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What is Lupus Disease? Check Out Warning Signs of Lupus and Its Causes

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
March 4th, 2022
15 mins read

Key Takeaways

  • Excessive exposure to UV rays is one of the causes of lupus
  • Lupus disease symptoms include butterfly-shaped rashes on face
  • Fever and loss of hair are a few early signs of lupus you should know

If you want to understand what is lupus disease, you need to know that this is an autoimmune condition. Lupus causes swelling and various other symptoms. While some may experience mild symptoms, there are others whose symptoms can be severe. Since it is an autoimmune condition, your body’s defense mechanism attacks your own organs and tissues. This results in inflammation that can affect vital organs like your skin, brain, kidneys, lungs and heart [1]. Since this condition has symptoms similar to other health ailments, it may become difficult to diagnose lupus 

There are different kinds of lupus such as [2]: 

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus [3] 
  • Discoid lupus 
  • Drug-induced lupus 
  • Neonatal lupus 

While symptoms begin to appear during early adulthood, they can reappear at a later phase too. A few early signs of lupus include: 

  • Thyroid issues 
  • Respiratory problems 
  • Fever 
  • Tiredness 
  • Loss of hair 
  • Rash on your body 
  • Fever 
  • Swelling in your joints 

Read on to understand more about warning signs of lupus and how this condition can affect your health. 

Lupus Disease

What are the Signs of Lupus Disease? 

You’ll be amazed to know that no two people show similar lupus disease symptoms. The first symptoms of lupus may appear slowly or suddenly causing permanent or temporary scars. You may now wonder how do you know if you have lupus? It’s simple. When you observe the pattern, you will see that many people acquire mild infection with certain episodes of flares. These flares may worsen or improve after some time.  

Typical Lupus symptoms include: 

  • Pain in your chest 
  • Swelling and stiffness in your joints 
  • Inability to breathe properly 
  • Rash in the shape of a butterfly on your face 
  • Skin lesions 
  • Fever 
  • Headaches 
  • Dryness in the eyes 

Additional read: How to Protect Yourself From Different Types of Skin Rashes 

What Causes Lupus Disease? 

Though the exact causes of lupus remain unknown, it is thought to be a combination of hormonal, genetic and environmental factors.  

A few environmental factors include: 

  • Allergy to certain medications 
  • Microbial response 
  • Smoking 
  • Light sensitivity 
  • Excessive exposure to UV rays 

There are many other risk factors as well such as: 

  • Chronic infections 
  • Deficiency of vitamin D 
  • Family history of this condition 
  • Preterm birth 
  • Exposure to pesticides  

lupus complications

How is Lupus Diagnosed? 

Since this condition is often confused with other diseases, it may take months for its correct diagnosis. Using the following criteria, your doctor may be able to pinpoint this condition. 

  • Medical history  
  • Blood tests 
  • Complete examination 
  • Kidney biopsy 
  • Skin biopsy 
  • Urinalysis 
  • Liver function tests 
  • Serum creatine tests to check functioning of kidneys 
  • ESR and CRP tests to determine if you have inflammation 

Special blood tests normally ordered for this condition include antiphospholipid antibodies, anti-double stranded DNA and antinuclear antibody tests. You may also have to undergo a complete blood cell count to check if you have thrombocytopenia and anemia. In some cases, you may have to do imaging tests to detect abnormalities in your body. Some of these tests include: 

  • CT scan 
  • MRI 
  • Joint radiograph 

What is the Treatment for lupus? 

While there is no cure for this condition, taking medication and modifying your lifestyle may help control it. Based on your symptoms, your doctor decides the course of treatment. Since lupus symptoms flare and reduce, your doctor may need to change your dosage or medicines depending on your health condition.  

Some of the common medications that you may be given include: 

  • Antimalaria drugs to reduce the risk of flares 
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for treating swelling, pain and fever 
  • Corticosteroids to reduce the inflammation in your body 
  • Immunosuppressants to control your immune mechanism that will help lower  

Home Remedies for Lupus 

Apart from medication, you can also follow a few home remedies to treat lupus. An ideal way forward is to have a healthy diet. If you are wondering how to choose balanced diets for each day, it is simple. All you need to do is include all essential nutrients like carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals in equal quantities.  

Certain other modifications that you can incorporate in your meals are: 

  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids 
  • Choose foods rich in good cholesterol 
  • Limit the amount of sodium you have 
  • Go for anti-inflammatory foods  

While nuts and seeds are good for you in this condition, be careful about peanuts. You may experience a flare due to peanuts or you may be able to experience the benefits of peanut oils and raw peanuts. These include weight loss and better heart health.  

A few other lifestyle modifications you can make include: 

  • Leading an active lifestyle 
  • Limiting the consumption of alcohol 
  • Avoiding smoking 
  • Managing stress 

Additional read: 5 Benefits of Peanut Oil and its Side Effects! 

Now that you know what is lupus disease, make sure to track early signs. A preventive approach helps ease lupus symptoms at the right time. If you observe any sign of this condition, connect to reputed specialists on Bajaj Finserv Health. Book an in-person or online doctor consultation at once. To treat conditions like this more affordably, you can also check out Bajaj health insurance plans under Aarogya Care. Choose the best hospital near you from the Bajaj health insurance hospital list and avail quality medical treatment with ease.  

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