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Lupus - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Lupus?

Lupus is a condition which is chronic inflammatory in nature and affects the immune system. The tissue and organs are attacked by immune cells. Lupus induced inflammation can affect the various body systems like the skin, kidneys, joints, lungs ,brain , blood cells and the heart. Diagnosis for lupus may be difficult as its symptoms can resemble other diseases. The characteristic symptom of lupus is a rash on the face. The rash looks like a butterfly unfolding its wings on both cheeks and occurs in most cases. Some people have a tendency of acquiring lupus and may be induced by sunlight, medications or infections. Lupus doesn’t have a cure, but treatment might help in controlling the symptoms.

When healthy body tissue gets attacked by the immune system, lupus can take place. Lupus is likely to result from environmental and genetic factors. An environmental trigger might cause lupus in someone already having a genetic predisposition for lupus. In most cases though, the cause for lupus is not known.

Potential triggers for lupus include:

  • Sunlight- Sun exposure might induce skin lesions in lupus or may trigger internal responses in people susceptible to it
  • Infections- Acquiring an infection might initiate lupus or may result in a relapse for some
  • Medications- Lupus might be triggered due to few kinds of anti-seizure medicines, antibiotics and blood pressure medicines

Medicine induced lupus starts fading away as and when the medicine causing it, is stopped. Your general physician might refer you further to a diagnostic specialist for rheumatology and arthritic problems. Since the lupus symptoms might resemble quite a few other health conditions, patience is necessary during the diagnostic procedure. A lot of other illnesses must be ruled out before confirming a lupus diagnosis.

  • Heart and CVS - Lupus might result in blood problems, like anemia and an increased blood clotting or bleeding risks. It may also result in blood vessel inflammation (also known as vasculitis).
  • Lungs- Having lupus increases the likelihood for developing a chest cavity lining infection and makes breathing painful. You may be more prone for developing pneumonia.
  • Heart – Lupus may result in heart muscle inflammation. The chances of having heart attacks and cardiovascular disease increases.
  • Kidneys- Lupus may seriously damage the kidneys and may result in kidney failure. Generalized itching, nausea, chest pain, leg swelling and vomiting are all signs of kidney problems.
Can't be cured, but treatment helps Require medical diagnosis Lab test required Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong Non communicable
Pain in the eyes, joints and muscles. Sharp pain in the chest. Rashes on the face. Lupus headache and sensitivity to light. Swollen lymph nodes

Popular Health Tips

How Does Lupus Nephritis Affect Your Kidneys?

DM - Nephrology, MD - Medicine, MBBS
Nephrologist, Delhi
How Does Lupus Nephritis Affect Your Kidneys?

Most people believe kidneys to be organs solely responsible for the filtration of blood and production of urine. But the truth is that the kidneys perform a host of vital functions in the body which include regulation of blood pressure, blood volume, and blood Ph. Around half of the individuals affected by lupus suffer from kidney problems, and the most affected part is the glomerulus whose function is filtering substances from the blood.

Effects of lupus nephritis on the kidneys
Lupus itself doesn’t lead to kidney infection or inflammation. But lupus nephritis, which is the Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) that affects the kidneys and the medications used for treating the condition tend to suppress the immune system. It makes the person affected with lupus vulnerable to the infections of various types. It is one of the most severe conditions of that could be encountered by a person wherein the immune system starts attacking various parts of the body as they would tackle a disease.

Lupus nephritis makes the kidney unable to remove the waste materials effectively from the blood. This leads to loss of control over the amounts of fluids regulating in the body. As a result, an abnormal amount of waste can build up in the blood resulting in edema or swelling.

When left untreated, these conditions can cause scarring along with permanent damage to the kidneys and end-stage renal disease. When a person has end stage renal disease, he or she needs regular filtering of the waste products of the body with the help of a machine. In severe cases, a kidney transplant may be required to ensure that at least one kidney is working properly.

