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Living Life with Lupus

Lupus Test Samples

October is National Lupus Awareness Month so let’s talk more about this Autoimmune disease.

What is Lupus?

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the body.  We know that our immune system protects our body from infection, but when you have lupus, the immune system attacks your own body thus leading to other types of illnesses and tissue damage.  

What are the Types of Lupus?

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) – most common type of Lupus
  • Cutaneous lupus – is the type that causes skin rashes or lesions
  • Drug-induced lupus –  is the type caused by a medication
  • Neonatal lupus – is the type that occurs in infants whose mothers have SLE

Early Signs of Lupus

The manifestation of Lupus symptoms varies per individual.  It usually starts from the teen years to the early 30’s.  These symptoms are very similar to other conditions that’s why they’re easy to ignore. These symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Hair loss
  • Rashes
  • Pulmonary problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Swollen joints
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Thyroid problems
  • Dry mouth and eyes

Treatment for Lupus

The action plan for Lupus treatment will depend on some important factors like age, medical history, how severe the case is, and what part of the body is most affected.  The proper treatment will be determined by a rheumatologist who will prescribe the right medication.

Alternative Treatments for Lupus

There is no clinical study or research that shows a proven alternative treatment for Lupus.  However, the treatments below are known to help reduce flare-ups and minimize the symptoms.  Some of the alternative treatments include:

  • Mind-body therapy to ease depression and anxiety associated with the disease
  • Acupuncture to lessen pain
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone to lessen flare-ups
  • Supplements rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants to boost overall health

Aside from these alternative treatment methods, an active lifestyle and a healthy diet are always encouraged.  Although there’s no cure to Lupus, managing the symptoms and preventing other concurring health issues is possible.

Alternative Treatments for Lupus

Living with Lupus will change someone’s life forever including their loved ones.  If you know someone who is diagnosed with the disease, the best support to give them is to allow them enough time to learn and deal with the illness. Educate yourself and learn as much as you can about the disease so you are aware of what are the do’s and don’t for your loved one with Lupus.  Above all, encourage them to live life to the fullest despite having to live with the illness.

For other information and resources about Lupus, please check lupusnsw.org.au.