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What Are Lupus and Collagen Vascular Disease?

Collagen Vascular Disease, Lupus Treatment

Lupus

 

Lupus Treatment in Miami

Collagen Vascular Disorders

Lupus is a collagen vascular disease. This is an inflammatory disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks your tissues and organs. Lupus may last over six weeks, sometimes persisting for years. Approximately 1.5 Americans suffer from this disorder, in dire need of Lupus treatment.

Our specialists at the Miami Center for Dermatology understand that a lupus diagnosis is a scary situation. The MCD team strives to provide comfort for every patient by providing the best solutions available to treat the condition.

Collagen vascular diseases including lupus affect multiple bodily systems as well as joints, skin, kidneys, blood and blood vessels, cells, brain, heart, and lungs.

Diagnosing lupus may pose difficulty due to varying symptoms from patient to patient. Lupus symptoms can additionally vary over time, often mimicking symptoms of other disorders. A singular test cannot diagnose lupus.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease concerning collagen resulting in an immune response where the body’s defenses attack itself. Testing for connective tissue disorders like lupus often requires a combination of blood and urine testing. The examination additionally employs sign and symptom analyzation with a physical examination.

Mixed Connective Tissue Diseases

The mixed connective tissue nomenclature is applied by some physicians describing a derivative condition that displays similar features to systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE. The medical community also refers to this group of diseases as overlap diseases.

Overlap diseases demonstrate signs and symptoms comprised of a combination of diseases including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

In a mixed connective tissue disease, the reflective diseases do not reveal themselves all at once. Instead, they occur sequentially over a number of years. This further adds to the difficulties diagnosing the disorder.

Early signs and symptoms relating to a mixed connective tissue disease afflict the hands. Fingers swell up like sausages while the patient’s fingertips turn white and numb. A diagnosing physician may often mistake these symptoms for the more common rheumatoid arthritis.

There is no cure for mixed connective tissue disease. However, specialists manage to treat and minimize symptoms with medication.

Complete Blood Count

A blood count examination measures the body’s amount of white blood cells, platelets, in addition to hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells. The discovered results from this testing may indicate a patient suffers from anemia, a common lupus causality. Low white blood cell or platelet counts also may represent a telling sign of lupus.

Antinuclear Antibody (ANA) Test

A positive test for these antibodies’ prevalence indications a simulated immune system. Many patients afflicted with lupus display a positive ANA test. However, a majority of these individuals do not suffer from 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 Mouth
  • Dry Eyes
  • Fatigue and Fever
  • Skin Lesions and/or a Butterfly-Shaped Rash on the Face
  • Raynaud’s Phenomenon

 

Factors that trigger lupus:

  • Sunlight
  • Infections
  • Medications

If your doctor suspects lupus is 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 like lupus depends heavily on your exhibited symptoms, as well as their degree of severity. Determining treatment requires analyzing your symptoms in addition to risk-benefit analyses by your medical professional.

As signs and symptoms flare and subside, you must realize that you may need to adapt your medications or dosages as needed.

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

You can treat pain, swelling, fever, and other derivative lupus symptoms with over-the-counter NSAIDs. These include naproxen sodium (Aleve) and Ibuprofen. You can also acquire stronger NSAIDs with a prescription.

NSAIDs include stomach bleeding, kidney problems, as well as an increased risk for heart complications.

Immunosuppressants

An immunosuppressant is a drug that suppresses the immune system. These may help in more serious lupus cases. Examples of immunosuppressants include azathioprine (Imuran, Azasan), mycophenolate (CellCept), leflunomide (Arava), and methotrexate (Trexall).

Potential side effects of these drugs can include increased infection risk, liver damage, and infertility, in addition to cancer. A new medication called belimumab (Benlysta) is also able to reduce lupus symptoms in some patients. Side effects of belimumab include nausea, diarrhea, and fever.

Professional Dermatologist

Although no lupus cure exists, if you believe that you are experience related symptoms, there is help for you. Dr. Deborah Longwill can provide you with a lupus treatment to minimize symptom effects.

Our doctor cultivated a loyal patient following by investing the necessary time learning about her patients’ lifestyle habits. She also acquires information about a patient’s family history to provide optimal advice. This process extends to cosmetology products selection as well.

This procedural approach involves the osteopathic school of medicine to which Dr. Longwill adheres. Furthermore, this field analyses a patient as an entire individual. This is a stark contrast to traditionalized medicine focusing on specific systems or condition symptoms.

You can find additional information as well as order several of Dr. Longwill’s Skincare products on her online shop.

Here at the Miami Center for Dermatology, your comfort and satisfaction are our main concern. For this reason, we provide our clinic as a resource for lupus treatment. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a member of our qualified staff.