Lupus Awareness Month
Lupus is an autoimmune disorder, which means the body's immune system attacks its own healthy cells and tissues. This leads to periodic episodes or chronic inflammation which can affect joints, tendons, other connective tissues, and organs, including the heart, lungs, blood vessels, brain, kidneys and skin.
It is essential to always make sure that when you do have chronic pain or symptoms such as consistent pain, fatigue, fever, Joint pain, stiffness and swelling. Some people present with Butterfly-shaped rash on the face that covers the cheeks and bridge of the nose or rashes elsewhere on the body.
One of the most common triggers that can lead to episodes of flare ups is STRESS. STRESS is one of the major causes of lupus flare ups. It leads to internal stress within the body which weakens the immune system and leads to inflammation within other organs.
It is very important that individuals manage their life stressors well because symptoms of autoimmune diseases will appear if they do have the disease.
The treatment plan for individuals with Lupus varies from individuals to individuals. Some individuals may not need to be on medication due to never having flare ups. Some may need to be on medication to help manage symptoms and help symptoms from worsening.
It is always important to make sure that labs are being done at least every 6 months to 1 year. Labs should include Complete Blood Count, Basic Metabolic Panel, Comprehensive Metabolic Panel and if you are having symptoms mentioned and your provider is concerned that you may have an autoimmune disease they may order an IgG lab which is Immunoglobulin G antibodies and helps to determine the level of immunity within the body and if there is an infection in the body.
Some medical treatment plans may include but not limited:
Including the use of
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) for joint pain,
Corticosteroids (to control inflammation)
Immunosuppressive medication (to suppress the body's autoimmune system)
Use of sunscreen
Decreased time outdoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m
Wear hats and long sleeves when outdoors, as about one-third of persons with lupus have the tendency to develop a rash in the sun,
Rest, including at least eight to ten hours of sleep at night; naps and breaks during the day
Well-balanced diet, especially foods that help with inflammation in the body such as ginger and turmeric.
Immediate treatment of infections
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As always continue to be married to self love. Do what is necessary to stay healthy. Most importantly never be afraid to ask your provider questions.