Going forward into my Lupus Journey, I realised that the first thing I needed to do was properly understand what Lupus (SLE) is?
Lupus – What is this diseases?
Lupus is a chronic (long-term) disease that can cause inflammation and pain in any part of your body. It’s an autoimmune disease, which means that your immune system, the body system that usually fights infections, attacks healthy tissue instead.
Individuals with lupus, have both B cells and T cells that become overactive. The two main consequences of this increased activity are the production of antibodies that recognize and destroy the body’s own cells, which are called auto antibodies, and the second is the inflammation that can lead to long-term and irreversible scarring.
Lupus most commonly affects your Skin, Joints and Internal organs, like your kidneys and heart. Because lupus affects many parts of the body, it can cause a lot of different symptoms.
When people talk about lupus, they are usually talking about systemic lupus, but there are actually four kinds of lupus:
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) the most common form of lupus
- Cutaneous lupus, a form of lupus that is limited to the skin
- Drug -induced lupus, a lupus-like disease caused by certain prescription drugs
- Neonatal lupus, a rare condition that affects infants of women who have lupus
I will discuss the most common type of Lupus, being, Systemic Lupus, in this blog.
This type of lupus attacks any part of the body, including internal organs. The severity of this lupus depends largely on which part or organ of the body that is being affected. SLE can affect the skin and joints, as well as internal organs, and the severity level of SLE is dependent on what is being affected in your body. It could be less severe where only skin and/or joints are affected or more severe if the kidney, brain, heart or lungs are affected.
What are the Symptoms?
There are various symptoms as indicated below
- Hair loss
- Inflammation in the joints
- Dry mouth and eyes
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Thyroid problems
- Pulmonary problems
- Kidney problems
Because early symptoms can be similar to other conditions, it does not mean you have Lupus, however, the most common symptoms that are experience by people with Lupus are low-grade fevers, fatigue, rashes, joint pain and inflammation.
Because each of us are unique, we all experience our SLE Lupus differently. We have different symptoms at different times, but sometimes all at the same time, which can be very frustrating and debilitating.
So what do we do to try to manage and control our Lupus?
We have to discover what works for each of us individually, and that means looking at our individual diet, exercise, medication, supplements, etc,