Lupus, an autoimmune disease has serious complications in the later stages. It attacks kidneys and produces Nephritis. Efficiency of kidneys reduces and toxins and other wastes accumulate in the blood. One may suffer from hematuria or blood in urine. Hypertension and swelling in lower legs set in. Untreated it can lead to End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
Lupus also causes early morning lower leg swelling. Over the counter medication may not offer relief. The swelling starts mild and often goes unnoticed. Meet the doctor for appropriate treatment. It is necessary to eliminate ailments like arthritis.
Effect on gastrointestinal systems are dry mouth as the salivary gland is affected. Patients may develop another autoimmune disease called Sjogren’s syndrome, a condition where salivary, tear and vaginal glands are damaged. Other symptoms are heart burns or acid reflux. Over the counter drugs are initially effective. Not lying down immediately after meals help. A more serious condition is protein leak from the intestines, causing nutritional deficiency, and diarrhea creating further complications. The condition is called ‘protein losing enteropathy.
Lupus patients run increased risks of heart and coronary artery diseases, coagulation of blood in the body leading to thromboembolism which very serious depending on the location of the embolism. This is due to antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. This also increases miscarriage in women.
Advanced treatment involves the use of over the counter NSAID and later prescription level stronger NSAIDs. They have the side effects of gastric hemorrhage, kidney problems and increased risks of heart diseases. Antimalarial drugs are found to be effective in controlling the inflammation. They have the side effects though like stomach bleeding and damage to retina. Other more advanced treatments involve the use of corticosteroids. They are effective in controlling inflammation but have major side effects like weight gain, hypertension, osteoporosis, easy bruising, increased risk of infections and their going out of control diabetics etc. Another avenue is immunosuppressants. They suppress the immune system and have increased risks of infection, liver damage, cancer and decreased fertility. The best option is early detection and treatment which avoids the requirement of advanced avenues of treatment.
From the home remedy perspective, turmeric is effective in controlling inflammation and useful in refractory lupus nephritis. Ginger with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help relieve joint swelling and pain. Omega 3 fatty acids reduces inflammation and probiotic food reduces flare ups and reduces their frequency. Confirmation from the doctor is a prerequisite.