Living » Ask the Experts at East Jefferson General Hospital

Could I have Lupus?

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Lupus is an autoimmune disease that anyone can get at any time. However, the majority of people with Lupus are women between the ages of 15 and 45.

People diagnosed with Lupus often experience some of the following symptoms:

• Muscle or joint pain

• Fever of over 100 degrees

• Extreme fatigue

• Anemia

• Weight gain or loss

• Painful breathing

• Rashes, especially a butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose

• Sensitivity to light

• Hair loss

• Abnormal blood clotting

• Dry or inflamed eyes

• Seizures

• Mouth or nose ulcers

Muscle and joint pain, fatigue and fever of unknown origin are the most common signs of Lupus, making the disease sometimes difficult to diagnose. If you suspect you have Lupus, your doctor may gather facts about your medical history and the history of autoimmune disease in your family, give you a complete physical exam, conduct a antinuclear antibody (ANA) test or take a skin or kidney biopsy to determine if your tissue exhibits signs of autoimmune disease.

There is no cure for Lupus, but you and your doctor can create a plan to help manage flare-ups and symptoms. Many people with Lupus are treated with one or more medications including nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, antimalarial drugs, BLyS-specific inhibitors, and Immunosuppressive agents.

If you suspect you may have Lupus and would like to schedule an appointment with an, East Jefferson General Hospital rheumatologist, call HealthFinder today at 504-456-5000 or visit us at www.ejgh.org.

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