Lupus is an autoimmune disease that is causesd when the immune system of the body becomes hyperactive and attacks the healthy tissues in the body. Many reports are saying that around 16,000 new cases of lupus are reported each year in the United States.
There are different types of lupus. But the most common one is the systemic lupus erythematosus. It is severe than other types of lupus including discoid lupus erythematosus, subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus, drug-induced lupus, and neonatal lupus.
Causes Of Lupus
The exact cause of lupus is still unknown. But many experts believe that it is caused by a combination of many factors including, genetics, hormones, infections, medications, and environmental factors like exposure to toxins, smoking, and stress.
Symptoms Of Lupus
The symptoms of lupus may vary from person to person. The symptoms are either temporary, permanent or flare up occasionally. The most common symptoms of lupus are:
- Body aches
- Rashes on the face
- Skin lesions
- High fever and fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Internal inflammation
The symptoms of lupus may vary over time depending on the individual. Therefore, diagnosing lupus is very difficult. A single test cannot diagnose lupus effectively. A combination of blood and urine tests, assessing the symptoms, and the physical examination is required for diagnosing lupus.
There are a number of laboratory tests for lupus diagnosis. Some of them are:
It is the examination of the urine samples to check the increased level of protein or RBC that usually occurs when lupus affects your kidneys.
Complete Blood Count
This test measures the number of RBCs, WBCs, platelets, and the amount of hemoglobin. Low platelet and WBC count is the characteristics of lupus.
Antinuclear Antibody Test
This test looks for the presence of antinuclear antibody produced by the immune system. The presence of ANA indicates a stimulated immune system.
The treatment of lupus depends on the symptoms you have. Some of the medications for lupus treatment are NSAIDs, Antimalarial drugs, Corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and biologics. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used for treating the pain, swelling, and fever that are associated with lupus.
Antimalarial drugs will help to decrease the risk of lupus flares but they have some side effects. Corticosteroids are used for countering the inflammation associated with lupus. The immunosuppressants will help in suppressing the immune system. Immunosuppressant drugs have side effects like liver damage, decreased fertility, and increases cancer risk.