Individuals who are susceptible to developing lupus nephritis:
A person with lupus may see the symptoms of lupus nephritis within 5 years and the people aged between 20 and 40 years are most vulnerable to it. In some common instances, it is seen that lupus nephritis is leading to unexplained weight gain along with swelling and puffiness in different parts of the body such as ankles, hands, eyelids, legs, and feet. During the first stages, these symptoms are often ignored which causes worsening of the condition. The urine may also become frothy or foamy with a reddish tinge in it. It is estimated that about 40 percent of children having lupus would develop kidney complications. Lupus nephritis may also cause increased urination, blood in the urine and elevated blood pressure.

If you have lupus, it is imperative to consult with a nephrologist. Testing a sample of the urine can help in showing the problems in the functioning of the kidneys. Your doctor will advise you about the diagnostic tests that can help in determining whether the disease has progressed to severe levels and start with the treatment process accordingly.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

1826 people found this helpful

Lupus Flare-up - Ways You Can Manage It!

MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy, Diploma In Dermatology And Venerology And Leprosy (DDVL), MBBS
Dermatologist, Bangalore
Lupus Flare-up - Ways You Can Manage It!

Lupus is an autoimmune system disease in which the body's immune system gets hyperactive and attacks the normal and healthy tissue. It is a chronic illness. Individuals with lupus may encounter episodes of a flare up when symptoms show up, and episodes of remission when the side effects are under control. During a lupus flare up one may experience side effects such as weariness, exhaustion, weight reduction, fever, and iron deficiency. Flares and remissions can happen at any time, all of a sudden.

Some of the cautioning signs of a flare are as follows:

  1. Weakness and fatigue
  2. High fever
  3. Increased pain
  4. Development of a rash or worsening of one
  5. Disturbed stomach
  6. A migraine or wooziness

Some of the ways through which one can reduce lupus flare-ups are as follows

  1. Figure out how to perceive the signs of a flare up and talk to your specialist regarding them.
  2. Keep up your physical well-being. Make sure to visit your specialist frequently, regardless of the fact that you are feeling fine. Plan customary dental, eye, and gynecological exams.
  3. Get enough rest. Be adaptable with your timetable of day-by-day exercises.
  4. Attempt to limit your anxiety and stress. Since this might be difficult to do now and again, think about creating a method of managing stress. Build up an emotionally supportive network that includes your family, companions, medicinal or nursing experts, group associations, and care groups.
  5. Participate in an activity or a project to help you keep up physical wellness and decrease stress.
  6. Have a solid and healthy eating routine.
  7. Limit your exposure to the sun and different sources of bright light, for example, fluorescent or incandescent lamps.
  8. Notify your specialist immediately regarding any damage, ailment, or infection in case you do not feel well.
  9. Delay elective surgery (dental surgery and teeth pulling) until your lupus is under control or going away.
  10. Lupus may bring about issues for a pregnant woman and her child. Thus, women with lupus need to be careful while planning any pregnancy. Try not to quit using conception prevention until you have talked about the likelihood of pregnancy with your specialist and he or she has verified that you are perfectly healthy to get pregnant.
  11. Talk to your specialist before you quit taking any recommended medicines.
  12. Check with your specialist or attendant before taking any over-the-counter prescriptions.
  13. Be cautious while attempting any over-the-counter medications for your skin or scalp. In case there is any redness, rash, raised areas, itching or irritation, do not use the medicine.
  14. Know that specific physician recommended medications might trigger a flare. up Likewise, tell your lupus specialist or doctor if any new prescriptions have been recommended for you.
  15. Make sure to check with your lupus specialist before accepting any vaccination. Routine injections, including those for season's flu virus and pneumonia, are an essential piece of keeping up your well-being, and you need to get them if your specialist confirms. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem,

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2704 people found this helpful

What Is Lupus Nephritis?

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, DM - Nephrology
Nephrologist, Bangalore
What Is Lupus Nephritis?

The inflammation of the kidneys as an effect of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is known as Lupus Nephritis. Like lupus, this is an autoimmune disease. Inflammation of the kidneys hinders kidney functioning by not allowing the kidneys to regulate the optimum amount and types of fluids in the body and restricts the removal of waste through urine. It can also cause the protein to leak out of the kidneys. If not managed in time, this can eventually lead to kidney failure by scarring the kidney tissue. However, this is a rare occurrence. 

