Lupus in Women- Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Lupus is a type of autoimmune chronic disease that damages multiple parts of the body such as organs, joints, and the skin. Lupus is more prevalently seen in women and can be difficult to diagnose as the symptoms of this disease mimic other ailments. In some cases, people have the tendency to develop Lupus whereas in some cases, Lupus can be triggered due to sunlight, drugs, or infections. Lupus in Women- Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Different Types of Lupus

Before identifying the symptoms of Lupus, you must first know the different types of lupus. Types of Lupus

  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus- It is the most serious and common type of Lupus, affecting all the parts of the body.
  • Drug-Induced Lupus- It is a short term lupus which is generally triggered due to medicines.
  • Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus- This type of Lupus affects only the skin.
  • Neonatal Lupus- It is a very rare form of Lupus that occurs in newborn babies.

Symptoms of Lupus

Lupus generally affects any part of the body. The symptoms of lupus can be different from person to person. Some experience fever and swollen knees while some may develop rashes, have kidney infections, or experience exhaustion. Symptoms of lupus usually appear and disappear, so not all of the symptoms stay continuously. The main symptoms include.Symptoms of Lupus

  • Joint Pain and Muscle Pain
  • Fever higher than 100
  • Skin rashes
  • Swelling in the joints or arthritis
  • Pain in the chest while breathing
  • Light and Sun Sensitivity
  • Prolonged fatigue
  • Blood clotting
  • Mouth sores
  • Seizures
  • Mouth and nose sores
  • Swelling in the ankles
  • Purple fingers and toes during stress
  • Eye diseases
  • Memory problemsThe symptoms of lupus

Causes of Lupus

Lupus is an autoimmune system where the body’s own immune system attacks the healthy cells in the body. Lupus can occur from the environment as well as the genetic makeup of your body. Also the exact cause of Lupus cannot be ascertained, some trigger points include Causes of Lupus

  • Infections: An existing infection in the body can initiate Lupus or cause a relapse.
  • Sunlight: Too much exposure to sunlight can trigger an internal response in the body or initiate lupus skin lesions.
  • Medications: Surprisingly, Lupus can also be triggered due to certain type of medications such as antibiotics, anti-seizure medications, and blood pressure medications.

Treatment for Lupus

Treatment for Lupus can depend on factors such as medical history, overall health, age, severity, and the part of the body that is infected. People suffering from mild symptoms do not need Lupus treatment, however in severe cases the normal treatment would include: Treatment for Lupus

  • Plaquenil: This drug helps control mild lupus infections related to joint and skin diseases. It also helps prevent symptoms like flares.
  • Steroids: Steroids are usually safe and effective for rashes. Low doses of steroids helps in treatment of lupus when the symptoms are mild to moderate. Steroids can be taken in higher doses if lupus is affecting the internal organs.
  • Benlysta: This is a biologic drug that helps mimic the natural proteins. This drug weakens the immune system by attacking the protein that causes lupus.
  • CellCept: Most doctors prescribe this drug for Lupus treatment especially in those experiencing severe symptoms. It helps treat severe symptoms of lupus by working on the immune system.

Some of the other alternate treatment for lupus includes

  • Vitamins and Supplements
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone hormonal treatment
  • Mind and body therapy
  • Acupuncture

Conclusion

The outlook, diagnosis, and treatment of lupus varies based on how severe the symptoms are and which organ is affected. In most cases symptoms persist for a duration which is followed by remission. In long term lupus doesn’t affect your life if you manage it well and listen to the doctors instructions. A healthy lifestyle can stop attacks that can send you to a hospital.

References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/lupus/arthritis-lupus
  2. https://www.womenshealth.gov/lupus
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lupus/symptoms-causes/syc-20365789
  4. https://www.womenshealth.gov/lupus/lupus-symptoms

Yaamini Radhakrishnan
Yaamini Radhakrishnan:I am a clinic research professional, graduate in biotechnology and post graduate in biochemistry. Have also pursued freelance writing since the past 5 years I am married and have a daughter. I am a native and reside at Bangalore.

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