About Lucas part two

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.       

 

Some people are born with a tendency toward developing lupus, which may be triggered by infections, certain drugs or even sunlight. While there’s no cure for lupus, treatments can help control symptoms.

No two cases of lupus are exactly alike. Signs and symptoms may come on suddenly or develop slowly, may be mild or severe, and may be temporary or permanent. Most people with lupus have mild disease characterized by episodes — called flares — when signs and symptoms get worse for a while, then improve or even disappear completely for a time.

The signs and symptoms of lupus that you experience will depend on which body systems are affected by the disease. The most common signs and symptoms include:  Fatigue and fever. Joint pain, stiffness and swelling, Butterfly-shaped rash on the face that covers the cheeks and bridge of the nose. Skin lesions that appear or worsen with sun exposure (photosensitivity).

 

 Fingers and toes that turn white or blue when exposed to cold or during stressful periods (Raynaud’s phenomenon). Shortness of breath, Chest pain, Dry eyes, Headaches, confusion and  and memory loss,.

You should see your doctor if you develop an unexplained rash, ongoing fever, persistent aching or fatigue.

occurs when your immune system attacks healthy tissue in your body. It’s likely that lupus results from a combination of your genetics and your environment. It appears that people with an inherited predisposition for lupus may develop the disease when they come into contact with something in the environment that can trigger lupus. The cause for lupus in most cases, however, is unknown. Some potential triggers include:

Sunlight. Exposure to the sun may bring on lupus skin lesions or trigger an internal response in susceptible people.  

Infections. Having an infection can initiate lupus or cause a relapse in some people.

Medications. Lupus can be triggered by certain types of anti-seizure medications, blood pressure medications and antibiotics. People who have drug-induced lupus usually see their symptoms go away when they stop taking the medication.

Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many areas of your body, including your: Kidneys. Lupus can cause serious kidney damage, and kidney failure is one of the leading causes of death among people with lupus. Signs and symptoms of kidney problems may include generalized itching, chest pain, nausea, vomiting and leg swelling (edema).

Brain and central nervous system. If your brain is affected by lupus, you may experience headaches, dizziness, behavior changes, hallucinations, and even strokes or seizures. Many people with lupus experience memory problems and may have difficulty expressing their thoughts.

Blood and blood vessels. Lupus may lead to blood problems, including anemia and increased risk of bleeding or blood clotting. It can also cause inflammation of the blood vessels (vasculitis).

Lungs. Having lupus increases your chances of developing an inflammation of the chest cavity lining (pleurisy), which can make breathing painful. You may also be more susceptible to pneumonia.

Heart. Lupus can cause inflammation of your heart muscle, your arteries or heart membrane (pericarditis). The risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks increases greatly as well.

Other types of complications

Having lupus also increases your risk of:. Infection. People with lupus are more vulnerable to infection because both the disease and its treatments weaken the immune system. Infections that most commonly affect people with lupus include urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, yeast infections, salmonella, herpes and shingles.

Cancer. Having lupus appears to increase your risk of cancer.

Bone tissue death (avascular necrosis). This occurs when the blood supply to a bone diminishes, often leading to tiny breaks in the bone and eventually to the bone’s collapse. The hip joint is most commonly affected.

Pregnancy complications. Women with lupus have an increased risk of miscarriage. Lupus increases the risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy (preeclampsia) and preterm birth. To reduce the risk of these complications, doctors often recommend delaying pregnancy until your disease has been under control for at least six months.

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Suffering the Silence — Flying Above Lupus

Hey lupies, Be sure to check out this awesome video of two young girls, best friends, who both suffer from chronic illnesses. Ally who battles Lyme disease and Erika who battles Lupus. See how they’ve started a movement and have inspired millions of others suffering in silence to speak up and speak out!

via Suffering the Silence — Flying Above Lupus

Preparing for your Appointment

You’re likely to start by seeing your family doctor or primary care provider, but he or she may refer you to a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory joint conditions (rheumatologist). Because the symptoms of lupus can mimic so many other health problems, you may need patience while waiting for a diagnosis. Your doctor must rule out a number of other illnesses before diagnosing lupus. You may need to see a doctor who specializes in immune system diseases and disorders (rheumatologist) to confirm a diagnosis or to continue treatment.

