Treat and Cope With Lupus

Edited by Debbie, Charmed, Melanie Cuizon, Maureen D. and 4 others

Lupus is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that can ruin and affect different parts of the body including the joints, kidneys, blood, and skin. There are many kinds of lupus, but the most common is systemic, or SLE. It doesn't affect people in the same way. Each individual case is usually different. One person may have a fever and joint pain. Another may experience tiredness and a rash. There are people who may have a mild case of it, and others might be more severe. It is estimated that at least 5 million people around the world have lupus. Our immune system functions to fight off bacteria, germs and viruses. When you have lupus, your system does not work like it should. It becomes overactive and attacks healthy tissue. The symptoms of it can last weeks or years. They do not have a cure for lupus, but it can be treated. What are the symptoms of it? What are the different types of lupus?

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Types

  1. 1
    Cutaneous.
    Lupus.jpg
    Symptoms may include hair loss, rashes, ulcers and lesions.
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  2. 2
    Systemic Lupus.
    Sensitivity to sunlight, painful joints, tiredness, kidney trouble and fever.
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  3. 3
    Drug Induced.
    This can be caused by certain medicines that are taken. You may experience a fever, joint or muscle pain. These symptoms normally go away when the medicine you are taking is causing the problem is stopped.
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  4. 4
    Neonatal.
    This is an unusual condition found in babies caused by antibodies from the mother. When born, the infant may have a rash problem, or other signs of lupus, but these signs usually fade after several months.
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  5. 5
    Subacute Cutaneous Lupus.
    Normally people with this type, also have SLE. This kind causes skin lesions that show on the body when in the direct sunlight.
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  6. 6
    Discoid or DLE.
    This affects the skin, and can be a scaly red rash, but can turn to a darker color of brown. This can appear on the facial area, or scalp, and other areas. This usually will leave scarring on the skin.
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Signs to look for

  1. 1
    Pain and muscle aches.
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  2. 2
    Very Tired.
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  3. 3
    Skin Rashes.
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  4. 4
    Losing or gaining weight.
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  5. 5
    Memory Problems.
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  6. 6
    Hair Loss
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  7. 7
    Fever.
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  8. 8
    Chest Pains.
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  9. 9
    Headaches.
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  10. 10
    Anemia.
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Coping with Muscle Pains

Swelling and increased heat are what you will experience in your body once Lupus is active. The most common parts of the human body that feel most pain are the neck and elbow, hip and knees as well. These parts of our body, generally suffer from wear and tear on our daily living. The pain could get so intense but the good news is, the body will not actually have weakened muscles. At some point, the body could get inflamed or flushed and swollen too. Over the counter drugs could alleviate the flaring and muscle pains. Other people, relieve themselves by using heat or cold packs on to the affected area or take warm baths to soothe the body pains they are experiencing.

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It is very crucial to protect our muscles and joints, exercising helps a lot in doing so. It helps our joints, muscles, and tendons get stronger as we grow older. Walking daily and gentle Yoga could help improve health and over all well being but avoid heavy weight lifting as it will be risky for the Lupus patients. By exercising, it does not only makes our bodies healthy, it also makes our moods improved, and gets us more energized. Some people practice mind behavioral technique, it helps them relieve stress that is proven to aggravate pain levels in the body. It is always case to case basis, some people's bodies do not respond to medications prescribed by Doctors. However, some non medical treatments are available. Moist heated towel, hot shower, or hot whirlpool bath are ways that are proven effective to combat muscle pains to some patients.

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Alternative treatment methods to relieve muscle pains

  1. 1
    Massage.
    This method of treatment is considered by Physicians but it does not work well for every Lupus patient. There are heaps of massage therapy methods, but all include therapeutic massage's principles such as kneading, pressing and focusing on the aching muscles to relieve the patient and alleviate the pain he/she is feeling. But it is very important to find a licensed massage therapist who has experienced working in the past with a Lupus patient. Long strokes and friction style of massage is recommended for Lupus patients. This service could be done at home, as this could be very convenient for the Lupus patient but could cost a little bit higher than the usual rate of the massage therapist. One session could last 30 minutes to an hour depending on the preference of the Lupus patient. These are some risks and side effects of massages: bruising, discomfort but only temporary, allergies to lotions or oils used upon massage and swelling. Consult your Physician before engaging in this type of alternative treatment.
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  2. 2
    Acupuncture.
    This ancient Chinese way of treatment has been used for many years all over the world to heal various health problems. It has been a proven method of healing especially in Lupus patients. In Acupuncture, fluid exchange, toxic release, and the nutrients' use and distribution in the body, will greatly improve as well as the excretion of wastes in the affected areas. The effect of this will be, the body's natural way of healing. On another note, Acupuncture also proves to help Lupus patients to sleep regularly and assist the hormonal balance in the body as well.
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  3. 3
    Physical therapy.
    This kind of therapy will help the Lupus patients to know the procedures in controlling the muscle pains they are experiencing, with the use of exercises that will keep their muscles and bones stronger. This is one of the effective ways on how to treat muscle pains in Lupus patients, however this could be a bit expensive among the other methods of treatment.
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  4. 4
    Mind-Body techniques.
    This method of treatment includes training of relaxation, meditation, and breathing exercises too. This method makes use of the brain's capabilities to communicate with your other body parts to alleviate the pains. Science has proven enough, that our brains can heal our bodies.
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Fading Memory

In 50 percent of people affected with this condition,

Foggy.JPG

the brain and spinal cord are being attacked the most, which can be very frustrating and frightening at the same time for the patient. Blood stops flowing freely to the brain like it normally should, and this results in cognitive dysfunction -- one of the most common issues for a person with lupus. The following may be experienced by the patients: Concentration and memory loss, difficulty expressing thoughts, and confusion. This condition is also referred to as "lupus brain fog".

