Skip to main content

What is Lupus?

Not unlike rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)  is an autoimmune disease. The basic problem is that antibodies that attack the body are formed; they circulate in the blood stream and attack normal human tissue as if it were a foreign invader.  The result: inflammation, damage and pain in various parts of the body.

Lupus has numerous signs and symptoms, but perhaps the most well-known is a butterfly shaped rash on the face, across the bridge of the nose and cheeks. Other symptoms include fatigue, swelling, joint pain, clotting disorders and anemia.  SLE is a difficult disease to diagnose because the symptoms mimic those of other disease states.

There is no specific drug treatment for lupus, so treatment is based on symptoms that are present. Over a person's lifetime these symptoms can the treatment changes as well.  Finding a good rheumatologist is essential for SLE patients.

As with many other chronic pain issues, many of the non drug pain management ideas that I am presenting in this blog are of great use to lupus patients.  I tend to think the healthy lifestyle options would be if the most benefit, especially the anti-inflammatory diet!

For further information, there is a lot of information at the link below.  If you think you might have lupus, or you know someone who does, there is a lot of help for you on that site.

Source: Lupus Foundation of America


Popular posts from this blog

Living with Chronic pain hits the big screen!

Been to the movies lately?  Jennifer Aniston is on the big screen in a recent release titled "Cake."
Her character, Claire is a victim of chronic pain...she belongs to a support group, where all of the members are coming to terms with the suicide of one of their members.  Of course, she also takes pain medication and addiction is another of her problems...and of course there's more!

I guess I am writing this post just to bring readers' attention to the fact that Hollywood has become aware of the crisis that is chronic pain.  This movie is a testament to that. People that don't have to live with this kind of pain don't fully understand the whole story.  Maybe this movie will shed some light on the issues.

Here is the official trailer for the movie:

Sources: prweb;;YouTube

Herpes As A Helper?

If you've ever had shingles, or known anyone that has experienced it, you probably know that chronic pain can persist following the initial attack (post herpetic neuralgia).  This is because the herpes virus seems to have an affinity for nerve cells.  And while it's not fun to have shingles or post herpetic neuralgia, the herpes virus may be a key in future development of delivery systems for pain management treatments.

Here's the deal--since Herpes simplex has an affinity for nerve cells, researchers are looking a genetically modified, safer version of the virus to deliver genetic material to damaged nerves.  In simple terms, once the genetic material reaches these nerve cells, it will hopefully encode these nerves to ultimately inhibit pain signals.  Animal studies and clinical trials in cancer patients have been encouraging thus far.

This is one of those developments that makes me believe that there is hope for those in chronic pain. Along with so many other exciting d…

The Knee Bone's Connected To The Leg Bone....

Two recent studies have brought a not-so-novel concept into the limelight-the concept being that people who present with knee pain often develop pain in other parts of their bodies.  These studies, known as the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST) and the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI), were assessed by a Clinical Epidemiology Team as Boston University School of Medicine in an effort to find preventive strategies to combat this trend.

The authors suggest that knee pain may cause individuals to alter their gait in an effort to compensate for their discomfort. In doing so, the alignment of other body joints is altered, and this may be the cause of secondary joint pain, especially hips and ankles. The authors go on to say that the pain in these secondary sites is not necessarily osteoarthritis--perhaps bursitis or some other injury.

Osteoarthritis is a result of wear and tear in the joints.  We may not be able to completely eliminate osteoarthritis from occurring, but some common se…