Lupus is defined as an inflammatory disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. The result of this hyperactive immune system is inflammation, swelling, and damage to the joints, skin, kidneys, blood, heart, and lungs. For some people, the symptoms of lupus are relatively minor. For others, the disease leads to lifelong disability.
If you have lupus or think you might be experiencing symptoms of the condition, contact Dr. Susan A. Baker in Los Angeles by calling (310) 274–7770 for a consultation. In addition to being board certified in both internal medicine and rheumatology, she has also received both the “Patient’s Choice Award” and “Most Compassionate Doctor” award.
Common Symptoms of Lupus
- Discoid lupus erthematosus (DLE)
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
DLE typically affects skin that is exposed to sunlight. It does not usually harm the internal organs. SLE is more serious than DLE. It affects both the skin and the internal organs.
While lupus affects everyone in a slightly different way, some of the most common symptoms include :
- Joint stiffness, swelling, or pain
- Skin lesions from sun exposure
- Butterfly-shaped rash on the face
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Memory loss
- Dry eyes
- White or bluish hands from lack of blood
For more information on lupus treatment, visit WebMD.com.
Certain people are also at a higher risk than others for developing lupus. The three most important elements are sex, age, and race. Women more commonly develop the condition than men. Lupus is also diagnosed most often in people between the ages of 15 and 40. Finally, the disease is seen more frequently in African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians.
Diagnosis and Treatment
While there is no known cure for lupus, a number of treatments are available to prevent flare-ups, treat symptoms, and reduce potential organ damage. For those with mild lupus, medications such as aspirin or Advil are helpful to relieve joint pain. Corticosteroids are commonly prescribed to reduce swelling and pain in parts of the body affected by lupus. Other medications such as antimalarial drugs, BLyS-specific inhibitors, and immunosuppressive agents have also proven effective in treating symptoms. Ultimately, you will need to work with an expert rheumatologist like Dr. Baker to find the treatment program that is right for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What kind of doctor should I see if I have lupus?
Q: What can I do to control my symptoms?
Q: Is it safe to become pregnant after being diagnosed?
Contact a Los Angeles Rheumatologist
If you have lupus or think you might be at risk, you need a doctor with the skills, experience, and compassion to help you manage your condition. Dr. Susan A. Baker is one of the leading Los Angeles rheumatologists with board certification in both internal medicine and rheumatology. Don’t wait any longer. Fill out the online contact form or call (310) 274-7770 today to schedule your appointment.
Next, read about vasculitis.