyle changes that can prove beneficial to your symptoms too. Where possible, working towards a healthier lifestyle is often advised. For the most part, this means dietary changes, increased exercise, and smoking cessation. You will also need to consider how your lupus manifests; for some people, their lupus can increase their photosensitivity which means limiting exposure to UV light would make sense.
A Word of Warning
Lupus can be very serious, and if not treated properly, it can have severe effects on your body and your health, leading to complications. One of the common effects involves the kidney, the inflammatory condition cause issues with the kidneys, which in some cases can cause kidney failure. Lupus can also inflame the blood vessels, which may lead to blood clots which can, in turn, increase your risk of a stroke or heart attack.
Lupus has also been known to affect the lungs, inflaming the tissues and causing breathing problems. It can also affect your central nervous system, which can make you more prone to episodic headaches, dizzy spells, and, in extreme cases, seizures. Finally, lupus is an autoimmune condition that can make you more vulnerable to infection, either caused by the condition itself or by the weakened immune system. Your treatment plan should account for this.
Lupus is a lifelong condition, although the symptoms themselves may come and go. The treatment plan that you develop with your doctor can help to manage your condition to ensure that it has a minimal impact on your daily life. However, if left untreated, the condition can spiral and have serious effects on your life and health. Therefore, if you have recently been diagnosed or if you are concerned that you have lupus, then learning more about the condition is paramount.