Lupus is a chronic disease that can cause inflammation and pain in any part of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, brain, blood vessels, heart and lungs. It is an autoimmune disease, which means the immune system attacks healthy cells and tissues. There are four types of lupus, including:
- Systemic lupus erythematosus: This is the most common form of lupus that can affect many parts of the body.
- Cutaneous lupus: This form of lupus is limited to the skin and can cause rashes or sores.
- Drug-induced lupus: Drug-induced lupus is a lupus-like disease caused by certain prescription drugs, such as hydralazine, procainamide, and isoniazid.
- Neonatal lupus: Neonatal lupus is a rare condition that affects newborns and is most likely caused by certain antibodies from the mother.
Symptoms of Lupus:
Lupus can have many symptoms that differ from person to person. Common symptoms include:
- Pain or swelling in joints
- Red rashes
- Fever with no known cause
- Chest pain when taking a deep breath
- Muscle pain
- Swollen glands
- Swelling in the legs or around eyes
- Hair loss
Causes of Lupus:
The cause of lupus is unknown. Experts believe that lupus may develop in response to certain hormones, genetics and environmental triggers. Potential environmental triggers include:
- Ultraviolet rays
- Sulfa drugs
- Penicillin or other antibiotic drugs
- Infection, colds or viral illnesses
Treatment for Lupus:
Treatment for lupus will depend on the patient’s signs and symptoms. Treatment options may include the following:
- Lifestyle changes – Regular checkups, wearing protective clothing from UV light, regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and supplements.
- Medications – NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), antimalarial drugs, and corticosteroids.
- Systemic medications – Biologic therapy and immunosuppressants.