Systemic Lupus

Arthritis & Osteoporosis Center

Rheumatology & Metabolic Bone Disease & Osteoporosis Specialists located in Wyomissing, PA

Of the 1.5 million Americans diagnosed with systemic lupus, 90% are women. At Arthritis & Osteoporosis Center in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, the team specializes in diagnosing and treating systemic lupus, a condition that can be life-threatening as it affects multiple body organs and systems. At the first sign of symptoms such as a butterfly rash and extreme fatigue, call the office to book an appointment for a thorough evaluation and exceptional care for systemic lupus.

Systemic Lupus Q & A

 

What is systemic lupus?

Systemic lupus is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that occurs when your immune system attacks healthy tissues.

While some autoimmune diseases affect specific tissues or organs, systemic lupus is different because it affects multiple body systems and attacks many different tissues and organs.

Systemic lupus frequently targets your skin, joints, and internal organs, including your heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain.

The area attacked by your immune system becomes inflamed. Ongoing inflammation then damages the tissues, leading to a wide range of possible symptoms and complications.

 

What symptoms develop if I have systemic lupus?

Systemic lupus is well-known for causing a butterfly rash over your cheeks and nose. But this hallmark symptom is just one of many possible symptoms, including:

Systemic or body-wide symptoms

Most people with systemic lupus develop symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Low-grade fever
  • Swelling in your feet, legs, or hands
  • Swelling around your eyes
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Rashes that worsen in the sun
  • Hair loss
  • Ulcers in the nose and mouth
  • Fluid collections around the heart and lungs

Extreme fatigue occurs no matter how much sleep you get.

Sensitivity to sunlight

Exposure to sunlight often triggers a flare-up of lupus symptoms. Sensitivity to sunlight, called photosensitivity, can also cause a flu-like illness and a rash on your face, neck, chest, back, arms, and other exposed areas.

Joint pain

It’s estimated that 80%-90% of lupus patients develop joint conditions ranging from mild pain and stiffness to arthritis. Lupus arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition that most often affects the joints in your hands, wrists, and knees.

Chest pain

Systemic lupus affects the heart in half of all patients, causing inflammation in the tissues surrounding your heart. As a result, you have chest pain, especially when taking a deep breath.

 

How is systemic lupus treated?

Your provider at Arthritis & Osteoporosis Center reviews your medical history, performs a physical exam, and orders blood tests to rule out other conditions and help diagnose lupus.

They thoroughly evaluate each affected organ system and then develop a customized treatment plan. Your provider draws from many effective systemic lupus treatments that require monitoring and ongoing adjustments based on disease activity and the organs affected.

When managing the many manifestations of systemic lupus, the team at Arthritis & Osteoporosis Center works closely with pulmonologists, nephrologists, neurologists, and dermatologists.

If you have symptoms of systemic lupus, treatment is available at Arthritis & Osteoporosis Center. Call to schedule an appointment today.