As one of the top conditions we treat at our family healthcare Bedford TX (locations also in Lewisville and Benbrook), Lupus is often on the forefront of our minds. We think it’s important to offer resources for these prevalent conditions beyond a clinic visit. This month, we’re focusing on explaining the basics of Lupus not only for patients but also their friends and family. Read on to learn about the signs, symptoms, treatments and more.
What is Lupus?
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease. Just as with any autoimmune condition, Lupus causes global bodily pain and inflammation due to the immune system’s attack on healthy organs and tissue. Although anyone is susceptible, women ages 15-44 are at a greater risk for contracting this condition.
Although it’s most known simply as “Lupus,” there are four different types:
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE): This is the most common form of Lupus. It varies in severity and can impact one or more tissue types or major organs.
- Neonatal Lupus: Significantly less common, Neonatal Lupus is sometimes found in the infants of a mother who has Lupus. In these cases, most symptoms of neonatal lupus stop (with zero lasting effects) within six months of birth.
- Cutaneous Lupus: This form of Lupus is limited to impacting the skin. Patients will notice red, bumpy/scaly areas on the bridge of the nose and both cheeks, neck, face, scalp and other areas.
- Drug-induced Lupus: Drug-induced Lupus is caused by a reaction from a specific medication. Symptoms will commonly stop approximately six months after medication is discontinued.
Signs & Symptoms
The symptoms of Lupus are unique to each patient and can vary in severity and frequency. Flair ups can be overwhelming at times and then can also be nonexistent. It can be very unpredictable, which is one of the biggest challenges associated with Lupus.
- Butterfly-shaped rash on the face
- Joint pain
- Fatigue (extreme)
- Swelling (in joints and/or extremities)
- Sunlight sensitivity
- Hair loss
If you or someone you love begins experiencing these symptoms, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with our healthcare associates Bedford TX chronic care specialists (also at Benbrook and Lewisville locations). We will perform the necessary tests and comprehensive assessments to get a diagnosis and treatment plan established.
While currently there is no known cure for Lupus, there are several effective methods for managing its impact on a person’s quality of life. The goals of these treatments are to reduce the amount/intensity of the immune system’s attacks, minimize symptoms and offer organ and tissue protection. Three of the more common treatments are as follows:
- Immunosuppressants may help slow or stop the body’s immune system from attacking healthy organs and tissues.
- Steroids can sometimes slow down the activity of misdirected white blood cells, leading to reduced inflammation
- Antimalarials help manage symptoms by limiting the number of autoantibodies, which are proteins in the blood that attack healthy tissue.
Ways Your Family Medical Can Help
One of the most frustrating things about visiting the doctor can be feeling like you can never secure an appointment or your time with the staff is rushed. Your Family Medical offers a specialized service for chronic care patients that allows them access to regular monthly appointments. This treatment method guarantees you the time to receive the help you need.
Chronic care management allows our team to closely examine and treat a patient’s unique conditions and symptoms. No two people are the same, so no two treatment plans should be the same! You will receive the individualized and personalized care for your Lupus that you deserve. These consistent, regular appointments allow our team to make any necessary adjustments to assist you with living a healthy lifestyle.
At Your Family Medical, our core belief lies in that achieving optimal outcomes for our patients requires building a mutual partnership of trust, understanding and information, with our goal being to empower them with the knowledge and skills needed to achieve an optimal state of health and well-being. This is true whether you are living with a chronic condition like Lupus or if you simply need a regular wellness examination (and everything in between). Contact us today to schedule your first visit with us!