  

What you can do to better help your doctor treat you.
Before your appointment, you may want to write a list of answers to the following questions:

1,When did your symptoms begin? Do they come and go?

2.Does anything seem to trigger your symptoms?

3.Have your parents or siblings had lupus or other autoimmune disorders?

4.What medications and supplements do you take regularly?

You may also want to write down questions to ask your doctor, such as:

1.What are the possible causes of my symptoms or condition?

2.What tests do you recommend?

3.If these tests don’t pinpoint the cause of my symptoms, what additional tests might I need?

4.Are there any treatments or lifestyle changes that might help my symptoms now?

5.Do I need to follow any restrictions while we’re seeking a diagnosis?

6.Should I see a specialist?

In addition to the questions that you’ve prepared to ask your doctor, don’t hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don’t understand something.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may leave time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:

1.Does sun exposure cause you to develop skin rashes?

2.Do your fingers become pale, numb or uncomfortable in the cold?

3.Do your symptoms include any problems with memory or concentration?

4.How much do your symptoms limit your ability to function at school, at work or in personal relationships?

5.Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?

6.Are you pregnant, or do you plan to become pregnant?

Tests and diagnosis

Diagnosing lupus is difficult because signs and symptoms vary considerably from person to person. Signs and symptoms of lupus may vary over time and overlap with those of many other disorders. No one test can diagnose lupus. The combination of blood and urine tests, signs and symptoms, and physical examination findings leads to  he diagnosis.

Laboratory tests

Blood and urine tests may include:

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, another inflammatory condition, cancer or an infection.

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.

Imaging tests

If your doctor suspects that lupus is affecting your lungs or heart, he or she may suggest: 

Chest X-ray. An image of your chest may reveal abnormal shadows that suggest fluid or inflammation in your lungs.

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.

Biopsy Lupus can harm your kidneys in many different ways, and treatments can vary, depending on the type of damage that occurs. In some cases, it’s necessary to test a small sample of kidney tissue to determine what the best treatment might be. The sample can be obtained with a needle or through a small incision.

Skincare Tips For Lupus Patients

Skincare Tips For Lupus Patients By Ctlupus3
Finding the right beauty products for your skin can be a struggle for any woman, but it can be especially difficult for women living with lupus. Many lupus patients experience rashes and scarring and it is very important to make sure you are using the appropriate skincare products for your condition. Luckily, LFACT has some tips to keeping your skin feeling healthy and looking great!

Always wear sunscreen

This is extremely important. Light sensitivity is a major symptom of lupus, therefore it is vital to protect yourself from UV rays. Make sunscreen a part of your everyday routine, even beyond the summer season. Apply to your skin before putting makeup on. Be sure to look for a sunscreen with 30 SPF or higher, hypoallergenic, broad-spectrum protection (UVA and UVB), and one with physical blockers (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide). Be sure to test a little drop on your skin before slathering all over to avoid skin irritation.

Use hypo-allergenic products

Lupus patients have extremely sensitive skin, so avoid allergic reactions by using hypo-allergenic products. Be sure to read labels before using any product on your skin!

Get your Vitamin C

Find lotions and skincare products that contain antioxidants like Vitamin C, which can neutralize free radicals and minimize inflammation.

Cover up

Cover up rashes and scars with a thick concealer. Make sure it is appropriate for sensitive skin and hypoallergenic! Try camouflaging those unwanted marks and blemishes with products like Dermablend. Ask your doctor before applying makeup to avoid irritation!

Typically, if you look good, you feel good! Talk to your doctor and try out these beauty tips to start feeling grea

 

Anti-Inflammatory Smoothies

 by ctlupus

Smoothies can be a quick and easy way to get the nutrients you need on the go! Specifically for lupus patients, smoothies are chock full of fruits and veggies that can reduce inflammation and help with pain. Certain fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory powers to keep you feeling fabulous! Beat the heat this summer and heal your body with these anti-inflammatory smoothie recipes. Click the pictures below for full recipes!

