Systemic and Discoid
Lupus is a chronic disease of the immune system. Lupus is the Latin word which means Wolf. This disease has the peculiarity of causing the immune system to attack its own body, instead of destroying viruses, bacteria or foreign elements. It destroys healthy cells in the body’s different organs.
There are two types of the most common forms of Lupus: Discoid Lupus Erythematosus andSystemic Lupus Erythema.
Symptoms: lupus is very difficult to detect since it shows up initially with diverse symptoms that mislead a physician into diagnosing other disorders before determining it as Lupus. Lupus is not contagious; therefore it is not necessary to isolate the person suffering from it.
- Discoid Lupus Erythematosus affects the exposed areas of the skin, producing scars or rashes in a round shape, from where it gets its name “Discoid.” Normally these rashes form on the nose, the sides of the face, the scalp and the back of the hands.
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is evidenced by an inflammation of one or more body organs or systems. Normally the disease begins with very few, as well as vague, symptoms, principally being tiredness, fever, and weight loss. This is the reason why the physician or affected person thinks the symptoms are due to stress, a cold, etc. The symptoms normally subside but then reappear after some time. The fact that the symptoms present themselves and then disappear to later show up again is a characteristic of this disease. The disease shows up in cycles. This type of systemic Lupus can affect any part of the body, appearing as to be as symptoms of other diseases.
Specialists in this disease from the “American College of Rheumatology” rely on the fact to diagnose Lupus that persons have at least four of the following symptoms:
- Rash on the face, covering cheeks and nose in the shape of a butterfly
- Ulcers in the mucous membranes
- Lupus discoid
- Hypersensitivity to light, photosensitivity
- Nephritis (inflammation of the kidney)
- Blood disorders (low white blood cell count, anemia, or low red blood cell count, poor healing, etc.)
- Nervous system problems
- Abnormalities in the immune system
- Antinuclear antibodies.
Causes: The causes are unknown. The experts in this area attribute the principal causes to: Genetic problems, virus, hormone problems, and stress, either separately or together.
To date no cure is known, nevertheless, the majority of people suffering from systemic or discoid lupus can live by controlling the symptoms.
- The kidneys of most people are affected, or they are the target of some type of infection caused by the suppression of the immune system. Normally inflammation of the joints, such as Arthritis, is treated with large doses of cortisonefor long periods of time. This has strong negative consequences since it blocks the functions of the immune system, the person gains weight and, overall it has many secondary effects. Nevertheless, allopathic physicians (MD) have no other choice in maintaining the lives of those suffering from this disease. There are some food supplements for relieving inflammation i.e. Glucosamine HCL with Ginkgo Biloba & Salmon Omega-3, that don’t contain cortisone. Some people who suffer from this disease reported the improvement of their immune system by taking: Echinacea and Garlic.
- Doctor Shedon Paul Blau, in his book “Living with Lupus”, recommends taking a complete dose of vitamins, especially vitamin D, since one bothered by sunlight may have a deficiency of this vitamin. Other important vitamins that he recommends taking are vitamins A, C and E, since they help preserve arteries and skin. Vitamins A, C and E are antioxidants that help prevent cholesterol from blocking the arteries.
- Persons suffering from Lupus tend to have a high level of cholesterol. For this reason it is recommended to take Garlic & Omega-3, since it helps to clean the arteries as well as being a good natural antibiotic.
- Vitamin A (Beta carotene) is important for the elimination of dryness of eyes and other tissues, a symptom which can occur in people with Lupus or more frequently with another affecting the immune system called “Sjogren’s Syndrome”, in which the principal characteristic is dryness of mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, vagina, etc.
- Take multi-mineral, mainly iron, for combating anemia, and calcium & Ipriflavone for preventing osteoporosis.
- Women suffering form Lupus are advised not to become pregnant. It is considered to be a high health risk.
- Learn to live with Lupus
Don’t drink beverages with caffeine. These accelerate the heart and produce stress. You should remain calm which will help you to live better with the disease. Eat foods low in fat and cholesterol as well as lowering your intake of salt, since cholesterol and salt promote heart problems. You should avoid them at all costs since they can cause secondary complications.
- Consume large quantities of fiber. This helps to eliminate possible gastro-intestinal problems.
If you are sensitive to light, try to use a high quality ‘Sunscreen’ as well as UV sunglasses.
Warning! Since Lupus is a serious disease, consult your physician regarding any treatment or action that you take.