On an average, 6 out of 10 lupus patients suffer from lupus nephritis. In most cases, this disease develops within the first five years of lupus symptoms making their appearance. The symptoms of this disease are mild and can vary from person to person. Very often, the first signs of lupus nephritis become visible only in lab tests as the symptoms are similar to those exhibited by other kidney diseases. 

Some of the common symptoms of this condition are: 

  1. Swelling of the feet, ankles and calves 
  2. High blood pressure 
  3. Weight gain 
  4. Frothy, dark urine 

There are five stages types of this disease and hence, the first step to treating this disease is to identify its type. For this, your doctor will begin with a thorough physical examination and understand your medical history. He or she will also ask for a few tests including urine tests, blood tests, an ultrasound and a kidney biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. 

Lupus nephritis is usually treated with corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs. Medication may also be prescribed to lower blood pressure and prevent the clotting of blood. However, in some cases, this treatment may not be enough to stop the progression of the disease and some kidney function may be lost. If both kidneys fail, dialysis is the next medical step. This involves the use of a machine in place of the kidneys to filter and removes waste products from the body. This may be followed by the need for a kidney transplant

Since lupus patients are at a high risk of lupus nephritis, here are a few conscious lifestyle changes that can help prevent this condition:

  1. Have a diet that is low in salt 
  2. Avoid smoking and alcohol 
  3. Exercise regularly 
  4. Avoid non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs("pain killers") and unproven alternative medications that can affect the kidneys. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a nephrologist.
3525 people found this helpful

Lupus (Skin Rash) - How It Can Be Treated?

MBBS, Diploma in Venerology & Dermatology (DVD)
Dermatologist, Delhi
Lupus (Skin Rash) - How It Can Be Treated?

Lupus is an inflammatory disease that is chronic in nature. It occurs when your tissues and organs are attacked by your body's own immunity system. The inflammation that this disease causes can affect the other parts of your body as well, like the joints, kidneys, skin, brain etc. It is often difficult to diagnose because it lacks distinct symptoms. However, one of the most identifiable symptoms of lupus is a ring-shaped rash on the face.

Lupus can be caused by a number of factors like:

  1. Excessive exposure to sunlight
  2. Susceptibility towards infections
  3. Certain anti-seizure, blood pressure and antibiotic medicines

The symptoms are neither distinct nor regular. However, some common symptoms could be-

  1. Fatigue and fever
  2. Pain in the joints, stiffness and swelling
  3. Ring-shaped facial rash
  4. Skin lesions on exposure to the sun
  5. Chest pain and shortness of breath

What else can lupus lead to?

Several complications may arise if lupus is left untreated. Some of them are-

  1. Kidney damage and failure
  2. Hallucination, seizures, strokes and several other problems associated with the brain and the central nervous system
  3. Anemia, blood clotting, vasculitis etc.
  4. Increased susceptibility to pneumonia
  5. Increased risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases

Lupus is a significantly dangerous disease and medical help should be immediately sought if you think that you have symptoms associated with it. Treatment depends on the signs and symptoms of individual patients. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dermatologist.

4914 people found this helpful

Lupus - 7 Common Types!

MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy, MBBS
Dermatologist, Delhi
Lupus - 7 Common Types!

Some diseases like chicken pox, measles etc. have definitive symptoms that make it easy to diagnose. However, others like lupus affect each person in a different way making them complex diseases that may take longer to diagnose. Lupus attacks the immune system and causes the antibodies that would normally fight infection to react against the body’s own cells and tissues. There are two main forms of lupus; systemic lupus that affects any part of the body and cutaneous lupus that affects the skin. These can occur simultaneously or on their own.

