Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammations throughout the body. An autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system of your body attacks its own cells. In most people the effect of lupus is mild. But it may get severe if you are not taking proper treatment. Currently, there is no effective cure for lupus. Most of the treatment focuses on reducing the inflammation and alleviating the pain.
There are a number of factors that cause lupus. Those factors include environmental factors, genetics, abnormal hormone levels, infections, and side effects of some medications like hydralazine and quinidline.
There are four different types of lupus:
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Cutaneous lupus erythematosus
- Drug-induced lupus erythematosus
- Neonatal lupus
The inflammation associated with lupus can affect your joints, skin, heart, lungs, brain, and kidneys. The symptoms of lupus are either permanent or flare up occasionally. Some common early symptoms of lupus include:
- Swollen joints
- Skin rashes
- Dry mouth
- Fever and fatigue
- Hair loss
How Does A Rheumatologist Help?
A rheumatologist treats a number of autoimmune diseases, such as lupus. But most people think that a rheumatologist only treats diseases of joints like rheumatoid arthritis. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects multiple organs of the body. Thankfully, a rheumatologist can treat more than 100 autoimmune diseases that affect the multiple organ systems. Rheumatologists are well trained in detecting and diagnosing the cause of swelling and pain in the body. Swellings and pain are the hallmarks of lupus patients.
A rheumatologist is the best option you have if you want relief from lupus. They are experts in diagnosing and treating many autoimmune diseases, including lupus. They go through four years of medical school followed by three-year training in internal medicine and pediatrics. And then do another three-year training in rheumatology.
When you have severe joint or muscle pain, you visit your primary care physician. If you are somewhere in Los Angeles, they will probably refer you to CCCHClinic for Rheumatology, if they suspect that you are suffering from an autoimmune disease like lupus. It is very difficult for a primary care physician to diagnose lupus. Therefore, if you suspect that you have lupus symptoms or have any family history of lupus, immediately consult a rheumatologist.
In most of the cases, the rheumatologist works alongside your physician for treating your lupus. They can share details about your medical history and monitor your disease. But it is very effective if you select a rheumatologist who can manage the treatment of your disease and also able to serve as your primary care physician.