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What is Lupus Brain Fog?

Lupus patients experience spells of fogginess, when for a few minutes they tend to forget even minor information that they know is present in their head. They could do things repeatedly as they tend to forget they have already done that particular task, like for example sending the same text message to the same recipient again and again. They really find it hard going over the daily living activities.

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Lupus Brain Fog Signs

  1. 1
    Patient's inability to pay attention - especially when a conversation is ongoing, it is difficult for the patient to grasp what the conversation is all about and tend to ask the same question over and over again.
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  2. 2
    Difficulty in hand - eye movements coordination - most of the hand movements that require visual input is done poorly most of the times.
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  3. 3
    Inability to recall information - even if something has just happened, it will not register to the patient's mind.
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  4. 4
    Having difficulty in critical thinking, problem solving and organization of information - things that once common to the person who is suffering from Lupus Brain Fog will prove to be difficult.
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The patients, find it difficult recalling where they placed the house or car keys, cellphones, and other things. Appointments, meetings or social events will be likely forgotten. Following simple instructions and directions could be very hard for them as well. Multitasking will be a really great challenge, every information shared will register very slowly or not at all. Even a simple task at home could deem difficult like, cooking, and even taking a bath. Indeed, activities of daily living will be one of the things to be forgotten.

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Support from family and loved ones, friends and social support groups is very essential to help out a Lupus patient who suffers from Brain Fog. Therapies, behavioral counseling and concentration techniques should be imposed to help the patient improve and get the self worth back. Doctors advise patients to keep a journal of their Brain Fog attacks to keep track of them and to help on how to deal with it. There is currently no treatment for this condition, so it is important for the patient to keep in constant communication with his/her medical provider to be kept updated.

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Coping with Lupus Brain Fog

  1. 1
    Make a things-to-do list daily.
    Place it somewhere visible to you.
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  2. 2
    Make it a habit to stick lots and lots of notes for yourself.
    In the refrigerator door, in the bedroom vanity mirror and places you frequent.
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  3. 3
    If you have the chance, get plenty of rest to help your brain recharge.
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  4. 4
    Have someone close to you remind you of important events, and use your phone to set alarms.
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  5. 5
    Send text messages to yourself to remind you of something you need to do.
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  6. 6
    Forgive others.
    (at least try) for not understanding what you are going through.
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  7. 7
    Focus at one task at a time only.
    Try to concentrate to fulfill it.
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  8. 8
    It is not your fault so do not be hard on yourself.
    Surround yourself with loved ones and support groups.
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Lupus is a disease of flare ups

When your symptoms will get worse and you feel sick, but one week they may appear, and the next week they don't. Some things can set off a flare up, what are they?

  1. 1
    Medications.
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  2. 2
    Not getting enough sleep.
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  3. 3
    Too much sun.
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  4. 4
    Stress.
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The cause of Lupus is not really known, but Research has contemplated these factors:

  1. 1
    Trouble with the Immune System.
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  2. 2
    Genes.
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  3. 3
    Hormones.
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  4. 4
    The Environment.
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  5. 5
    Smoking.
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Treatment options for Lupus

  1. 1
    Anti-inflammatory Drugs.
    Doctor care.jpg
    To reduce swelling and pain in the joints and muscles. NSAIDS like Naproxen or Ibuprofen.
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  2. 2
    Immunosuppressive agents.
    These are used in very bad cases of lupus, where organs can be damaged. These drugs can help control this from happening.
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  3. 3
    Corticosteroids.
    These can be taken as a pill, liquid, or a shot. This can help reduce the symptoms of lupus.
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  4. 4
    Anti-malarial drugs.
    They use these drugs to treat skin rashes, muscle and joint pain, and fatigue.
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You can go over the best treatment plan with your doctor that will work for you, with whatever type of lupus you may have.

Care Tips for Lupus

  1. 1
    Eat a Good Healthy Diet.
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  2. 2
    Get sufficient rest.
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  3. 3
    Exercise when you can.
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  4. 4
    Reduce the time you spend in the sun.
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  5. 5
    Keep your visits with your specialist.
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  6. 6
    Don't Smoke.
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Living with lupus may not be easy. It can lead to depression and anxiety. It concerns not only you, but your family. What are some helpful ways you can deal with it?

Ways to cope

  1. 1
    Go to Support Groups or Counseling.
    You can talk to other people who have lupus, can tell you ways to successfully cope.
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  2. 2
    Keep Busy.
    Find activities to do that you enjoy. A nice walk in the park. A craft, or hobby. Take a nice warm bath and relax.
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Article Info

Categories : Skin Care & Diseases

Recent edits by: Eng, Maria, Lynn

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