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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 change..so 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

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