Lupus may affect just about any parts of the body, but medicine may help ease and prevent problems. Also, there are steps you may take on your own to avoid lupus effects on your eyes, kidneys, skin, heart, and other areas.
You might be sensitive to UV rays in sunlight that may cause some skin changes. A butterfly-shaped rash on your cheeks and nose is a common skin problem.
Scaly and red patches or bumps may develop on your body. Discoid lesions or coin-like patches may appear on your scalp or body.
What you may do for such skin problems is to get the best protection from the sun. You may use a sunscreen with SPF 50 or above. You should also wear protective clothing and wide-brimmed hats. When it is cold, you must wear thick socks and mittens.
Lungs and Heart
Lupus increases the chances of stroke and heart disease. It’s probably because of long-term inflammation, which comes with lupus. Several lupus medicines like steroids can also increase the risk.
This condition can also cause heart inflammation or its surrounding sac. With this, a person may experience sharp pain in the chest. Also, lupus can inflame your lung’s the outside lining.
Oftentimes, the pain gets worse with deep breaths. It’s known as pleurisy. There are also instances that lungs may develop scarring from inflammation and may result in shortness of breath.
Central Nervous System and Brain
Lupus may affect the brain and nerves in your spinal cord in some ways. Once it does, you might have seizures, anxiety and depression, headaches, confusion, clouded thinking, memory loss or strokes.
What you should do is to find ways to ease your stress. You can try tai chi or yoga to relax muscles and reduce stress. You can also use some reminders to help you organize and remember the important things.
Aside from that, never be shy to get help. Establish a strong support network. To manage thinking problems, consider cognitive therapy. Lupus medicine can help thinking and memory.
Lupus may inflame your kidneys, which can cause permanent damage. It may result in high blood pressure and swelling in the legs.
Your doctor would look for blood cells or protein in your urine, which are basically the signs of damaged kidneys. There are times that lupus may result in kidney failure or would require dialysis.
What you may do is telling your doctor about any symptoms related to kidney problems including blood in urine, foamy urine, and swelling ankle and lower leg.
You should always consider a regular checkup with your lupus doctor who would do the blood tests to ensure that your kidneys are functioning properly.
Muscles and Joints
Stiffness, swelling, and joint pain are common issues with lupus, particularly in feet, wrists, and hands. Swelling does not damage your joints. However, it may be painful. Lupus may also cause weakness as it affects the muscles.
Gritty feeling or dryness is the most usual eye problem. Blood vessel changes in the retina may weaken your vision, but it rarely happens. Lupus may also damage the nerves in the muscles, which control the movements of your eyes.