Are you searching for The Woodlands TX lupus specialist near me? If you are, then you need to check out the Advanced Rheumatology of Houston. They have everything you need to begin living a normal healthy life. Dr. Brionez has over ten years of experience in rheumatology and strives to help her patients live comfortable healthy lives.
Lupus can be an unpredictable disease. Patients often deal with flare-ups, followed by moments of little to no symptoms, which is called remission. Most of the people diagnosed with lupus are women, and about twenty percent are children and teens. In rarer forms of lupus, it can develop in children before the age of five. This form of lupus is called childhood-onset SLE.
Lupus is also known by other names such as SLE or systemic lupus erythematosus. It is an autoimmune disease that causes systemic inflammation of the joints and organs. In its more severe forms, it can cause inflammation of the heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain. If left untreated, it can disrupt a person’s life and cause permanent organ damage.
The cause of lupus is unknown. However, treatment has come a long way. Those with lupus are now able to live longer and more fulfilling lives. So lupus, while a problem, can be managed throughout someone’s life.
There are many symptoms of lupus, which is why having a The Woodlands TX lupus specialist near me is essential. Continue reading to learn more about lupus, its symptoms, and treatment.
The Many Signs and Symptoms of Lupus
Lupus is known to vary between patients. No two patients have the same set of symptoms. Also, symptoms aren’t specific to lupus. They are shared across diseases making it challenging to diagnose. Some of the symptoms that cause this challenge are:
- hair loss
- blood clots
- weight loss
- stomach pain
- poor circulation in fingers and toes
These symptoms, while shared by lupus patients, aren’t enough to diagnose lupus. The American College of Rheumatology has comprised a list of symptoms that can be used for diagnosis. The symptoms on this list include:
Rashes with lupus can show up in a couple of ways. You could have a malar rash, a discoid rash, or a rash for sun exposure. A malar rash is a butterfly-shaped rash, and it appears on the cheeks. A discoid rash shows up as raised red oval or round patches. Then rashes from sun exposure appear on any visible skin that could have gotten some sun.
You can find sores in your mouth or nose, which will last between either a month or a few days.
Arthritis is the disease of the joints and is when there is tenderness or swelling in two or more joints. This tenderness and swelling will last a few weeks. You can also have arthritis without having lupus. Other cases of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. If you are struggling with either of these, a rheumatologist can diagnose and treat your arthritis.
Lung and heart inflammation
Inflammation of the lungs and heart can cause chest pain when a person breathes deeply. Inflammation of the heart is called pericarditis, while inflammation of the lungs is called pleurisy or pleuritis.
Doctors can usually find kidney problems through tests that show poor kidney function. Another way doctors find kidney problems is through a urine analysis where the doctor can find blood or protein in the urine.
Neurologic problems have to do with seizures, psychosis (a mental health issue), or strokes.
Abnormal blood tests
Abnormalities can be anemia, low white blood cell count, or low platelets. For lupus patients, nearly all of them have positive antinuclear antibodies that come up in their tests. These antibodies are what causes the immune system to attack itself. Other abnormalities include anti-Smith, anti-double-strand DNA, and antiphospholipid antibodies.
The symptoms of lupus can make diagnosing lupus a challenge because they don’t appear all at once. There is also a lot of variety in the symptoms making no two cases entirely alike. The other difficulty is that lupus tends to have periods of activity followed by periods of remission or little to no symptoms.
These challenges make it was going off symptoms alone isn’t enough. Instead, blood tests are a reliable way to diagnose lupus. One of the most important blood tests for this disease is an ANA. Consult your The Woodlands TX lupus specialist near me to learn more about lupus and its symptoms.
If you have already consulted a doctor about it, then you will know that lupus is a chronic illness. Unfortunately, that means that lupus has no cure at this time. However, there is treatment available that allow patients with lupus to live longer and have a higher quality of life. The goal of treatment is to keep it in remission to avoid permanent organ damage.
Treatment involves medication, and there are a few medications that are used. Some of these medications are:
- Corticosteroids and immune suppressants
Talk with your doctor about what treatment plan will work best with your symptoms and medical history. There are side effects and benefits to every drug. However, with your doctor’s help, you can reduce the side effects and make sure that lupus is still controlled.
Living With Lupus
It can be unnerving to hear that you are living with a chronic illness. However, with treatment, there are plenty of patients that can live happy, healthy lives with lupus.
As you learn to cope with this unpredictable illness, it is important to have a support system of doctors, family, and friends. It is also essential that you follow the treatment plan that the doctor prescribes. They will also expect you to visit them often so they can keep track of your condition and update your treatment plan as needed.
Although you may not feel like doing anything at times, it is important to remain as active as possible. Exercise will help your joints to stay flexible and will help you to prevent heart disease and stroke.
Since sunlight can cause flare-ups, you will also have to wear sun protection when outdoors. You can use sunscreen and protective clothing to shield you while you are outside. To learn more about what you can do to minimize your symptoms, talk with a The Woodlands TX lupus specialist near me.
The Best The Woodlands TX lupus specialist near me
Contact Advanced Rheumatology of Houston today at (281) 766-7886 to set an appointment. You can also learn more about Dr. Brionez and her services. Make them your The Woodlands TX lupus specialist near me.
The Woodlands, Texas Fun Facts
- There are 8,000 acres of open forestry
- Many different species of birds migrate here yearly
- There are about 150 parks in The Woodlands area
- For more facts come to visit us