Saturday, 13 January 2018

Sure Treatments Methods / Diagnosis For Lupus Disease

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Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when your body's immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems  including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms often mimic those of other ailments. The most distinctive sign of lupus a facial rash that resembles the wings of a butterfly unfolding across both cheeks occurs in many but not all cases of lupus. Lupus can range from mild to life-threatening and should always be treated by a doctor. With good medical care, most people with lupus can lead a full life.

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With lupus, the immune system malfunctions and cannot distinguish between foreign invaders and healthy tissue . Antibodies are then produced against the body's healthy cells and tissues, causing inflammation, pain and damage in various parts of the body.
These antibodies, called autoantibodies, contribute to the inflammation of numerous parts of the body and can cause damage to organs and tissues. The most common type of autoantibody that develops in people with lupus is called an antinuclear antibody (ANA) because it reacts with parts of the cell's nucleus (command center).


The autoantibodies circulate in the blood, but some of the body's cells have walls permeable enough to let some autoantibodies through. These can then attack the DNA in the cell's nucleus. This is why some organs can be attacked during a flare-up while others are not.

Diagnosis

  • Echocardiogram : This test uses sound waves to produce real-time images of your beating heart. It can check for problems with your valves and other portions of your heart.
  • Complete blood count : This test measures the number of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets as well as the amount of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells. Results may indicate you have anemia, which commonly occurs in lupus. A low white blood cell or platelet count may occur in lupus as well.
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate : This blood test determines the rate at which red blood cells settle to the bottom of a tube in an hour. A faster than normal rate may indicate a systemic disease, such as lupus. The sedimentation rate isn't specific for any one disease. It may be elevated if you have lupus, an infection, another inflammatory condition or cancer
  •  Kidney and liver assessment : Blood tests can assess how well your kidneys and liver are functioning. Lupus can affect these organs.
  •  Urinalysis : An examination of a sample of your urine may show an increased protein level or red blood cells in the urine, which may occur if lupus has affected your kidneys.
  • Antinuclear antibody (ANA) test : A positive test for the presence of these antibodies  produced by your immune system  indicates a stimulated immune system. While most people with lupus have a positive ANA test, most people with a positive ANA do not have lupus. If you test positive for ANA, your doctor may advise more-specific antibody testing.

Treatments For Lupus Disease 
There is at present no cure for lupus but careful monitoring of the disease and a treatment programme with medication adjusted as appropriate enables the condition to be controlled, most patients being able to live a normal life span. Doctors will usually only keep the patient on high impact medication for as short a period as possible. Prescription medications and methods often used to manage lupus include:

  1. Immunosuppressants : Drugs that suppress the immune system may be helpful in serious cases of lupus. Examples include azathioprine (Imuran, Azasan), mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept) and methotrexate (Trexall). Potential side effects may include an increased risk of infection, liver damage, decreased fertility and an increased risk of cancer.
  2. Anti-rheumatic drug: A medication first used for malaria, hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil®) is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, some lupus symptoms, childhood arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
  3. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) : Over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as naproxen sodium (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), may be used to treat pain, swelling and fever associated with lupus. Stronger NSAIDs are available by prescription. Side effects of NSAIDs include stomach bleeding, kidney problems and an increased risk of heart problems.
  4. Blood pressure medications and anticoagulants: These are used to treat problems with blood clotting and blood pressure changes. Side effects can be life-threatening and include increased bleeding, low blood pressure, weakness and heart problems.
  5. Steroids: These can include prednisone and hydrocortisone , which are used to lower swelling, pain, skin rashes and inflammation. They can cause many different side effects, including weight gain, a puffy face, hormonal changes, acne, higher risk for bone loss, and mood changes, such as irritability, agitation, excitability, insomnia or depression.
  6.  Synthetic hormones and birth control pills : Sometimes used to regulate hormones and combat side effects of other medications, these can increase risk for endometriosis, blood-clotting problems, weight gain and more.
  7.  Corticosteroids : Prednisone and other types of corticosteroids can counter the inflammation of lupus. High doses of steroids such as methylprednisolone (A-Methapred, Medrol) are often used to control serious disease that involves the kidneys and brain. Side effects include weight gain, easy bruising, thinning bones (osteoporosis), high blood pressure, diabetes and increased risk of infection. The risk of side effects increases with higher doses and longer term therapy.
  8.  Antimalarial drugs : Medications commonly used to treat malaria, such as hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), affect the immune system and can help decrease the risk of lupus flares. Side effects can include stomach upset and, very rarely, damage to the retina of the eye. Regular eye exams are recommended when taking these medications.

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Foods That Can Worsen Lupus Disease 
Some foods that can contribute to lupus and make autoimmune disease symptoms worse include:

  • Gluten: Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, barley, rye and most flour-containing products. Gluten intolerance is common because it’s difficult for many people to digest properly. This can increase leaky gut syndrome, inflammation or trigger a lupus flare-up.
  • Trans fat and sometimes saturated fats: These fats are found in fast food, many fried foods and packaged/processed foods , and can lead to inflammation and heart problems. Some people with lupus have a hard time metabolizing saturated fats and should limit cheese, red meat, creamy foods and packaged foods.
  • Added sugar: Too much sugar can overstimulate the immune system and increase pain.
  • High-sodium foods : Because lupus can damage the kidneys in fact, lupus nephritis is a type of kidney disease caused by systemic lupus erythematosus — it’s best to try to keep sodium and salt levels low to prevent fluid retention, worsened swelling and electrolyte imbalances.
  • Alcohol and too much caffeine : These can increase anxiety, worsen inflammation, damage the liver, increase pain, and cause dehydration and sleep-related problems.
  • Certain legumes: Alfalfa seeds and sprouts, green beans, peanuts, soybeans, and snow peas contain a substance that has been shown to trigger lupus flare-ups in some patients (although not all). Negative reactions in certain patients are believed to be caused by the amino acid L-canavanine.

Various medications have helped improve the prognosis in lupus. These include a variety of improved blood pressure tablets and diuretics, anticoagulants (aspirin or warfarin) in those patients with a clotting tendency, anti-epileptic and anti-depressive medication. Skin creams include corticosteroids and newer, vastly improved sun-protection creams. There are now, in addition to standard calcium and vitamin D preparations, modern effective drugs for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Cutaneous lupus erythematosus is the type of lupus that encompasses a wide range of dermatologic symptoms. Studies show that up to 90 percent of people with lupus develop skin rashes and legions, including a “butter-fly shaped” rash that covers the cheeks and nose. It’s possible to develop coin-sized skin lesions, red skin, itchiness, peeling and a very high level of sensitivity to sunlight ( photosensitivity).

In the case of skin lesions, patients might find that as one lesion/patch goes away another one starts to appear and form a scale, usually at the same time that symptoms like fatigue and joint pain increase. Skin rashes associated with lupus are caused by an underlying inflammatory response. It’s important to protect sensitive skin from irritants and also the sun if skin starts to show signs of a rash, hives or redness. Certain chemicals in household or beauty products (like lotions, detergents, washes and makeup) can worsen skin inflammation and make dryness and itchiness worse.



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Author: Richard Smith