We hope to broadly answer some of your most common questions in this blog, delving deeper into these specific issues in subsequent blogs to come in the next months. While we don’t propose to be doctors or even know what type or severity of lupus you have, we will attempt to give a fairly wide scope of information that can lead you to ask your medical professional what is right for you. Health professionals and researchers continue to develop and look for new ways to manage, treat, and hopefully one day, cure lupus. Currently there are a number of medications for managing lupus, depending on the type of lupus you are diagnosed with and all of this information can be confusing at best and even overwhelming.
There are many types of lupus but for the simplicity of this blog’s purpose, we will just be speaking of the two most common, and how they are being treated and managed today. For more information about lupus please click on this link to our website. http://www.mollysfund.org/resources/quick-facts-about-lupus/
(Sometimes generically referred to as SLE, systemic lupus erythematosus) is an autoimmune disease, one that takes on several forms and can affect any part of the body, but is most commonly attacks the skin, joints, the heart, lungs, blood, kidneys and brain. This is the most common type of lupus.
In discoid lupus, chronic inflammatory sores develop on the face, ears, and scalp and on other body areas as well. People with lupus know the disease can affect various parts of their body, both inside and out, in a variety of ways. But one of the clearest signs that a person has developed the disease is the way it affects the skin (cutaneous disease).
Photosensitivity is also a common occurrence in lupus patients. It can present itself in several ways. *The four most common ways are:
Those with photosensitivity and lupus skin disease should wear sunscreen, and avoid natural sunlight and tanning beds as this photosensitivity will exacerbate the disease.*Information from Right Diagnosis.com Some lupus sufferers also have Raynaud’s Phenomenon, a condition that can cause an narrowing of the smaller arteries that supply blood to your skin, limiting blood circulation to affected areas, often extremities like your fingers, toes, and tip of the nose. This in turn, causes some areas of your body to feel numb and cold in response to cold temperatures and/or stress. In fact we linked to a great site a few weeks ago on our Facebook page: http://www.raynauds.org.uk/raynauds/
The Most Common Lupus Medications
The first new medication in 50 years for the treatment of lupus, approved in 2011 is Benlysta. It is a human monoclonal antibody used for the treatment of patients with active, autoantibody-positive, SLE who are receiving standard therapy. It is given as an intravenous infusion and targets specific immune cells, rather than other therapies that suppress the entire immune system. Benlysta is not an option for everyone, you will need to discuss with your doctor if it is right for you. With help in finding a physician in your area, check out our handy referral network link here:
We think this article from the Lupus Foundation of America, is a very helpful. It can assist you in asking the right questions to your medical caregiver so that you can make the best decisions for your health and well being. http://www.lupus.org/webmodules/webarticlesnet/templates/new_learntreating.aspx?articleid=2249&zoneid=525
The simple answer is yes, there are. The more complex answer is that they may not be right for you. Sometimes alternative therapies and lupus medications can be of benefit, often used in conjunction with traditional medications. It is very important to discuss these options with your doctor before initiating any treatment on your own, as they may interfere or adversely react with your conventional medications. Here is a short list of those alternative treatments, taken from the Mayo Clinic’s website, on this subject.
Some complementary and alternative treatments for lupus include:
We hope that this blog has been a little bit of streamlined information to help you on your journey of lupus management and even direct you to some options you may have not known about. Stay tuned for more in depth follow up blogs on the subject of lupus management and medications!