Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is indeed an autoimmune disease characterized by the immune system attacking the body's own tissues and organs. While the exact cause of lupus is not fully understood, it is believed to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Loading the player...What is Lupus? <p><a href="https://www.healthchoicesfirst.com/practitioner-type/rheumatologist">Rheumatologist,</a> discusses what the disease Lupus involves.</p>
Rheumatologist, discusses what the disease Lupus involves.
Loading the player...Symptoms of Lupus Disease <p><a href="https://www.healthchoicesfirst.com/practitioner-type/rheumatologist">Rheumatologist,</a> discusses diagnosis and symptoms of lupus disease.</p>
Rheumatologist, discusses diagnosis and symptoms of lupus disease.
Loading the player...Diagnosing Lupus Erythematosus <p><a href="https://www.healthchoicesfirst.com/practitioner-type/rheumatologist">Rheumatologist</a>, discusses diagnosing lupus erythematosus.</p>
Rheumatologist, discusses diagnosing lupus erythematosus.
Who Gets Lupus?
Because lupus is due to your body’s immune system attacking healthy tissues in the joints, skin and other organs. Lupus causes a wide range of symptoms that vary among patients, depending on the severity of the disease and the area of the body affected. In treatment your pharmacist, is the right HCP to make sure it’s the right medication for you.
A rheumatologist is a medical specialist who is trained in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the joints, muscles, and bones, including autoimmune diseases like lupus. If you have lupus or suspect you may have it, it's important to seek medical attention from a rheumatologist. They have the expertise and knowledge to properly diagnose lupus and develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
When you visit a rheumatologist, they will take a detailed medical history, perform a physical examination, and may order specific tests to confirm the diagnosis. These tests may include blood tests to check for specific antibodies commonly found in lupus, such as antinuclear antibodies (ANA) and anti-double-stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) antibodies. Imaging tests like X-rays or MRI scans may also be used to evaluate joint or organ involvement.
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the rheumatologist will work with you to develop a treatment plan. Treatment for lupus aims to reduce symptoms, prevent flares, and minimize organ damage. This often involves a combination of medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). In some cases, immunosuppressive medications may also be prescribed to control the immune system and reduce inflammation.
Regular follow-up visits with a rheumatologist are important to monitor your condition, adjust medications if needed, and address any new symptoms or concerns. They will work closely with you to manage your lupus and help improve your quality of life.
It's worth noting that the information provided here is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you suspect you have lupus or any other medical condition, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Blood Tests to Diagnose Lupus
There are a number of blood tests that can help diagnose lupus: diagnostic tests and the importance of seeking medical attention from a rheumatologist if someone suspects they may have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). It is indeed crucial to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis. Rheumatologists are specialists who have expertise in diagnosing and treating arthritis and autoimmune diseases like lupus.
The tests you mentioned are commonly used in the diagnostic process for lupus. Here's a brief overview of each test:
Anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) test: This test detects the presence of antibodies that target the cell nucleus. While a positive result can indicate an autoimmune condition, including lupus, it doesn't confirm the diagnosis on its own. Further testing and evaluation are needed.
Anti-Double Stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) test: This test specifically detects antibodies that target double-stranded DNA, which are often found in people with lupus. A positive result can be helpful in supporting the diagnosis of lupus, especially when accompanied by other clinical features.
Extractable Nuclear Antigen (ENA) panel: This panel of tests looks for specific antibodies that may be present in lupus and other autoimmune conditions. The antibodies tested in this panel include anti-Ro (SSA), anti-La (SSB), anti-Sm, anti-RNP, anti-Jo-1, anti-Scl70, and anti-centromere. Positive results for these antibodies can provide additional support for a lupus diagnosis.
Complete Blood Count (CBC): This blood test helps evaluate various blood cell types and can detect abnormalities associated with inflammation or blood disorders, which can be present in lupus.
Creatinine: This test measures the level of creatinine in the blood, which indicates kidney function. Lupus can affect the kidneys, and elevated creatinine levels may suggest kidney involvement.
These tests, along with a thorough medical history and physical examination, can assist rheumatologists in making a diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus. It's important to note that the diagnostic process for lupus is complex, and individual cases may vary. A rheumatologist will consider all available information to arrive at a diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
If someone suspects they may have lupus or experiences symptoms suggestive of the condition, it is recommended to consult with a rheumatologist or another healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance.