Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease and auto-immune that, despite not having a cure, can be controlled with the use of remedies that help to decrease the action of the immune system, such as corticosteroids and immunosuppressants, in addition to care such as applying sunscreen daily for example, according to the guidance of a rheumatologist or dermatologist, which helps control and avoid the crisis, according to the manifestations of the disease in each person.
All patients with lupus need to follow-up physician, but the disease is not always active, being, generally, possible to maintain normal activities of day-to-day life, such as work or to perform leisure activities, for example.
The main symptoms that come with this disease include red spots on the skin, mainly in the regions exposed to light such as the face, ears, or arms, hair loss, low fever, loss of appetite, pain and swelling of the joints and malfunction of the kidneys, for example. See the full list of symptoms of lupus to identify this disease.
How to control Lupus
Although lupus has no cure, the disease can be controlled with the follow-up with the rheumatologist, who will guide the use of medications to decrease the inflammation, which varies according to the type of the disease, the organs affected and the severity of each case. The treatment options, which are also available for the SUS, are:
- Sun protection
The use of sunscreen with SPF of at least 15, but preferably above 30, it is an important way to prevent the formation of skin lesions present in lupus type discoid or systemic type with cutaneous manifestations. The sunscreen or sunblock should be applied every morning and reapplied at least once throughout the day, depending on the local lighting and the possibility of exposure.
In addition, the use of clothing and hats are important to prevent the action of ultraviolet rays on the skin, when if you are in environments that are sunny.
- Analgesics and anti-inflammatory
The medicines to relieve the pain can be anti-inflammatory, such as Diclofenac, or analgesic, such as Paracetamol, which are very useful for periods where there is a need of pain control, especially when the disease affects the joints.
Corticosteroids, or corticosteroids, are medications commonly used to control frames of inflammation. They can be topical use in ointments are used on skin lesions, to help in its improvement and make it difficult to increase the size of the wounds and blisters.
They are also used in oral form as a tablet, done in cases of lupus so much mild, severe, or situations of exacerbation of systemic disease, in which there may be loss of blood cells, kidney function, or impairment of organs such as the heart, lungs and nervous system, for example.
The dose and the time of use depend on the severity of the situation, for each case. In addition, there is the option of corticoids by injection, most commonly used in serious cases or where there is difficulty swallowing the tablet.
- Other regulators of immunity
Some medications that can be used in conjunction with corticosteroids or used separately, for control of the disease are:
- Antimalarials, such as Chloroquine, especially in disease of the joint, being useful both for systemic lupus as discoid lupus, even in the remission stage to keep the disease controlled;
- Immunosuppressants, such as Cyclophosphamide, Azathioprine or Mycophenolate mofetil, for example, are used with or without corticosteroids, to weaken and calm the immune system to be a most effective control of inflammation;
- Immunoglobulin a, is an injectable medicine, done in severe cases in which there is no improvement in immunity with other medications;
- Biological agents, such as Rituximab and Belimumab, are new drug products of genetic engineering, also reserved for severe cases in which there is no improvement with the other alternatives.
- Natural options
Some of the attitudes in the day-to-day, practiced at home, in conjunction with the treatment, are also important to help keep the disease under control. Some options are:
- Do not smoke;
- Avoid alcoholic beverages;
- Practice physical activity 3 to 5 times per week, during the periods of remission of the disease;
- Have a diet rich in omega-3 present in salmon and sardines, for example, 3 times per week;
- Consuming foods that are anti-inflammatory and photo-protective, such as green tea, ginger and apple, for example, in addition to other types of fruits and vegetables.
In addition, it is critical to maintain a balanced diet, avoiding the consumption of foods rich in sugar and fat, because they contribute to the increase of triglycerides, cholesterol, and sugar levels, cause weight gain and diabetes, which can unmarshal the disease.
Other precautions include avoid vaccinations with live virus, except under medical indication, have the monitoring of the values of calcium and vitamin D in the blood, which can decrease with the use of corticosteroids, do physiotherapy to prevent and treat joint pain, in addition to avoiding the stress that may influence outbreaks of the disease.
Care of the lupus in pregnancy
It is possible to get pregnant when you have lupus, however, should preferably be a planned pregnancy, a time when the least serious of the disease, and should be monitored throughout the period by the obstetrician and rheumatologist, due to the possibility of exacerbation of the disease.
In addition, medications are adjusted for the pregnancy and during breastfeeding, so that is the least toxic possible for the baby, usually with the use of corticosteroids in low doses.