Blueberry Peach
  
BLUEBERRY-PEACH SMOOTHIE What you’ll need . . .

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 cup frozen peaches

1 cup Greek yogurt

10 raw almonds

Almond milk

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until well incorporated.

Add almond milk to achieve your desired consistency. I go for a thicker smoothie (so I added only 1/4 cup or so), but you may like things a little more easy flowing!

feeling adventurous, create your own smoothie concoction! The lists below consist of fruits and vegetables that help with inflammation. Choose these ingredients when making your own smoothies!
Fruits:

Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)

Grapes

Apple

Orange

Grapefruit

Pear

Lemon

Plum

Apricot

Papaya

Mango

Banana

Watermelon

Pineapple

Cucumber
Vegetables:

Kale

Spinach

Swiss

Chard

Collard Greens

Broccoli

Celery

Parsley

Carrot

Radish

Beetroot


Change Your Focus

Lupus In Color

Don’t always focus on what lupus pain was in your body or the pain that has yet to come. Take time to create conscious thoughts on the wellness within you and invite your focus to be in ‘I am well ‘ mode. It’s going to be hard to do, but your body, mind and soul will thank you and be in a position to return the favor by feeling a bit better. When we control our thoughts our body can follow. It won’t totally remove lupus from your person, but it will give you a little reprieve. Change your focus, change your struggle and increase power into your battle over lupus

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#LupusInColor

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What to Do About Lupus Hair Loss

What to Do About Lupus Hair Loss By lupus ny

Most people don’t even notice the 50 to 100 strands of hair that they usually lose every day. With systemic lupus, the situation can be very different, with the loss of hair much more dramatic and noticeable.

Lupus hair loss can be caused by the disease itself, as the immune system destroys hair follicles, or by medicines such as prednisone and immune system-suppressants—in which case hair loss often stops once the medicine is stopped.  Hair may fall out in strands, or in clumps with the slightest pull, and sometimes it just thins out and gets very fragile and breakable.


If you are among the half of all people with systemic lupus who struggles with this problem, here are some ideas about what you can do about it:

Action steps

Losing hair can be scary, but it’s usually treatable and often can be covered up. It may take a while for hair to grow back—sometimes 6 months or more—but eventually it usually does unless it’s caused by skin (“cutaneous”) lupus that leads to a “discoid rash.” (Patches of thick and scaly red “discoid” rash can scar hair follicles and cause lasting hair loss, so be sure to talk to your doctor about your options if these develop. “Alopecia” is the medical term for hair loss.

For most hair loss, you aren’t powerless! Here are some strategies to try:

Refresh your hair style. Ask a hairdresser for ideas to cover up bald spots. To make hair look thicker, try a cut that layers. When blow drying, try lifting hair up and away from the head. Or ask about dying hair to cover up bare scalp that otherwise might show through.

Consider hair extensions. If you still have some healthy hair and are just missing some patches on the sides (not the top)—and aren’t actively losing hair—consider hair extensions. Pre-made and custom-made extensions are available, and different ways to attach them (sewing, knotting, or adding in through tiny links are often best to avoid contact with chemicals, adhesives (glues) and heat.

Try a wig. These days wigs are so well-made that most people can’t tell you have one on. To start take a friend to just look around. You may well feel a lot better when you see what options there are!

Experiment with hair wraps, scarves, bandanas, accessories—tips are on the Internet! Enter “hair loss” along with the term “wrap,” or “scarf” in Youtube.com and you’ll get more free video demonstrations and ideas than you can handle!


Last resort: cosmetic surgery. For extreme and permanent hair loss, stretching the remaining hair to cover what’s been lost may be an option, or even transplanting hair from another part of the scalp.

If you have lupus and are losing hair, do NOT experiment with over-the-counter hair loss treatments. Talk to your doctor about treatment options.

What’s NOT to blame for lupus hair loss? 

While it’s only common sense to avoid harsh chemicals or even very tight braids that pull on your scalp, you can’t really blame serious hair loss on a lack of vitamins, washing your hair a lot, or using hair colorings or other common hair products. Some hair loss follows the pattern that your mother or father experienced as well, and is totally normal.