Published on Feb 15, 2018Tips, advice, and resources to help with medical costs.
ublished on Jan 17, 2018Advice on recognizing and managing lupus flares from top rheumatologist.
Lupus Flares: Recognizing one, triggers, and prevention
Unpredictable and debilitating bouts with symptoms of the disease are known as flares.
At times lupus patients may have periods with few to no symptoms, commonly called remissions. Some physicians are uncomfortable with the term “remission” as lupus symptoms rarely disappear completely. They may, instead, choose to use the term “quiescence” (pronounced: kwee-ess-ence.) At other times the patient may have high disease activity which include unpredictable and debilitating bouts with symptoms of the disease.
Flares can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe. For example: A mild flare could perhaps be signaled by a lupus rash, moderate flares could include the rash, fatigue, and joint or muscle pain, and severe flares could potentially cause damage to the organs including fluid buildup around the heart or even kidney disease or failure (called lupus nephritis), which would require immediate medical attention. Back to top
So how is a lupus flare recognized?
Most lupus patients will have symptoms of muscle and joint pain as well as fatigue regularly, so what makes a flare different? Here are some warning signs of a pending lupus flare:
It is important to report any of these with your medical caregiver as soon as possible so that they can quickly assess and treat any symptoms that could signal a flare. Keeping a daily symptom journal can be a helpful tool. Back to top
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Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissues. It results in symptoms such as inflammation, swelling, and damage to joints, skin, kidneys, blood, the heart, and lungs.
This is the way it works. There is a protein called antibody that the immune system produces in order to protect and fight against antigens (which are foreign substance to the body) such as viruses and bacteria. Lupus will now make the immune system unable to recognize and differentiate between antigen and the normal healthy tissue in the body which makes the immune system direct antibodies against the healthy tissue causing swelling, pain, and tissue damage.
The effect of lupus can affect any part of the body such as joints, blood vessels, lungs, kidney and other internal organs.
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