Jan 30, 2023
What is lupus? Simply put, lupus is an autoimmune disease whereby your own immune cells incorrectly attack your own normal cells throughout your body - especially within your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs. On top of that, it has symptoms resembling some other illnesses, which can make it difficult to diagnose. The most iconic sign of lupus is the malar (or butterfly-shaped rash) on your nose and under your eyes.. Our doctors diagnose lupus by looking for early warning signs, such as this rash, as well as through urine and blood tests.
Since it is a chronic disease and it’s incurable, the best you can do is treat the symptoms. Although lupus may be incurable, the proper treatment can make a difference in your quality of life and prevent the illness from progressing.
Generally speaking, there are a couple different types of lupus out there:
With these out of the way, let’s move to our next talking point…
Like with other autoimmune diseases, the cause of lupus cannot be traced to a single factor. Most lupus specialists believe it’s caused by a combination of genetic markers and environmental factors.
In other words, people with genetic predispositions are more likely to develop lupus if they’re exposed to factors like:
Genetic markers are not the only risk factors. So, when looking up “What is lupus?” it might be a good idea to look up risk groups, as well. For instance, it’s noticed that lupus is more common in women. Also, people between 15 and 45 seem to be the most susceptible. It’s also worth mentioning that African Americans and Hispanics are more likely to develop lupus.
Lupus symptoms are numerous and may appear entirely randomly. Mainly, they depend on the body symptoms that the disease has affected.
For instance, what is lupus nephritis? It’s when lupus antibodies attack your kidneys, thus causing inflammation, high blood pressure, or even kidney failure.
Some of the most common lupus signs and symptoms are:
As you can see, the problem lies in the fact that symptoms like chest pain, dry eyes, and shortness of breath can be a symptom of many other different diseases, making lupus often times difficult to diagnose.
Some wonder, what is the first sign of lupus? The answer is that any first warning sign or symptom of lupus can be completely random, but in many cases, it will be either an unexplained rash, an ongoing fever, persistent fatigue, or diffuse joint pain or swelling. If you experience any of these, you need to look for professional medical assistance.
So, is lupus curable? No, but it is treatable. For this, you can use several different methods.
Other than just figuring out “what is lupus disease” and learning “what type of medication works,” it’s just as crucial that you know a thing or two about living with lupus.
While it’s far from simple, living with lupus is manageable. After you form the proper habits, you probably won’t even think about it.
So, what is lupus? It’s a vicious autoimmune disease, but this is far from the most crucial question you should ask. It’s far more critical to learn how to recognize, treat, and live with it. Fortunately, there’s much information available on the subject, provided that you’re ready and willing to do the research. Still, it’s always best to seek advice from a doctor.
Find an expert in rheumatological conditions, such as lupus, at the Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey and ask away.
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