Lupus – “The Great Imitator”: Special Guest Blog Post!! March 26, 2014Posted by fitmontclair in Fitness, Fitness in Montclair, Health & Exercise, Injury Prevention, Montclair, Nutrition, Women's Health.
Tags: autoimmune, DMARD, healthline, lupus, RheumaBlog, Vandever
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Hi Fitmontclair Blog readers!
I know it has been a while since I gave you some new info….Actually you can blame facebook; all the great info & posts that I normally put here have been on my personal facebook page AND the ADVANCED FITNESS CONCEPTS facebook page!
In media and educating the masses, “SPEED RULES!” i.e. the faster I can get info to you all – THE BETTER!! Due to my slow typing etc facebook updates are MUCH, MUCH faster for me to get you the latest scientific TRUTH on: Health, Fitness, Exercise, and Rehabilitation! So check out my pages for TONS of great info (and I promise I will have more updates here at the Fitmontclair Blog – from me and hopefully more special guest bloggers – if you want to be a guest blogger, please email me for the details!)
A few weeks back, Healthline contacted me and asked about having some posts by one of their health blogging specialists.I agreed for Healthline has excellent scientifically based info and has been featured on sites that I like and respect such as: Natural News and The Washington Times – both of which I have linked to & referenced in some of my previous posts (It was Natural News that saved the Organic Spies videos after Youtube removed them because they showed the Whole Foods “sting” operations proving that they do sell HIDDEN GMO foods and that their employees are trained to LIE about that!).
My only requests were that the blog posts cover subjects that I had not yet covered, were not in my field of expertise and that they provided scientific references to the source materials. So here is our first guest post on a very important topic: LUPUS. I hope you all enjoy it and find the information insightful & useful - Thanks Leslie!
By Leslie Vandever
Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosis) is a chronic, incurable autoimmune disease that affects nearly every part of the body. Because its symptoms are so similar to those of other diseases, lupus is notoriously hard to diagnose. No surprise, then, that it’s also known as “the great imitator.”
“Erythematosis” means “redness” in Latin. “Lupus” (Latin for “wolf”) was given its name in the 14th Century. People thought the disease’s skin rash and ulcers resembled wolf bites.
“Auto” means “self.” An autoimmune disease is one in which the immune system—which defends the body from invaders like bacteria and viruses—mistakes its own tissues for invaders. It creates proteins called antibodies whose sole purpose is to destroy the invaders. The resulting battle causes inflammation and pain in and around the affected tissues.
Lupus attacks the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs. The disease is chronic—it comes and goes—and it’s unpredictable. Symptoms will suddenly appear or worsen (flare) and then fade away (remission). How the patient feels depends upon the flare’s intensity. A mild flare may be no more than an annoyance, but a severe one can cause considerable pain and disability. Flares vary in length.
Lupus most often strikes women between 15 and 44 years old, but men, children and teens can also get lupus. African-American, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American women get it two to three times more often than Caucasian women. The reason for this—and the cause of the disease itself—are still mysteries.
To diagnose lupus, doctors may use a list of symptoms and other measures developed by the American College of Rheumatology. These include:
· Rashes, particularly across the cheeks and the bridge of the nose. This is called a malar, or “butterfly” rash because its shape suggests a butterfly
· Low-grade fever
· Sores in the nose or mouth
· Arthritis—tenderness and swelling of two or more joints lasting for a few weeks
· Chest pain when breathing deeply (attributed to swelling of the heart or lung tissues)
· Kidney problems
· Seizures, stroke or psychosis
· Abnormal blood tests, such as low red or white blood cell counts, a positive antinuclear antibody (found in almost everyone who has lupus), or certain other antibodies
Diagnosing lupus can be a lengthy process that’s frustrating for both the patient and the doctor. But caution is vital. The drugs used to treat lupus are powerful, and some of them can have serious side-effects. Since lupus symptoms can be so similar to those of other conditions, diseases and syndromes, they must be considered carefully, one by one, and ruled out. Patients who have lupus often have other, related autoimmune diseases as well, such as rheumatoid arthritis and Sjoegren’s syndrome.
Lupus, like other autoimmune diseases, is incurable, a lifetime disease. Doctors work to keep the disease process as quiet as possible to prevent flares and damage to the organs and other parts of the body. Symptoms are treated as they appear.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen, are often prescribed for inflammation and pain. When warranted, powerful corticosteroids, such as prednisone, may be used to quickly reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain. Taken in high doses, steroids calm the agitated, overactive immune system.
Other treatments include DMARDs (disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs) like the anti-malarial drugs hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate. Other DMARDs commonly used include leflunomide and sulfasalazine. Methotrexate, a chemotherapy drug long used in much higher doses for children with leukemia, is commonly used in smaller doses as a DMARD for lupus and some other autoimmune diseases.
In 2011, a new class of drugs called BLyS-specific inhibitors were approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They work to limit autoantibodies in the blood of lupus patients.
Self-care is important. A healthy, balanced, nutritious diet, a gentle exercise regime, and plenty of restful sleep can make a real difference in how the lupus patient feels. For more information about lupus or other health-related questions, click here.
Leslie Vandever—known as “Wren” to the readers of RheumaBlog, her personal blog about living well with rheumatoid arthritis—is a professional journalist and freelance writer with more than 25 years of experience. She lives in the foothills of Northern California.
I hope you all enjoyed our special guest post!
Until next time,
Stay Strong & Train Smarter – NOT harder!
“Using Science to Maximize Health and Performance”
ONLY 61 DAYS UNTIL MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND 2014!!!
· Systemic Lupus Erythematosis (Lupus). (2013, Feb.) American College of Rheumatology. Retrieved on March 3, 2014 from http://www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/diseases_and_conditions/lupus.asp
· What is Lupus? (n.d.) Lupus Foundation of America. Retrieved on March 3, 2014 from http://www.lupus.org/answers/entry/what-is-lupus
· Lupus Fact Sheet. (2012, Jul 16) Womenshealth.gov. Office on Women’s Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved on March 3, 2014 from http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/lupus.html#i
· Systemic Lupus Erythematosis (SLE or lupus). (2012, Apr 20) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved on March 3, 2014 from http://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/lupus.htm
· Systemic Lupus Erythematosis. (n.d.) Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved on March 3, 2014 from http://www.arthritis.org/conditions-treatments/disease-center/systemic-lupus-erythematosus-lupus-sle/
· Potter, B. The History of the Disease Called Lupus. (1993) Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences. Oxford Journals. Retrieved on March 3, 2014 from http://jhmas.oxfordjournals.org/content/48/1/80.extract#
· Lupus. (2011, Oct. 26) Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on March 4, 2014 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lupus/basics/definition/CON-20019676