Lupus Treatment in Miami
Collagen Vascular Disease
Lupus is a Collagen Vascular Disease. It is an inflammatory disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your very own tissues and organs. It can last longer than six weeks and sometimes even years. Research has shown that about 1.5 million Americans have Lupus.
Our doctors at the Miami Center for Dermatology understand how scary it could be to be diagnosed with Lupus and want to provide comfort to each patient by offering the best solutions available. Lupus and other Collagen Vascular Diseases have been found to affect several body systems as well as, joints, skin, kidneys, blood, cells, brain, heart, and lungs.
Diagnosing lupus is difficult because signs and symptoms vary considerably from person to person. Signs and symptoms of lupus may vary over time and overlap with those of many other disorders. Not one test can diagnose lupus. The combination of blood and urine tests, signs and symptoms, and physical examination findings leads to the diagnosis.
Complete blood count. This test measures the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets as well as the amount of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells. Results may indicate you have anemia, which commonly occurs in lupus. A low white blood cell or platelet count may occur in lupus as well.
Antinuclear antibody (ANA) test. A positive test for the presence of these antibodies — produced by your immune system — indicates a stimulated immune system. While most people with lupus have a positive ANA test, most people with a positive ANA do not have lupus. If you test positive for ANA, your doctor may advise more specific antibody testing.
Symptoms of Lupus Include:
- Join pain
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Dry eyes
- Fatigue and fever
- Chest pain
- Skin lesions butterfly-shaped rash on the face
- Raynaud’s phenomenon
Factors that trigger Lupus:
If your doctor suspects that lupus is affecting your lungs or heart, he or she may suggest:
- Chest X-ray. An image of your chest may reveal abnormal shadows that suggest fluid or inflammation in your lungs.
- Echocardiogram. This test uses sound waves to produce real-time images of your beating heart. It can check for problems with your valves and other portions of your heart.
Determining the right lupus treatment option for you depends heavily on the symptoms you are exhibiting and their severity. Determining whether your signs and symptoms should be treated and what medications to use requires a careful discussion of the benefits and risks with your doctor. As your signs and symptoms flare and subside, you and your doctor may find that you’ll need to change medications or dosages.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as naproxen sodium (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), may be used to treat pain, swelling, and fever associated with lupus. Stronger NSAIDs are available by prescription. Side effects of NSAIDs include stomach bleeding, kidney problems and an increased risk of heart problems.
Immunosuppressants. Drugs that suppress the immune system may be helpful in serious cases of lupus. Examples include azathioprine (Imuran, Azasan), mycophenolate (CellCept), leflunomide (Arava) and methotrexate (Trexall). Potential side effects may include an increased risk of infection, liver damage, decreased fertility and an increased risk of cancer. A newer medication, belimumab (Benlysta), also reduces lupus symptoms in some people. Side effects include nausea, diarrhea, and fever.
Although Lupus does not have a cure, if you believe you are experiencing any related symptoms, speak with a caring and professional dermatologist such as Dr. Deborah Longwill today. Our doctor can provide you with a Lupus treatment to help minimize symptoms. Dr. Longwill has a loyal patient following, she takes the time to learn about each of her patient’s lifestyle habits, family history and more in order to provide the best advice and skin care products. You can order many of Dr. Longwill’s Skin Care products on her online shop.
Here at the Miami Center for Dermatology, your comfort and satisfaction are our main concern. For that reason, we offer Lupus treatment. Call Today to schedule an appointment at (305) 279-7546 or Click Here to Contact Us Today!