Lupus is one of many disorders of the immune system known as autoimmune diseases. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system turns against parts of the body it is designed to protect. This leads to inflammation and damage to various body tissues. Lupus can affect many parts of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and brain. Although people with the disease may have many different symptoms, some of the most common ones include extreme fatigue, painful or swollen joints (arthritis), unexplained fever, skin rashes, and kidney problems. Lupus is characterized by periods of illness, called flares, and periods of wellness, or remission.
While there are several different types of lupus, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the most common. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the form of the disease that most people are referring to when they say “lupus.” The word “systemic” means the disease can affect many parts of the body. The symptoms of SLE may be mild or serious. Although SLE usually first affects people between the ages of 15 and 45 years, it can occur in childhood or later in life as well. Lupus has a variety of symptoms. While there are many symptoms of lupus, few if any are specific to lupus. Thus careful diagnostic testing must be done to rule out other conditions before making a diagnosis of lupus.
Common symptoms of lupus
Painful or swollen joints and muscle pain
Red rashes, most commonly on the face
Chest pain upon deep breathing
Unusual loss of hair
Pale or purple fingers or toes from cold or stress (Raynaud’s phenomenon)
Sensitivity to the sun
Swelling (edema) in legs or around eyes
There are many therapies out side of medication that can help successfully manage and control the symptoms of lupus. The Doctors of Gateway Natural Medicine and Diagnostics have unique experience with treating patient that have been diagnosed with lupus as some of their family members have experienced it. Because of this, they have not only seen its presentation in clinical practice but also the struggles it presents at home. If you or some one you care about is suffering with lupus, chances are we can help.