Although no cure has been reported for lupus, but there are treatments and lifestyle changes available which can help you in managing lupus symptoms. Treatment methods used for lupus is known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This treatment process is based on the symptoms and the severity of them. Treatment can help to reduce the symptoms, reduce the inflammation, prevent and relieve flares, prevent possible organ damage and other health issues.
People who suffer from lupus may suffer from joint pain and swelling. This generally happens in fingers, knees and wrists. Doctors recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs like naproxen or ibuprofen. Such medicines will ease your problems.
Some medicines which are used for treatment of malaria can also help in treatment of lupus. We are beneficial in prevention of skin rashes, joint pain and mouth sores. There are also useful in eliminating the risk of blood clots which is seen in case of some lupus patients.
These medicines reduce your immune system activity and thereby bring symptoms under control. They help in the possible organ damage due to lupus attacks. However, immunosuppressive drugs can cause severe side effects such as inability of the body to fight infections and higher possibility of some kinds of cancer. Sometimes, they are used with corticosteroids. You need to take them only if prescribed by your doctor.
Since because of lupus attack, parts of the immune system may become overactive and attack healthy issues, corticosteroids are used for lupus treatment to weaken the immune response. Problems created by lupus in lungs, heart, brain, kidneys or blood vessels can be countered using corticosteroids. This medicines can be taken as a pill or also as IV. They work fast and reduce the swelling, soreness resulting from inflammation. There also beneficial in prevention of long-term organ damage caused by lupus.
However, there are some serious side-effects caused by corticosteroids-
- Higher possibility of infections
- Fragile bones or bone damage
- Muscle weakness
Weight gain, mood changes, bloating are some other side-effects of corticosteroids.
Anticoagulants and monoclonal antibodies
Anticoagulants will thin your blood and thereby reduce blood clots, which is a very prominently lupus symptom.
Belimumab (Benlysta) was the first monoclonal antibodies drug created for treatment of lupus. It is provided intravenously. By targeting specific immune cells in your body, it can help you by reducing your need for steroid treatment. However, it is not yet been tested for the severe lupus problems. Rituxan is another such a medicine that has been used for treatment of lupus. It is used only when other treatments of the problem are not successful.
Lupus treatment also needs some changes in your existing lifestyle and adopting a healthy lifestyle. It will not only help you feel better but will also prevent the symptoms such as flares. A healthy lifestyle will also keep you away from kidney disease, stroke and heart attack resulting from lupus attack.
Some changes that you can make are-
- start eating a well-balanced diet
- exercise regularly
- get a better sleep schedule
- quit smoking which will help you to keep your heart and blood vessels healthy
- get lots of rest to avoid fatigue, which is a common lupus symptom
- when you go out, always use sunscreen
- if necessary, get flu vaccine and pneumonia vaccine to keep yourself away from the infections
Some of these small changes will help you to get a better lifestyle, which will keep away the lupus symptoms.