If you are searching “Houston TX best lupus doctors near me,” then get in touch with Advanced Rheumatology of Houston. Dr. Brionez, the sole rheumatologist at the clinic, has more than ten years of experience in rheumatology. For those who do not know, rheumatologists diagnose and treat rheumatologic conditions like lupus.
Rheumatologic conditions affect connective tissue in the body. These tissues are commonly joints, but may also be ligaments, organs, and muscles. Millions of people are affected by rheumatologic illnesses in the United States. Other types of illnesses include rheumatoid arthritis, myositis, osteoporosis, gout, and more.
Dr. Brionez wants what is best for her patients. Many patients must learn to live with their rheumatologic condition, lupus included. She will provide medical advice that will help patients live comfortable and normal lives. This advice, paired with treatment options, will give patients the tools to live happy lives. Her knowledge and experience in the rheumatology make her the perfect lupus doctor.
She became board-certified in internal medicine in 2007. Two years later, in 2009, Dr. Brionez was board-certified in rheumatology. Since 2009, she has been in the practice of rheumatology. She has helped hundreds of patients overcome their condition and continue onward. If you need a lupus doctor, then she is the one for you.
What Exactly is Lupus?
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or lupus is a rheumatologic condition. More specifically, lupus is an autoimmune disorder or disease. A healthy immune system attacks foreign pathogens in the body, such as viruses, bacteria, and infections. However, autoimmune disease is classified as when the immune system starts attacking healthy tissues in the body. Lupus has the capability of affecting the joints, skin, and organs.
All diseases are complex, but lupus is especially complex because the cause of the disease is unknown. Moreover, the disease ranges in severity and affects numerous parts of the body. It can develop various types of rashes, it can appear as another illness due to its commonly shared symptoms, and it can create issues with vital organs. More severe cases of lupus affect the lungs, kidneys, heart, and brain.
Lupus can appear in anyone, but there are certain demographics it affects the most. African Americans and Asians tend to be more affected by the disease. Additionally, 20% of lupus patients develop the disease when they are children or teenagers. Females during or entering puberty tend to develop it the most. Children before the age of five rarely develop the disease.
Lupus Symptoms and Diagnosis
Symptoms of lupus gradually appear in patients. Another reason the disease is so complicated is it causes symptoms very similar to other diseases. Fever, fatigue, and weight loss can be found in a dozen other diseases. So, patients with these symptoms are never tested for lupus first. Instead, a rheumatologist or a primary care doctor will rule out other possibilities first. A rheumatologist will rule out other rheumatologic conditions that may have the same symptoms.
You can find a full list of symptoms below.
- Weight loss
- Hair loss
- Blood clots
- Chest pain
- Stomach pain
- Cold fingers or toes
- Mouth or nose sores
- Swollen or sore joints (arthritis)
- Kidney problems (changes in urine or urination)
- Neurologic problems (strokes, seizures)
- Pregnant women may have miscarriages
Dr. Brionez will examine your symptoms carefully in order to make the best next step. If she suspects you may have lupus, then she will run a series of tests. The most important test she will run is known as an ANA test. This blood test will detect antinuclear antibodies in the body. These antibodies are present in most lupus patients and cause the immune system to attack healthy tissues.
If the test comes back positive, then Dr. Brionez will diagnose you with lupus. Further tests will be run in order to identify more specific antibodies that are related to the disease. Negative tests will prompt Dr. Brionez to look at other potential conditions the symptoms are originating from.
Lupus Treatment Options
Lupus does not have a cure, but recent advancements in treatment options have helped patients live longer and comfortable lives. Treatment focuses on suppressing the immune system attacks and the symptoms. A medication that is recommended for all patients is antimalarial drugs. These drugs were used to prevent and treat malaria. Now, they are used to treat symptoms of lupus. Lupus-related arthritis, rashes, fatigue, and mouth and nose sores are treated best with this medication.
For more serious lupus cases, corticosteroids are recommended. Serious cases are associated with vital organs like the kidneys and lungs. These medications help reduce the activity of the immune system, so the severity of the disease is less. Pain may also be reduced with this treatment option. The most recent FDA approved medication is the first since 1955. Biologics are best used for mild cases of lupus and has recently been approved for children.
Patients Living with Lupus
The treatment options for lupus do their best to reduce pain and discomfort. It is up to the patient to take steps to reduce symptoms and potential health risks. Firstly, lupus increases the risk of heart and kidney disease. So, patients should take steps in order to reduce their risk of these diseases. Patients should exercise and eat healthily. Exercise will also help patients handle their arthritis.
Patients should also avoid excess sunlight as it might flare-up rashes. They can wear long-sleeve shirts, hats, and pants in order to reduce sun contact. If the climate is warm, then use sunscreen or take an umbrella. Sunlight may also cause a flare in the disease itself, so it is important to get just enough.
Houston TX Best Lupus Doctors Near Me
If you need a rheumatologist, then give Advanced Rheumatology of Houston a call today. You can schedule an appointment today by calling (281) 766-7886. You should also ask us about our lupus research study we are participating in. Participants can help test a new treatment that could help current and future lupus patients. Now, you can finally stop searching “Houston TX best lupus doctors near me” and start calling!
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