Some of the rashes that can be caused by cutaneous lupus are:

  1. Malar rash or butterfly rash: This affects the face and appears as a butterfly shaped rash over the nose and cheeks. It is triggered by the sun’s uv rays and can appear as a faint blush or a severe, scaly rash.
  2. Discoid lupus: Lupus can also cause small. Coin shaped sores or rashes. These are reddish and scaly in appearance and usually affect parts of the body exposed to sunlight and uv radiation. If left untreated, these sores can worsen with time. Though they do not cause pain or itchiness, they can result in scarring. In cases where these sores develop on the scalp, they can cause permanent bald patches.
  3. Subacute cutaneous lesions: These can be described as small, red sores that are shaped like coins. These can be found on the arms, shoulders, neck and chest in patches that resemble psoriasis. These lesions are also triggered by uv exposure. Though they do not cause scarring, these lesions can lighten or darken skin.
  4. Mucous membrane lesions: Sores in the mouth or nose that have been triggered by lupus are known as mucous membrane lesions.
  5. BaldnessLupus can make the hair follicles near the scalp fragile and brittle. This can destroy the hair follicles and lead to hair fall. In some cases, hair may grow back while in others it could result in permanent baldness.
  6. Cutaneous vasculitis lesions: These refer to purplish spots or lines on the calves and feet. This is caused by the inflammation of skin tissues and can cause severe damage and gangrene.
  7. Raynaud's phenomenon: When exposed to cold, the skin on your fingers and toes may also change colour to red, white or blue due to lupus. This is triggered by the tightening of blood vessels and may be accompanied by a tingling sensation or numbness. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist.
2697 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Dear Dr. Its about 16 days back one of my close locality girl death due to SLE lupus. On that day I am not able sleep. I feel like restless. Muscle paint on arm and forearm. Weakness. Can not focus on work. Increase heartbeat sometimes. Sometime sweating. Sweating on hand and feet. Please help.

M.D.PSYCHIATRY, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.), Medicine
Psychiatrist, Jaipur
Hello. You are facing anxiety symptoms may be related to grief / stress .eventually these symptoms should improve. If they don't even after 10-15 consult psychiatrist online/offline.
2 people found this helpful

Dear Sir, I am aged-45, Female, Weight-29 kg, from Bangladesh. I am suffering from MCTD Disease from 1999. At present I am under supervision of two doctors: One doctor is from Kolkata India, Dr. Asim Kumar Pal, MD, FICA (USA), MRCP (UK), FRCP (Edin), FRCP (London). Peerless Hospital & B.K.Roy Research Center Kolkata India, Since 1999 every year 3 times, and another doctor is from Bangladesh Professor Dr. Syed Atiqul Haq MBBS, FRCP, FCPS, MD, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), Dhaka, Since 2006 every year 3 times. I am taking medicine methotrexate weekly since 1999 but last two years I am not taking this medicine. I also take Nidipin SR. Apart from these two medicine. I take some other medicine for short period of time recommended by my doctors. I also took steroid (Prednisone) medicine for last 9 years but not regularly. I took this medicine once in every four/six month. As a side effect of this medicine my femoral head’s blood supply stops and doctor suggested me for surgery. I did this in Apollo hospitals, Delhi. In every three months I do some diagnostic test (TC, DC ESR, AST, SGOT, Urine R/A, Chest X ray PA view, etc ….)all the reports are normal. At Present my problem are: •I can’t eat anything normally. If I try to eat it cramp in my stomach and starts beating. •Fever at least ¾ time in every month. •Whole body pain.\ •I Can’t grip my hand. •I Can’t seat alone on the floor for last 5 years. •Gastro problem. •Always cough Can I have treatment in your hospital? I request your suggestion.

Allergist/Immunologist, Chennai
no it seems like a rhumatological problem. you are in good hands. please follow the medications prescribed by yout doctors. also discuss with doctors if newer biologicals can be used.

RNP/sm intensity is 1, sm intensity is 1, RO-52 intensity us 17, SSB intensity is 1, PM-scl is 2, JO-1 intensity is 1, ds-DNA is 2, control CO is 88.

Homeopath, Raebareli
Dear user kindly forward the reports and symptomatic details as of now for proper treatment and management support. For now take a dose of Rhus tox 30 it will act in the main disease itself but do not repeat further till analysis is done reviewing your reports once you forward along with details. Tc.

