Lupus is a disease of the immune system, it occurs when the body fights part of itself instead of concentrating only on the invaders. Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE), causes a skin rash that is especially sensitive to sunlight. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), is a more serious form. It effects the skin as well as other vital organs, it usually causes a raised, scaly butterfly-shaped rash across the bridge of the nose and cheeks, it can leave scars if it is not treated. It can also be responsible for the damage of the connective tissue in the muscles, joints and skin and the membranes surrounding the kidneys, lungs, brain and heart. It can afflict a person on and off for different periods of time and its intensity can range from annoying to debilitating. Symptoms include:
Muscle or joint aches
Poor circulation in fingers and toes
Enlarged lymph nodes
Nose, mouth and throat ulcers
Frequent or blocked urination
The cause of lupus is unknown, researchers know that the disease is associated with abnormalities of the immune system. Environmental elements, such as viral and bacterial infections to severe emotional stress or overexposure to sunlight often help trigger the disease. Your doctor should be contacted for a proper diagnosis and tests.
Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen when exposed to the sun.
When to seek further professional advice
If there is a family history of lupus or if you have several of the symptoms listed above.
There are a wide variety of alternative solutions for relieving the symptoms of this disorder. You should avoid foods that may cause allergies, also try to cut down on red meat and dairy products and increase your consumption of fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. Alfalfa has been found to aggravate the symptoms so try to avoid this food. The following supplements might be beneficial to people suffering with lupus - Vitamins B5, C and E, Beta carotene, preparations of slippery elm. Get professional advice for the correct dosages.
A pain killer for any pain associated with the joints and medication for the rashes will be prescribed for you by your doctor.
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