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Lupus

At King’s, our physicians have decades of experience in treating lupus and are highly skilled in managing patients with this condition.

Overview: What is lupus?

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that occurs due to the abnormal response of the immune system to the body’s own tissues and organs. It is a systemic disorder characterized by widespread inflammation in different organs and body systems including the joints, kidneys, skin, blood cells, brain, lungs, and heart.

Why does lupus occur?

Lupus occurs when the immune system fails to identify the healthy tissue in the body and attacks them resulting in their destruction.

Some potential triggers include:

  • Excessive exposure to the sun
  • Infections
  • Side effects of some medications like antihypertensive drugs, antibiotics, and anti-seizure medications

What are the symptoms of lupus?

The common symptoms of lupus may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Joint pains
  • Swelling and stiffness in the joints
  • Fever
  • A butterfly-shaped rash on the cheeks and bridge of the nose
  • Skin lesions that worsen with sun exposure
  • Dry eyes
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Shortness of breath

What are the risk factors for lupus?

  • Women are 9 times more likely to develop lupus than men.
  • Lupus is more common in patients between the ages of 15 and 45 years.
  • Lupus is more common in Asian, Hispanic, and Native American women.
  • Patients with a family history of lupus are more likely to develop it.
  • Smoking
  • Excessive exposure to sunlight
  • Viral infections

Treatment of Lupus

The treatment for lupus depends on the specific signs and symptoms the patient develops. The medications commonly used for the treatment of lupus include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used to relieve pain, fever, and swelling associated with lupus.
  • Antimalarial drugs like hydroxychloroquine can affect the functions of the immune system and reduce the risk of flare-ups.
  • Corticosteroids such as prednisone can control inflammation caused due to lupus.
  • Immunosuppressants are prescribed to suppress the faulty response of the immune system.
  • Biologics like belimumab can be administered intravenously to reduce lupus symptoms.

Results

Regular treatment and following a healthy lifestyle can help patients avoid frequent flare-ups associated with lupus and improve the quality of their life.

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