While anyone can develop lupus, it’s a disease that primarily affects women and appears anytime between the ages of 15 and 44. The board-certified Nephrologist, Sowmya Puthalapattu, MD, at Kingwood Kidney Associates have extensive experience diagnosing lupus and developing a customized treatment that helps keep your disease symptoms in remission. If you have questions or you need exceptional care for lupus, call the office in Kingwood, Texas, or schedule an appointment online.
Systemic lupus erythematosus, or more simply lupus, is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects many areas of your body, including your skin, joints, and internal organs. As your immune system attacks healthy tissues, inflammation develops, and the tissues are damaged.
Lupus is known for causing a butterfly rash that covers your cheeks and the bridge of your nose. However, it also causes other types of rashes, including discoid lesions that are red, scaly, and hypersensitive to sunlight.
Some patients develop cutaneous lupus, which is limited to skin symptoms. In some cases, these patients later develop body-wide lupus, and the skin rash was just the first symptom.
Since lupus has such a widespread effect, you can develop many symptoms, including:
The symptoms of lupus come and go, and you may have different symptoms during your flares.
Your provider at Kingwood Kidney Associates reviews your medical history, talks with you about your symptoms, and performs a physical exam. Then they may order a variety of blood tests to rule out other conditions and to help diagnose lupus.
One type of blood test, the antinuclear antibody (ANA) test, is helpful because it’s positive in nearly all patients with lupus. If you have a positive ANA test, you may have another blood test called the AVISE® test for biomarkers specific to lupus.
Since lupus is a chronic condition, your treatment focuses on keeping your disease in remission and relieving your symptoms when a flare-up develops. Kingwood Kidney Associates may prescribe medications such as:
Benlysta®, a monoclonal antibody, and the only drug currently approved to treat lupus, helps control flare-ups.
Kingwood Kidney Associates also monitors you for potential complications and implements preventive care when possible. For example, lupus affects the kidneys, causing lupus nephritis, in nearly 40% of all lupus patients.
To receive expert help for lupus, call Kingwood Kidney Associates, or book an appointment online.