Lupus is an autoimmune condition in which a persons immune system creates antibodies that attack their own body tissues. Many of the symptoms are very similar to other diseases, which makes the treatment of lupus even more difficult, especially as there is no single test that can categorically diagnose lupus.
What does seem to be common to all sufferers is a red rash that appears on the nose and cheeks and sometimes on the whole body. The rash tends to get worse after exposure to the sun. There can also be unexplained bouts of fever and the person could suffer from painful arthritis of the joints. The treatment of lupus is hampered by the fact that lupus symptoms can constantly change. While undergoing treatment of lupus, a patient could find hair loss, mouth ulcers, headaches, chest pain and even depression. Sometimes, only one part of the body is affected, like the skin, and sometimes many parts are, making the diagnosis and treatment of lupus rather tough.
Systemic lupus can affect various primary organs in the body like the lungs, which develop an inflammation in the lining, resulting in chest pain. This in turn can deteriorate into pneumonia. Very often, doctors tend to only treat the symptoms as its difficult to diagnose the real cause. Lupus can also affect the kidneys and in such a case the only indications could be swollen ankles and an abnormal blood or urine reading. Lupus can also affect the heart, blood vessels, and the nervous system.
More often than not, after it is diagnosed lupus is treated with corticosteroids. Doctors usually ask their patients to keep a watchful eye out for any sign of flare-ups and so immediate precautions like the use of a stronger sunscreen and reducing stress are all part of lupus treatment. Women who are pregnant have to be especially careful and must resort to quick treatment of lupus flare-ups so that there is no threat of miscarriage. Men with lupus should have their PSA (prostate-specific antigen) tested, and women should have regular breast and gynecological tests. Both should also check regularly their blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Is there a natural remedy for lupus? Can lupus be treated with any natural herbs? Doctors usually advise patients to supplement their medication with vitamins and minerals such as calcium, vitamin D and folic acid. Exercise also helps as it reduces stress levels and in turn mitigates any flare-ups.
A study begun at the Medical University of South Carolina, in collaboration with the Research and Education Foundation of the American College of Rheumatology, studied the effects of the treatment of lupus with Vitamin D therapy in patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). The study is ongoing. The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) also does a lot of research into the causes, prevention and treatment of lupus.