Systemic lupus erythematosus, lupus for short, is a chronic autoimmune disease. Lupus causes inflammation throughout the body, including your:
Because lupus attacks your body in numerous ways, its symptoms manifest differently for each person. Some people with lupus may experience fatigue and hair loss while other people have a sensitivity to the sun and joint swelling. Other lupus symptoms include:
Lupus is also associated with a range of health problems. You may be more likely to develop kidney infections, high blood pressure, or low white blood cell count.
While lupus is a chronic condition and can’t be cured, you can manage its symptoms. Dr. Nathaniel or Dr. Rebekah may recommend medications to manage your pain, protect your organs, and reduce flare-ups. These may include:
You may take these medications orally, or your rheumatologist may recommend infusion therapy.
Medication is important in lupus management, but lifestyle changes are also necessary. The team at Valerius Medical Group & Research Center recommends avoiding sun exposure as much as possible. When you’re outside, wear SPF 55 sunscreen, wide-brim hats, and light, long-sleeve shirts.
Learning stress management techniques can also reduce your lupus flare-ups. Your rheumatologist may suggest meditation or deep-breathing exercises, as well as reducing your responsibilities and focusing on one thing at a time.
Staying healthy is vital to preventing lupus outbreaks, and you’re encouraged to exercise for at least 30 minutes daily. Eating healthy whole foods and reducing the amount of processed foods you eat can also reduce symptoms. Getting 6-8 hours of sleep a night keeps you refreshed and your stress levels low.
Lupus reacts differently in everybody. In some cases, lupus may go into remission after treatment. In others, lupus symptoms stay about the same with occasional flare-ups. But for some, lupus symptoms don’t respond well to treatment and worsen over time.
Regardless of your situation, regular monitoring with Dr. Nathaniel and Dr. Rebekah is important. They can manage your symptoms and administer tests to check for organ damage and other diseases. Those with lupus are more at risk for developing other chronic conditions, including:
If you think you may be at risk for lupus, contact Dr. Nathaniel and Dr. Rebekah at Valerius Medical Group & Research Center. Call to schedule your appointment or book online today.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!