If you are searching for Houston TX lupus specialist, then you have come to the right place. Advanced Rheumatology of Houston is the place where you can get relief from the symptoms of lupus.
Lupus is short for systemic lupus erythematosus and is also known by the acronym SLE. SLE is a chronic disease that begins in young women at the start of their fertility. It can cause systemic inflammation that can affect multiple organs. It is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack itself and the patient’s tissues.
Since lupus varies from person to person, it can sometimes be hard to pinpoint. The more severe forms of lupus affect the kidneys, lungs, heart, and brain. However, depending on the person, lupus can range from severe to very mild.
The cause of lupus is still unknown. However, doctors have come a long way in their understanding of lupus. Improvements in the treatment of lupus have shown to improve quality of life and increase lifespan.
Twenty percent of patients with lupus are children and teens and commonly affects young women during puberty. Rarer forms of lupus affect children before the age of five. This form of lupus is called childhood-onset SLE.
There are many signs and symptoms of lupus. If you are struggling with one or more of these symptoms, then you should consult a Houston TX lupus specialist.
Signs and Symptoms
It is common for those with lupus to have symptoms that aren’t specific to lupus. Some of these symptoms include fever, fatigue, weight loss, blood clots, and hair loss. Those with lupus can also experience heartburn, stomach pain, and poor circulation in their extremities.
Lupus can also cause miscarriages and flare up during pregnancy. To determine whether someone has lupus, The American College of Rheumatology has a list of symptoms that doctors use as a guide.
Rashes from lupus can appear as a butterfly-shaped rash on the cheeks or known as a malar rash. It can also appear as a red rash with raised oval or round patches. This is known as a discoid rash. Or a rash will appear on skin that is exposed to the sun.
These sores can be either in the mouth or in the nose and will last anywhere from a few days to an entire month.
This is categorized as tenderness or swelling in joints that lasts for a few weeks in two or more joints.
Lung or Heart Inflammation
This is often noticed when someone feels chest pain when they breathe deeply. It is swelling of the tissue lining in the lungs, which is called pleurisy or pleuritis. When the tissue lining in the heart swells, it is known as pericarditis.
This can be discovered when there is blood or protein in the urine. Or when tests show poor kidney function.
Neurologic problems can be anything from seizures, strokes to psychosis, which is a mental health problem.
Abnormal Blood Tests
Some of these abnormal test results can be low blood cell counts suggesting anemia, low platelets, or low white blood cells. Another sign is positive antinuclear antibodies, which are antibodies that cause the body to attack itself. These antibodies are present in practically all lupus patients. Other abnormalities include antibodies such as anti-double-strand DNA, anti-Smith, or antiphospholipid antibodies.
Flares from lupus can range from mild to severe. Patients will have times when the disease is active, which are followed by times of remission or when the condition is quiet. Lupus can be challenging to diagnose since it has a variety of symptoms, and they don’t show up immediately. The most common way to diagnose lupus is through blood tests. One of the more important blood tests to get for diagnosing lupus is an ANA.
Since lupus is a chronic disease, there isn’t a cure for it at this time. However, some treatments can help improve the quality of life and increase the lifespan of those who live with lupus. The goal of treatment is to suppress the overactive immune system. This will put lupus into remission and prevent permanent organ damage.
Many medications are able to help bring lupus into remission. Some of these medications include:
- Corticosteroids and immune suppressants
- NSAIDs to reduce pain
It is important to discuss treatment with your doctor to find what will work best for you. Like all medications, they come with both risks and benefits. Which medicine will work best for you will depend on your symptoms and drug sensitivities? Your doctor will work with you to find a treatment that will lower side effects while also controlling lupus and its symptoms.
Living With Lupus
The good news is that those who have lupus often live healthy lives. And those with lupus are also living longer lives. It is essential to have a reliable support system to help you cope with living with this chronic and unpredictable illness.
Learn about lupus, and about the medications to know what kind of progress you can expect. Also, make sure to follow everything that the doctor has prescribed and often visit to make sure everything is progressing smoothly. When you go to your Houston TX lupus specialist, usually, your doctor will be able to track your disease and change treatment as necessary.
While it can be hard, staying active and keeping your joints flexible is a way to help manage the disease. Exercise also will help prevent heart disease and stroke. Sun exposure can cause flare-ups, so avoiding prolonged sun exposure will help keep the condition in remission. If you do, go outdoors on a sunny day, wear protective clothing, and use plenty of sunscreens.
If you want to have a baby while living with lupus, careful pregnancy planning is required. With the help of a doctor, you can time your pregnancy during your remission. Then while you are pregnant, avoid medications that could harm the baby.
If you are a parent of a child or teen living with lupus, be aware that your child must take time off from school to heal. Other than that, they are encouraged to live life as normally as possible. Attending school, staying healthy, attending family activities, and playing with friends are all important.
The Best Houston TX lupus specialist
When going through this difficult time, it is essential to have a doctor who understands the disease and can help you through it. Advanced Rheumatology of Houston can give you the help and support you need to live your best life. They are the best rheumatologist in Houston, Texas. Set an appointment with Dr. Brionez by calling (281) 766-7886. Or check out their other services and location. Allow them to be your Houston TX lupus specialist.
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