Lupus is a complex and chronic disease that can affect any part of your body and cause serious health complications. Women develop lupus 10 times more often than men, with symptoms first appearing between the ages of 15-44. Deep Dalal, MD, FACR, RhMSUS, at BW Arthritis & Rheumatology, PA, specializes in the treatment of lupus, relieving symptoms during acute flare-ups and helping patients keep their disease in remission. To learn more about lupus, call the office in Glen Burnie, Maryland, or schedule an appointment online.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect many areas of your body, including your joints, skin, kidneys, heart, and other organs.
When you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks healthy tissues. As a result, inflammation develops, and the affected tissues are damaged.
These are the three primary types of lupus:
The most common type of lupus, SLE affects many organ systems and is known for causing chronic inflammation in your joints, skin, and kidneys.
SLE often causes a skin rash, but if you have cutaneous lupus, your skin is the only part of your body affected.
There are several types of chronic cutaneous lupus, each with distinct rashes. For example, discoid lupus produces raised, scaly lesions on your scalp that cause scarring and hair loss.
Some medications can cause lupus-like symptoms. However, the problem goes away after you stop taking the medication.
Lupus symptoms depend on the type of lupus and the part of your body that’s affected. Your symptoms may develop gradually, appear suddenly, and range from mild to severe. Most patients experience flare-ups followed by periods of remission.
These are some of the most common symptoms:
Severe cases of SLE cause serious complications such as kidney disease, nervous system inflammation, and hardening of the arteries.
Ultraviolet (UV) light triggers flare-ups and worsens any existing symptoms in about 40-70% of patients with lupus. If you’re in this group, you’ll need to use sunscreen daily.
Indoor lighting can also cause problems. Incandescent and fluorescent lights give off a small amount of UV radiation, but with prolonged exposure, they can trigger your symptoms. The solution is to switch to LED lights.
Since systemic and cutaneous lupus are chronic conditions, your treatment focuses on using medications to keep the disease in remission and relieve acute symptoms when a flare-up develops. Dr. Dalal may prescribe one or more medications, such as:
Biologics are given intravenously in the comfort of a private infusion suite located in the office. The infusion suite has a TV and WiFi access, and it’s staffed by highly trained registered nurses.
If you have questions about lupus or you need treatment, call BW Arthritis & Rheumatology or schedule an appointment online.