13 Early Warning Signs of Lupus You Need to Know (and what to do the moment you see them)
The Lupus Foundation of America provided a data which shows that 9 out of 10 women have lupus and in this moment 1.5 million of people suffer from this disease in the U.S. In today’s article we will discus few points about this autoimmune disease, mainly its prevention, symptoms and treatment.
Also down below you will read two conversations with a specialist nurse, and a patient. What word is mostly used is unpredictable.
Mallory Dixon, 29, depicted her experience with this disease to Medical Daily. She stated, It’s a disability that you cannot describe because the whole thing about lupus is so unpredictable.
This health issue comes so unpredictable that it doesn’t choose age, race or any other criterion. The symptoms it causes are many and they vary in severity.
When Dixon was only 17, her doctors initially diagnosed her with rheumatoid arthritis, but her symptoms wouldn’t stop for years after.
She said that: One of my doctors told my parent I might need to see a therapist.
One doctor reviewed her arthritis diagnosis, he also add it up her many symptoms and after 6 years he diagnosed her with lupus. Still, two years later, feeling miserable and finding it difficult to breathe, she knew something had gone terribly wrong. She picked herself up and went to the hospital.
She explained: The night before, I was afraid to go to sleep, I tried to downplay the pain, but I had the feeling I was dying.
The most tragic part is that she picked up some strength and went to the hospital, where on the way there she technically died and luckily was brought back to live. After that she stayed in the hospital for 86 days. Her treatment process was very complex and in various ways: she fell into a coma, was treated with dialysis, received chemotherapy, and spent time on a ventilator.
Later, she learned her pain and symptoms stemmed from the fact that the lupus had moved into her kidneys and they were shutting down.
They do think with early prevention we can keep lupus from spreading to organs like the kidneys or in some cases, a patients heart or brain, Dixon said. This is why she believes her most important mission is to educate young women about what to look for.
What are the signs?
Sarah Stothers, RN, a national nurse health educator, who works at the Lupus Foundation of America, in the interview for Medical Daily, listed the most common signs of lupus, for both sexes. The first one she listed is debilitating fatigue.
And here the rest of the signs:
– Sun – or light-sensitivity
– A rash in the shape of a butterfly, spread across the nose and cheeks (this rash reminded doctors of a wolfs bite in earlier times, and it gave the name of this disease, lupus, is the Latin word for wolf)
– Abnormal blood clotting
– Extreme tiredness
– Painful or swollen joints
– Nose or mouth ulcers
– Swelling around the eyes, hands, feet, legs
– Pain in chest when breathing deeply
– Fingers turning white and/or blue when cold
– Hair loss
Sarah Stothers also added, Some people look completely normal yet they feel awful. Doing the smallest task is impossible, because you look so normal on the outside, and thats probably the biggest thing: But you look completely fine!
That’s why this disease is often found by the name “the great imitator”, as her symptoms are very confusing because it imitates so many other diseases. For example: lung, bone, heart, muscle, diseases as well as thyroid issues, diabetes, blood disorders, Lyme disease, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Expert suggest that it is connected with hormonal and autoimmune disorders because the many symptoms it shares.
Dixons also said Lupus does not run in my family. The only thing that does run in my family is psoriasis, which is another autoimmune disorder.
Many lupus patients are diagnosed with a second or third autoimmune disorder at some point in their lives, anyone who is diagnosed with one of these diseases (or whose family history contains one) should be on the lookout for lupus symptoms. By catching lupus early, Dixon said, you may be able to avoid a dramatic flare-up like the one that nearly killed her.
Autoimmune diseases that are most common are rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis, celiac disease, pernicious anemia, vitiligo, scleroderma, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel diseases, Hashimotos disease, Addisons disease, Graves disease, Sjögrens syndrome, and type 1 diabetes.
The case of all of these diseases is that the immune system mistakenly attacks the tissues in the body, as if they were foreign invaders, viruses or germs.
Causes of lupus
As Stothers stated: We know theres a genetic component to lupus. Also she added, that by carrying the gene does not mean you will develop lupus, that the hormones and the environment also play a big role. Some experts suggest that estrogen has a lot to in this situation, due to the higher incidence among women regarding the average age range for diagnosis.
It is predominately diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 44, and that’s the time when women are most fertile. In fact, many women are first diagnosed while pregnant or after giving birth, when their hormones are in flux…added Stothers.
But also she said that there are cases of lupus in people in their 70s and 80s but this is a lot more rare cases.
The patient that suffer from Lupus can live long, productive, and happy lives. But to achieve that they need to monitor their symptoms, Stothers explained.
Thats the hard thing with lupus, the unknown of when youre going to have a really bad flare-up. Everyone has to figure out her own triggers. Dixon explains that patients experience mild to severe flare-ups and finally she added that hard work, stress and common cold were the triggers of her condition.
Stothers is explaining that she is proud to work on this particular field and that her patients are one of the braves and strongest people, Somehow they make it work. People with lupus are probably the most courageous people I’ve ever met and the most in tune with their bodies. I am very much privileged to know them.
Dixon encourages the family, and friends of patients who suffer from this condition to be involved and that they can give help and strength to the patient but the biggest strength must come from the patient himself.
As she finished with the sentence: At the end of the day, you’re going to be the one to get yourself out of bed.
Source: Healthy Food House