Lupus Treatment in Miami
Collagen Vascular Disease
The condition of Lupus is a Collagen Vascular Disease. It is an inflammatory disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your tissues and organs. Lupus can last over six weeks, sometimes even persisting for years. In dire need of Lupus Treatment, approximately 1.5 million Americans are afflicted with the disorder.
The doctors at the Miami Center for Dermatology understand how scary it could be to be diagnosed with lupus. We strive to provide comfort for every patient by offering the best possible solutions available for the condition. Lupus and other collagen vascular diseases having been found to affect multiple bodily systems, as well as joints, skin, kidneys, blood, cells, brain, heart, and lungs.
Diagnosing lupus can be difficult because the signs and symptoms of the disease vary a considerable amount from person to person. Symptoms of lupus can additionally vary over time and reflect that of several other disorders. A singular test cannot diagnose lupus. A positive diagnosis of the disease of collagen often requires a combination of blood and urine tests, analyzing signs and symptoms, and a physical examination.
Mixed Connective Tissues Diseases
Mixed connective tissue disease is a term used by some physician to describe a derivative condition displaying similar features to that of systemic lupus. Commonly referred to as an overlap disease, the connective disease has signs and symptoms comprised from a combination of diseases including lupus.
In mixed tissue connective disease, the individual diseases don’t become apparent all at once, often occurring sequentially over a number of years. This adds to the challenge of diagnosing the disorder.
Early signs and symptoms of mixed connective tissue disease involve the hands. Fingers will begin to swell up like sausages, with fingertips becoming white and numb. These symptoms can often be mistaken for the more common arthritis. No cure for mixed connective tissue disease exists, though symptoms can be treated with medications to manage the condition
Complete Blood Count
This examination measures the amount of red and white blood cells, platelets, and hemoglobin, a protein found within red blood cells. The results of the test may indicate that you are suffering from anemia, a common causality of lupus. A low white blood cell or platelet count can also be a telling sign of lupus.
Antinuclear Antibody (ANA) Test
A positive test for the presence of these antibodies indicates a simulated immune system. Many patients with lupus will show a positive ANA test, however, a majority of those that show positive ANA are not afflicted with lupus. If you test positive for ANA, your doctor will likely recommend further, more specified antibody testing.
Symptoms of Lupus Include:
- Joint pain
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains
- Dry eyes
- Fatigue and fever
- Skin lesions and/or a butterfly shaped rash on the face
Factors that trigger lupus:
If your doctor suspects that lupus may be affecting your lungs or heart, they may suggest:
- Chest X-ray – An image of your chest may reveal abnormal shadows suggesting the presence of fluid or inflammation in your lungs.
- Echocardiogram – This test utilizes sound waves to produce real-time images of your beating heart. The examination can check for problems with the valves, and other portions of the heart.
Determining proper treatment for diseases such as lupus depends heavily on the symptoms you are exhibiting, and their degree of severity. The determination of treatment requires an analyzation of your symptoms and a risk-benefit analysis with your physician. As signs and symptoms flare or subside, you may discover that you need to change medications or dosages.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Pain, swelling, and fever that is derivative of lupus can be treated with over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as naproxen sodium (Aleve) and Ibuprofen. Stronger NSAIDs are also available with a prescription. Common side-effects of NSAIDs can include stomach bleeding, kidney problems, and the increased risk of heart complications.
Drugs that suppress the immune system may be helpful in more serious cases of lupus. Examples of immunosuppressants include azathioprine (Imuran, Azasan), mycophenolate (CellCept), leflunomide (Arava), and methotrexate (Trexall). Potential side effects of these drugs may include the increased risk of infection, liver damage, infertility, and cancer. A new medication belimumab (Benlysta), is also able to reduce the symptoms of lupus in some patients. Side effects of belimumab include nausea, diarrhea, and fever.
Though there is no cure for lupus, if you believe that you may be experiencing related symptoms, there is help for you. Dr. Deborah Longwill can provide you with a lupus treatment in order to minimize the effect of symptoms. Our doctor has developed a loyal patient following by investing the time to learn about her patient’s lifestyle habits, and family history to provide the best advice, and selection of cosmetology products. You can find more information and order many of Dr. Longwill’s Skincare products on her online shop.
Here at the Miami Center for Dermatology, your comfort and satisfaction are the primary concern. For this reason, we offer a preeminent solution for lupus treatment. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a member of our qualified staff.