Are you searching “The Woodlands TX doctors who treat lupus near me?” Advanced Rheumatology of Houston specializes in diagnosing and treating lupus. Most importantly, our clinic is capable of diagnosing and treating a number of different rheumatologic diseases. Lupus is just one disease in this family of disease that affects the connective tissue in the body.
Joints are the most common connective tissue affected by these diseases, but organs, muscles, ligaments, and bone may also become touched. Regardless, Dr. Brionez will help patients fight off this disease. Lupus is a complex disease and often scares people. However, advancements in medical treatments have helped make this disease manageable.
Dr. Brionez is the sole rheumatologist at the Advanced Rheumatology of Houston. She has been in practice for more than ten years. She obtained her Doctor of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and completed her Fellowship in Rheumatology at the University of Texas Health Science Center.
Then, in 2007, she was board-certified in internal medicine. Two years later, Dr. Brionez became a board-certified rheumatologist. Since then, she has diagnosed and treated numerous patients with various rheumatologic conditions. You can see the full list of rheumatologic conditions Dr. Brionez can diagnose and treat below.
- Polymyalgia Rheumatica
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Sjögren’s Syndrome
- Ankylosing Spondylitis
What is Lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which is the immune system attacking healthy tissues in the body. Immune systems normally attack diseases, infections, and viruses in order to protect the body. However, autoimmune diseases target healthy tissues and cause inflammation in those areas. Lupus targets the skin, joints, and organs of the body. The cause of lupus is unknown, which makes it a complex disease.
The complexity of the disease worsens as patients learn more about the disease. Lupus has symptoms that are very similar to a dozen other diseases. So, lupus is not easily identifiable. In addition, lupus has varying degrees of severity, meaning it can be mild in some people, while others may face death. Fortunately, there are medications that keep the disease under control. In general, lupus patients live long and comfortable lives.
Symptoms of Lupus
The symptoms patients may experience similar to those of other diseases. Fevers, rashes, weight loss, and fatigue are common in all kinds of diseases. Below, you can see the full list of symptoms associated with the disease.
- Blood clots
- Weight loss
- Hair loss
- Stomach pain
- Chest pains while breathing deeply
- Poor circulation in toes and fingers
- Nose or mouth sores
There are more symptoms, but these are a few you may experience that are not so obvious. Lupus increases the risk of kidney and heart disease. The kidneys will show symptoms through the urine. If it becomes foamy or has blood in it, then see a doctor. Furthermore, patients may have seizures or strokes related to the disease. Lupus may also affect the outcome of pregnancy as it can cause a miscarriage.
It is important to note that women develop lupus ten times more than men do. That said, there are some demographics that obtain lupus more than others. Above all, anyone can develop lupus. Nonetheless, African Americans and Asians generate the disease more often. Additionally, 20 percent of lupus patients are children. Females going through puberty are the most affected by the disease.
Diagnosing and Treating Lupus
When it comes to diagnosing lupus, it becomes a difficult task. Due to lupus having similar symptoms to other illnesses, it is not the most obvious diagnosis. So, Dr. Brionez will examine the symptoms of the patient closely in order to determine the best route. In most cases, she will runs tests for various rheumatologic diseases. The blood test that is important to lupus is known as an ANA test.
ANA tests detect antinuclear antibodies in the body. These antibodies are what causes the immune system to attack healthy tissues. They are common in almost all lupus patients. That said, if the antibodies are found in the patient, then they will be diagnosed with lupus. Dr. Brionez will likely run further tests to identify more specific antibodies related to the illness.
Lupus does not have a cure, along with other autoimmune diseases. So, the treatment process targets the symptoms and immune system. Medication such as antimalaria drugs reduce symptoms like rashes, fatigue, mouth sores, and lupus-related arthritis. These drugs were once used for fighting off and preventing malaria, but they have since been repurposed.
Serious cases of lupus are treated with corticosteroids. This medication is used for many types of autoimmune diseases because of the effect it has on the immune system. The immune system is suppressed using these medications, and so attacks against healthy tissues are reduced. Moreover, some corticosteroids reduce pain in patients.
Medications help manage symptoms and the immune system, but patients are tasked with taking steps to help the condition. Due to lupus increasing the chances of kidney and heart disease, patients should exercise regularly and eat healthy foods. The exercise will also help those with arthritis. Patients who smoke should stop as it affects the disease as well.
Excess sunlight should be avoided. Too much sunlight may cause flares in rashes and the disease as a whole. So, wear hats, long-sleeve shirts, and pants to cover the skin. If it is hot, then put on sunscreen or take an umbrella. These steps will help patients keep their condition under control.
The Woodlands TX Doctors Who Treat Lupus Near Me
Lupus patients should also consider participating in the Advanced Rheumatology of Houston’s lupus research study. The SLE-BRAVE study is a great option to help discover a new treatment option for lupus patients. Give us a call today in order to ask us if you qualify or to learn more. You can also schedule an appointment by calling (281) 766-7886.
Dr. Brionez wants to help patients live long and comfortable lives. She can achieve that goal if you schedule an appointment as soon as possible. You may also visit our Houston location page in order to learn more about the clinic. So, stop searching “The Woodlands TX doctors who treat lupus near me” and start calling!
Fun Facts about The Woodlands
- The first high school opened in 1976!
- There are almost 150 parks in The Woodlands area!
- Go see a concert at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion!
- Find more fun facts about The Woodlands here.