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What are different types of lupus? This chronic inflammatory disease is categorized into a group of autoimmune diseases. It can affect/attack any part of the body and that’s why it can cause many symptoms and complications -- read also lupus symptoms in women and men. And in many cases; kidneys, heart, skin, lungs, brain, joints and blood are some common areas /organs of the body that affected.
Lupus can attack anyone and also can occur at any age. But many studies found that is more likely to occur in women (female) than in men (male) -- particularly in the age range of 15 to 45 years of age (this age range is childbearing age). Even in very rare cases, it also can occur in childhood!
The progression of lupus and its symptoms
Lupus is not only can affect any part of your body and have a lot of symptoms, but there are also some types of this chronic inflammatory disease. Furthermore, it’s also often misdiagnosed since the symptoms can be very different for each patient and no currently specific test to help doctor to make a diagnosis of lupus.
Therefore, it’s reasonable if the calculation of patients who have lupus in many countries is not easy. But about 16,000 new cases of lupus are reported for every year in the U.S -- according to the Lupus Foundation of America.
Once again, the symptoms vary from person to person - even we can say that there is almost no two patients with lupus are exactly like!
An individual with lupus may only have a kidney trouble or may only feel more fatigue all the time, while another individual may experience rashes. And someone else may experience high fever and swollen knees. The symptoms may come and go, and the disease may develop slowly in some patient - while others may have a quickly progression of the disease.
Over time, there is a chance for patient to have more symptoms or more organs that affected by the disease - therefore it’s important for her/him to take the right treatments in order to reduce /eliminate these risks!
How about with the prognosis of patients with lupus?
Is lupus a kind of fatal disease? Well, the answer is dependent on the condition of each patient. In some patients, it may lead to severe health problems. But for others, it may only a mild disease. But though the symptoms of your lupus are mild, it’s much better for your body to get a constant treatment & monitoring by your doctor in order to keep safe.
In essence, the outlook for this chronic inflammatory disease varies, which is usually closely dependent on the areas /organs of the body affected and the level of the symptom severity.
Like most autoimmune diseases, the exact cause of why the body’s immune system in people with lupus attack its own tissue is also still not known. This is one of reasons why there is still no cure for lupus, especially for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (the most common type of lupus).
The currently treatments are more focused to relieve and manage the symptoms, and also purposed to slow/prevent the damage to organs of patient. Overall, the chance of patients with lupus to have a normal lifespan is also good, particularly if they follow all treatment plans and instructions from their doctor.
Different types of lupus
There are some types of lupus, and the following are some of them -- according to The National Women’s Health Information Center:
If compared to other types, neonatal lupus may be the rarest type. It is a kind of lupus that usually affects newborn or infants. Many experts believe that certain antibodies from the mother (especially from women with lupus) have a significant contribution to cause this kind of lupus in newborn.
But there is also a chance for healthy women who don’t have lupus to cause neonatal lupus in their newborn. For these cases, these healthy women will usually also develop some lupus signs later in life.
Fortunately, this type is usually a kind of temporary lupus which means the symptoms are more likely to completely disappear after certain periods of time and usually there are also no lasting effects.
And most newborn from women with lupus are also healthy. But there is still a chance from newborn with neonatal lupus to have a permanent heart condition.
Today, with the appropriately tests, physicians and doctors can catch /indentify earlier whether or not a pregnant woman will have a newborn with neonatal lupus, so thus the preventive steps can be prepared to treat the infants at/before birth!
As the name suggests, certain medications/medicines/drugs are the cause of this type. Many medicines are suspected for the cause of this kind of lupus. They may be drugs involved for the treatment of serious chronic diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, heart disease, neuropsychiatric disorders, high blood pressure, etc), which usually must be taken/prescribed over long periods of time. But not all individuals who take these medicines will have drug-induced lupus.
And the chance to reverse this type is good - particularly after a specific medicine that cause drug-induced lupus is discontinued! So for the treatment, it is important for doctors to find a specific medicine/drug that cause drug-induced lupus.
The drug-induced lupus symptoms are like other common lupus symptoms, but they usually don’t affect the major organs.
This type is also very familiar known as skin lupus. Cutaneous itself is a term that means ‘skin’. Photosensitivity (a kind of immunological response to sunlight or light), ulcers, blood vessel’s swelling (vasculitis), and skin lesions/rashes are some common symptoms of this kind of lupus.
To diagnose this type, one of common procedures is by taking a sample piece of sore /rash which then will be analyzed under a microscope. In general, there are 2 types of cutaneous lupus; (a) subacute cutaneous lupus and (b) DLE (discoid lupus erythematosus) -- ask a doctor for in-depth information!
SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)
As mentioned before, it is the most common type of lupus (it takes about 70 percent or maybe more of all cases), and it can affect a lot of parts of the body. And symptoms of SLE usually represent the symptoms of lupus in general -- even many people when discussing/talking about lupus, they usually means SLE!
The exact cause of SLE is not known, therefore there is also no clearly answer on how to prevent it. To make a diagnosis of SLE, doctors usually need to perform some laboratory tests and physical examinations.
What are common complications of lupus?
Once again, lupus can affect any part of the body and therefore it also can cause many complications. Therefore, patients with lupus are also at higher risk of having:
- Heart problems -- there is a chance for this chronic inflammatory disease to cause/create inflammation of heart membrane, heart arteries, or heart muscle. Patients also tend to have an increased risk of having anemia and blood clotting/ bleeding!
- Problems associated with lungs! Patients with lupus can have an inflammation of their pleurisy (chest cavity lining), as a result they may have painful breathing problem.
- Lupus also can affect brain. Therefore, some patients may also complain about hallucinations, memory problems, dizziness, headaches, or even they may also experience seizures or stroke! You may also like to read effects of stroke on brain!
- And problems associated with kidneys (such as kidney failure or kidney damage)! This complication is one of common causes of death in patients with lupus.
- Other complications may include; increased risk of having certain cancer, pregnancy complications (pregnant women with lupus are more likely to experience more pregnancy complications), and avascular necrosis (a condition when the blood supply to the bone is interrupted).
In addition, lupus and its treatments also can decrease the strength of the body’s immune system. Therefore, they are usually also more vulnerable to infection!
Home remedies for lupus
Symptoms /signs of lupus and which organs of your body that affected are some common factors that influence what is kind of treatment that you should take! In line with the flares and remissions of your symptoms, you and your doctor may find the best plan to change /modify the medications or dosages!
Along with the prescribed treatment /medicines, the following are some helpful tips:
Keep far away from stress!
Stress is one of factors that may trigger a flare episode of lupus symptoms. Therefore, it is important to keep the level of your stress as low as possible!
Having adequate rest each day is helpful to manage your stress and fatigue. Other helpful tips include:
- Do a helpful therapy to control your stress, such as yoga or meditation.
- Get a regular exercise! It is not only useful to improve your overall health but also can reduce your stress level.
- Schedule your activities so thus you can prepare yourself better to manage/control your stress! It’s much better to stay on a simple daily schedule -- as simple as you can!
Keep on healthy diet and healthy lifestyle!
As mentioned before, there are many complications that can be generated by lupus. These complications (such as hypertension or kidney damage) are one of common reasons why patients with lupus usually also need to have dietary restrictions.
However, healthy diet is not only important to control the lupus symptoms but also very helpful to improve your overall health.
Cigarette smoking also must be avoided - otherwise it will worsen the effects of lupus on your blood vessels and heart. Furthermore, many studies also found that smoking also can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease!
Give more attention to your skin!
Many patients with lupus complain about skin rash! Even many of them are also more sensitive to the light, especially sunlight. Therefore, ‘be sun smart’! If you want to go to outdoor (especially in the time when the sun’s rays are strong), use protective clothing (like long pants, long sleeved shirt, & a hat) to prevent too much exposure of ultraviolet!
You can also use a helpful cream (like corticosteroid cream). This cream can be helpful to ease the skin symptoms. Ask your doctor for more advices!
Reference: MayoClinic and WebMD