Lupus is best described as a chronic or long term autoimmune disease where your immune system becomes overactive and attacks its own normal and healthy tissues. Lupus can cause damage to your skin, blood, joints, kidneys, lungs, and heart. Because of how complex the disease is in nature, lupus has been coined as the “disease of 1,000 faces.” There are around 16,000 new lupus cases diagnosed each year in the United States. According to the Lupus Foundation Of America, up to one and a half million people may be living with the disease. The exact cause of lupus is unclear at this time, however, it is considered to be an autoimmune disorder.
Lupus Can Affect Anyone
Lupus can affect anyone in the population of any age. This disease most commonly occurs in women that are of childbearing age or between 14 and 45 years old. Lupus is also more prevalent in individuals of Native American, Asian, and African descent than of Caucasian descent. While lupus can develop in anyone, 90 percent of individuals diagnosed with lupus are females.  According to the National Resource Center on Lupus, the best explanation regarding the overwhelming prevalence of the disease in women than in men is that men are required to inherit more lupus susceptibility genes than women in order to develop the disease. It is also partially explained by the hormonal differences between males and females.
Only Medication Approach Is Unhealthy
At this time, there is currently no lupus cure, so the treatment of lupus focuses on symptom management and episodic flare-ups of the disease. Treatment of lupus also focuses on preventative measures for damage that may occur to numerous organs within the body. Each person who is diagnosed with lupus will experience the disease differently, so it only makes sense that the treatment of lupus differs from person to person. While medications to manage pain, swelling, hormone levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels have shown to be effective in some patients, they may not be the best treatment option for others. Many individuals with lupus cannot handle the harsh side effects that come with many of the commonly prescribed drugs to treat lupus.
Drugs that are used for pain management can be dangerously addictive and reduce the overall quality of life for lupus patients. There are numerous other options to help treat some of the chronic symptoms that occur with lupus aside from just pharmaceutical medications. Various types of therapy can help alleviate symptoms, and there are lupus treatment centers and relief programs that can provide you with these tools. You can learn how to manage chronic lupus symptoms in healthier ways and still have the medical support you need by your side.
Some Types of Lupus Can Be Reversed
There is one variation of lupus that can be reversed. Drug-induced lupus accounts for around 10 percent of individuals who have the disease. The onset of this type of lupus is due to the body’s reaction to specific prescription drugs. There are around 80 known drugs that can cause the onset of lupus according to Genetics Home Reference. If an individual’s lupus has been classified as drug-induced, it most likely will be reversed once they stop taking the medication that is causing it.
Symptoms Are Not Always Apparent
Lupus is a disease that has episodic symptoms in most individuals. This means that symptoms happen in flare-ups, and when an individual is between flare-ups, symptoms of lupus may not be apparent. During the time when an individual is between flare-ups, their lupus is considered to be in remission. However, lupus flare-ups are notorious for being extremely unpredictable and can occur at a frequency of more than six times each year. Lupus is most often diagnosed when the individual is experiencing a flare-up, however, it is not unheard of for an individual to be diagnosed when their disease is in remission. When symptoms of lupus do manifest, they are rarely the same from one person to the next. Just like flare-ups are unpredictable in nature, so are lupus symptoms.
There is no doubt that lupus is a complicated and tricky disease to live with. While extensive research has been done on several aspects of the disease, there is still work to be done. What we do know about lupus is that it is a debilitating autoimmune disease that can affect anyone in the population, there are multiple ways to manage the disease, some forms of lupus may not be permanent, and that the symptoms of lupus are extremely unpredictable. If you are living with lupus and would like to look further into different types of therapy and lupus treatment centers to help you manage your disease, click over here to read more about our lupus treatment program.