Lupus - What Are The Different Types?

October 5, 2008 by admin 

The chronic pain of lupus can affect anyone from 15 to 50 and it does affect nearly 2 million Americans. As an autoimmune system, the lupus sufferer's body is under attack. The skin, joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, the eyes, the nervous system and blood-making cells can all suddenly become targets. While currently there is no cure for lupus, the disease can be treated in different ways to minimize damage. For mild cases, your primary physician can monitor or recommend medication. If the lupus has progressed and affected other organs, a specialist like a Dermatologist, Cardiologist, Nephrologist or Neurologist may be needed.

There are five types of lupus: systemic lupus erythematosus, which affects the joints and organs; discoid lupus, which affects the skin; sub-acute cutaneous lupus erythematosus, which is characterized by skin lesions; drug-induced lupus that develops after a drug reaction; and neonatal lupus that affects newborns. Some of the signs of Lupus include; fever, fatigue, joint pain/stiffness/swelling, weight loss/gain, butterfly rashes on a persons cheeks, lesions of skin that get worse when exposed to sunlight, sores in the mouth, both toes and finger that end up turning blue white in the cold, shortness of breath, eyes that are dry, pain in the chest, easy bruising, anxiety, depression and/or loss of memory. The Lupus Foundation says there are no two cases of lupus that are exactly alike. Signs may emerge gradually or come on suddenly, and can be mild or severe. Most people have "flare-ups" or episodes. To test for lupus, your doctor will ask you some questions, run a standard physical, take urine and blood samples and perform an electrocardiogram.

Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) manifests itself as an inflammation, with rashes and scarring on the face, ears and scalp. The lesions may be inflamed, scaling or crusty in appearance, with the centers lighter and the rims darker. A small percentage of these patients have internal organ failure too, but usually symptoms are primarily skin-related. Cortisone ointment or injections can be helpful in treating the flare-ups. Drugs like Plaquenil, Aralen, Imiquimod, Quinacrine, Accutane or Soriatane are sometimes prescribed but should be carefully monitored for side effects.

If you're diagnosed with lupus, then it's important that you get 8-10 hours of sleep each night. Keep in mind that even very small amounts of light from the sunlight can harm you skin, so you should wear clothing that is protective, for instance lond pants and shirts, use SPF 15 or higher sunscreen, stay away from tanning beds as well as utilizing plastic devices that block UV type of emissions from indoor lights. Getting regular exercise is also important in recovering from flare-ups, reducing heart attack risks and fighting depression. If you’re a smoker, then doctors recommend that you quit because the risk of cardiovascular disease increases with the added vascular stress caused by nicotine. Lastly, eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. To keep your mood elevated, the Lupus Foundation offers educational programs, counseling, group exercising classes and community events like "Walk For Lupus" to help raise money and awareness. Becoming an advocate is a great way to regain a sense of control.

To learn more go to Arthritis Pain Relief and at Types Of Arthritis


Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

Security Code: