Lupus is an autoimmune systemic disease in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your own tissues in various parts of the body. It can affect ANY tissue, organ or system and commonly involves the kidneys, brain, heart, skin and blood.
- It is more common in women between 15 and 45 years old. It is estimated that 9 in 10 cases of lupus are women.
- Multi-factorial disease: genetic predisposition, ambiental factors, immune regulation. An example of ambiental factors that have been associated is Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) infection, better known as infectious mononucleosis.
- It´s commonly associated with other autoimmune diseases such as: antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), Sjogren´s Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, among others.
- Diagnosis is hard to make since it can mimic most diseases. It´s known as the great imitator.
- This is some BASIC information but it all must be INDIVIDUALIZED in the clinical practice. ALL LUPUS PATIENTS ARE DIFFERENT.
+ Systemic: malaise, fatigue, weight loss, unexplained fever.
+ Cutaneous: alopecia, rash, malar erythema (butterfly rash - nose and cheeks), discoid rash, photosensitivity, oral ulcers.
+ Musculoskeletal: achy, swollen joints (arthritis), myalgias, myopathy.
+ Neurological: seizures, mood disorders, headaches, cognitive dysfunction (decline in attention, memory, etc).
+ Blood disorders: thrombocytopenia (easy bruising), thrombosis, anemia, splenomegaly.
+ Renal: lupus nephritis.
+ Cardiopulmonary: chest pain caused by pleuritis, pericarditis, serositis, myocarditis; pulmonary hypertension.
+ It all depends on clinical manifestations and complications.
+ Routine blood tests (complete blood count, red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, etc).
+ Rheumatologic profile (antibodies tests).
+ Inflammatory markers.
+ Kidney function (blood and urine tests).
+ Immunosuppressant drugs
+ Monoclonal antibodies
+ Supplements may include: vitamin D, calcium, curcumin, vitamin C
METHODS OF HEALING
- DIET: healing through food, nourishing your body.
- Movement: I love yoga and pilates.
- Hobbies: mine are reading, enjoying a glass of wine, photography, my Autoimmune Awareness page, find what you like!
- Spending the right amount of time with the right amount of people.
- POSITIVE MIND.
Here are some great links and resources to help you as you navigate your Autoimmune Disease.
HAVE QUESTIONS OR NEED MORE SUPPORT?
ABOUT NICOLE | My name is Nicole, I am a last year medical student from Mexico City. Since the beginning of my career I´ve dedicated most of my time to the the autoimmune diseases field. Before medical school, I studied a Global Health Programme at KCL, London. I love traveling, reading, cooking, practicing yoga and pilates. I am the Creator and Founder of "Autoimmune Awareness", check it out.
AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES | Lupus
Their stories are brave, honest and intimately revealing of their diagnosis, their successes, their hardships and their lives. Sharing their stories allows them to put words to their journey while providing inspiration to others with an autoimmune disease.