What is Lupus?
Lupus, commonly known as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a multisystemic autoimmune condition that affects almost all systems of the body. This could include the skin, eyes, joints, kidneys, lungs, and heart. The symptoms of each and every patient are going to be different. For some, it could just be the skin that is affected, but for others, it could be fatigability and occasional achy joints. However, there is always going to be an arthritic component at least most of the time. This is lupus arthritis.
Lupus arthritis is usually symmetrical and commonly involves the joints of the hands. People suffering from lupus arthritis develop joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. These joint pains are worse in the morning, and patients almost always wake up with the pain. Unfortunately, lupus patients cannot move too much due to fatigability, so their joint pain tends to increase more. Lupus arthritis is not similar to osteoarthritis, which decreases when patients move about. Lupus arthritis persists throughout the day, and most patients are in constant pain. Joint arthritis really affects the quality of life, which makes most people with lupus arthritis pretty depressed.
What are the causes of lupus arthritis?
The exact cause of lupus is not known, but what we do know is that there are some risk factors that can make a person more predisposed in developing the condition. One risk factor is the genetic predisposition. People who have the gene that is responsible for causing lupus are more likely to develop lupus during their lifetime. However, it will depend on their lifestyle as well.
What is the treatment for lupus arthritis?
Lupus arthritis can be treated using natural methods as well as with medications. Your doctor may first start off with the natural routes to control the arthritic symptoms. However, natural methods do not work all the time. Sometimes, you just have to start off with some powerful painkillers to reduce the pain. However, all this will depend on the severity of your symptoms.
As with all other types of arthritis, your doctor may advise you to reduce your weight if you are overweight and make changes in the diet. To control the pain and stiffness of the joints, your doctor will prescribe you some pain medication starting with the simplest painkillers available such as paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
However, if you are still in pain and these painkillers do not work, your doctor will then prescribe you stronger painkillers starting with the smallest dose due to the risk of addiction to these drugs. Some powerful painkillers that are used to treat lupus arthritis include codeine and oxycodone.