Hi, My sister is having typhoid fever for last one month. now she has got mouth ulcer. Please suggest any medicine. My sistre is a sle patient (lupus nephritis) since 2005.

General Physician, Bangalore
For mouth ulcers just use topical mouth gel. Like DOLO gel. And consult to the physician who treated typhoid. It can be due to medications which were provided during treatment.
1 person found this helpful

Table of Content

What is Lupus?

Potential triggers for lupus include:

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Preserving Your Fertility
Hi I am Dr. Parul Katiyar. I am a senior IVF specialist in Max Hospital Delhi and in Max Gurgaon. So my interest is basically into preserving fertility and this is what i will be talking of in today s discussion.

So what is fertility preservation? Fertility preservation is a process of preserving one s eggs, sperms or any other reproductive tissue, which can be used for child bearing later on in life. It is a very important tool for preserving fertility for individual s or persons where in child bearing is not likely to happen in near future however they would like to preserve their option of having a biological child in future. People who benefit from fertility preservation are people suffering from cancer because treatment for cancer is toxic to the eggs and sperms and therefore may lead to a permanent damage in one s reproductive organs. Such people once they are cured would like to have their own biological child and therefore if they undertake fertility preservation before embarking for a cancer therapy, it is very useful for them. It is also helpful for women who want to delay their child bearing because of social reasons, career prospects or because they have not been able to find out the right partner as of now.

Women undergo biological aging and as the age advances the chance or the probability of becoming pregnant with one s eggs will decline. Therefore, a woman who has frozen her eggs would be able to use those eggs later in life once she is ready to have her own child. People suffering from certain genetic diseases and immune disorders like LUPUS will also benefit from fertility preservation because genetic diseases may lead to a decline in one s fertility at an accelerated rate and treatment of lupus and other immune disorders may again be toxic to one s reproductive organs.

How do we preserve fertility? The various tools that are being used to preserve fertility in men are, most importantly, is the sperm cryopreservation or Sperm freezing. In this procedure what happens is that the man will have to ejaculate and produce a sperm sample in a laboratory and that sample is then processed and frozen in liquid nitrogen at -190 degree centigrade and preserved for whatever time they want to keep it. Freezing the sperms or any reproductive tissue has come out in a big way and it is very safe and with very good outcomes whenever those sperm samples or reproductive tissues are thought back and used for fertility.

The other important tool that is used in men is called Gonadal sparing, where in in individuals who need radiation therapy, the radiation is directed in such a manner that the organs that produce the sperm i.e. the testicles are spared in such a manner that there is testicular sparing, and therefore the spermatogenesis is not as badly effected as it would be if we do not take care of that. The tools for preserving fertility in women are first, embryo cryo-preservation; this is one of the most standardized technique for preserving one s fertility.

In embryo cryopreservation, we inject the women with hormones so that they are able to produce multiple eggs and then those eggs are extracted and then fertilized with husband s or partner s sperm and then these embryos are cryo-preserved. However, in women who do not have a partner, they can undergo an oocyte cryopreservation as well. In oocyte cryopreservation, the same process is followed; however, as there is no partner, the eggs are frozen without even fertilization, which has become one of the most successful therapies for women who are undergoing cancer therapy at a young age or women who are not ready to have a child. Another technique that is being used is ovarian cryo-preservation or ovarian tissue cryo- preservation. The purpose of ovarian tissue cryo-preservation is that the entire ovary is taken out and then it is cut into slices and that ovarian cortical l tissue is then frozen in liquid nitrogen so that it can be re-implanted into the body of the women once she is ready to have the baby.

So these are various techniques, it s an ever evolving field and we will have more and more of fertility preservation techniques that will come and help people conceive at a later stage in life. It is very aware that all of us make ourselves aware. As this is a very interesting field and has got a huge scope for a lot of people, it is very aware that all of us make ourselves aware of such technologies that exists.

Any woman or a man who is wanting to preserve their fertility can consult me, I am available at Max Hospital on all days and you can contact my on Lybrate, you can contact me through an SMS, you can chat, you can video call or you can even visit me at my clinic at Max hospital.

Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice