Talking To Others About Lupus
Others wont be able to see most of the symptoms caused by your lupus. When symptoms like pain, fatigue, depression, or joint stiffness make your regular tasks more difficult, its important to know how to talk to those around you.
It may help to start by explaining what lupus is not. Let people know that is not contagious, nor is it like cancer or HIV or AIDS. Then explain what lupus is. Let them know that it is chronic, which means you will have it forever, and that it affects each person differently.
Your conversations with others about lupus may change depending on who you are talking to.
Brain And Central Nervous System
Lupus can affect your brain and the nerves in your spinal cord in several ways. If it does, you may have:
- Clouded thinking, confusion, or memory loss
What you can do:
Ease stress. Try yoga or tai chi to reduce stress and relax muscles.
Use reminders. Pillboxes, Post-its, your cell phone voice recorder, labels, and other aids can help you remember and organize.
Get help. Build a strong support network. Consider cognitive therapy to manage thinking issues, or counseling if you are anxious or depressed. Lupus medicine may help memory and thinking.
Can Lupus Be Prevented Or Avoided
You cannot avoid lupus since the cause of it is unknown. However, you may be able to help prevent flares. Common triggers include:
- Lack of rest.
If you take medicines to help manage lupus, do not stop taking them without your doctors approval. This can cause flares as well.
Knowing the things that cause flares can help you better cope with your symptoms.
Also Check: How To Melt Away Fat From Stomach
Chronic Diarrhea Unmasking Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Regret for the inconvenience: we are taking measures to prevent fraudulent form submissions by extractors and page crawlers. Please type the correct Captcha word to see email ID.
Lenox Hill Hospital Department of Medicine, USA
Correspondence: Melissa Hershman, Lenox Hill Hospital Department of Medicine, Resident Physician, Address: 100 East 77th Street, New York, NY 10075, USA, Tel 212-434-2000
Citation: Hershman M, Jen H, Chander Roland B Chronic Diarrhea Unmasking Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Gastroenterol Hepatol Open Access 6: 00218. DOI: 10.15406/ghoa.2017.06.00218
Common Gastrointestinal Issues With Lupus
There are a lot of organs and muscles involved in the digestive process. For people with lupus, gastrointestinal issues sometimes occur that need proper diagnosis and treatment. Some symptoms occur as a result of medications taken for lupus while other gastrointestinal issues are related to the disease itself. Here, we will explore some of the most common issues.
NOTE: Always bring up concerns and new symptoms with your lupus treatment team
Common Esophageal Disorders
As stated above, the esophagus is the tube that connects the mouth and throat to the stomach. For people with lupus, it is common to experience inflammation of the esophagus. This can result in:
You May Like: What To Give Toddler For Stomach Bug
Small And Large Intestine
Some of the more potentially dangerous GI complications of SLE occur in the small and large intestines secondary to small-vessel vasculitis. This may progress to ischaemic enteritis and eventually to bowel infarction with bleeding and/or perforation and peritonitis. Clinical presentation is variable and the incidence of symptomatology varies widely . Symptomatology alone is not of great value in identifying patients with vasculitis . The most common symptom arising from the intestine is abdominal pain, the aetiology of which has a lengthy differential diagnosis.
How Is Lupus Diagnosed
Lupus is a disease that is known for being difficult to diagnose. The symptoms are different from person to person. Sometimes, the symptoms may mimic those of another disease. Often, lupus symptoms come and go. It can sometimes take several years to receive an official diagnosis.
Getting an early, accurate lupus diagnosis can reduce its long-term effects.
There is not just one test doctors can use to tell if you have lupus. Doctors must consider many different sources of information. Your doctor will look at:
- Your symptoms.
- Results from lab tests .
Your doctor may also order blood and urine tests, such as:
- Antinuclear antibody test. This test checks for antibodies to the nucleus of your cells. A positive result means that your immune system may be attacking healthy cells. This does not always mean that you have lupus. Your doctor may recommend you see a specialist for more testing.
- Complete blood count. Lupus often affects a persons red blood cell, white blood cell, and platelet count. This test checks for anemia or the presence of certain proteins in your blood.
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein tests. Results from these tests will show if there is inflammation in your body.
- Urinalysis. Extra protein in the urine may show up in a lab test if lupus affects your kidneys.
Depending on your symptoms and test results, your doctor also may order a skin or kidney biopsy.
Read Also: How To Flatten Stomach In 1 Week
Lupus Enteritis As An Initial Presentation Of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
1Department of Medicine, Nassau University Medical Center, 2201 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow, NY 11554, USA
2Department of Rheumatology, Nassau University Medical Center, 2201 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow, NY 11554, USA
Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disorder which can affect multiple organs and clinical presentation is often a myriad of symptoms therefore, the index of suspicion should rise when evaluating patients with multiorgan symptomatology. Lupus enteritis is a distinct subset of SLE, defined as either vasculitis or inflammation of the small bowel, with supportive image and/or biopsy findings. The clinical picture of lupus enteritis is often nonspecific, with mild to severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting being the cardinal manifestations. Although considered a form of visceral or serosal vasculitis, lupus enteritis is seldom confirmed on histology, making computerized tomography the gold standard for diagnosis. Lupus enteritis is generally steroid-responsive, and the route of administration is based on clinical status and organ involvement, with preference for intravenous route in flares with significant tissue edema. The following case describes a young woman presenting with lupus enteritis and lupus panniculitis as an initial manifestation of SLE, the utilization of abdominal CT in diagnosis, and current treatment protocols used for lupus enteritis.
2. Case Presentation
Lupus And Mental Health
Depression and anxiety are a risk for people with lupus. This may be the result of the condition’s affect on the nervous system combined with the emotional strain of coping with a chronic illness. Be sure to discuss any concerns about your mood with your doctor or other health care provider. There are highly effective treatments for depression and anxiety.
Read Also: When Your Stomach Hurts After Eating
What Causes Tummy Troubles
As with other lupus issues, many of the problems stem from inflammation in the body. I often have trouble swallowing or experience the dreaded acid reflux condition due to inflammation in the esophagus.
On more than one occasion I have felt the uncomfortable sensation of food getting stuck in my throat. Its unappetizing to say the least and usually results in vomiting anything I managed to take in.
Undoubtedly, my appetite ceases and any attempt to continue eating is generally unsuccessful. I have gone days without being able to ingest a full meal. This in itself can cause problems as proper nutrition is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
I have found that some food items cause the problem more than others breads, pastas, chicken, asparagus, and even lettuce. I avoid certain foods I know are difficult to get down as much as possible, but when I do indulge, I take small bites and chew slowly and completely which has proven to help. Sure, I may be the last one eating at the dinner table, but its well worth it if I can avoid the vomiting routine!
The burning sensation and often distastefulness of acid reflux is a common problem for many people. Inflammation in the esophagus or stomach can cause this backward flow, which if persistent, can lead to GERD.
Why And How Does Lupus Affect The Brain
Your brain is your control center a super organ so complex that it remains a mysterious frontier for scientific exploration.
It is the organ which makes us human, consisting of 100 billion nerve cells that give us awareness of ourselves and our environment, records our memories, and regulates our body processes.
Of the many tissues and organs that can be affected by lupus-induced inflammation, approximately 40 50% of people living with lupus experience brain involvement.
This inflammation can manifest in cognitive dysfunction, stroke, headache, seizure, and psychosis.
Read Also: How Serious Is Stomach Cancer
Dental Considerations And Other Oral Lesions
Although SLE itself has major adverse effects on normal immune functioning , its immunosuppressive treatment undoubtedly facilitates intra-oral infections, particularly candida and herpes simplex virus.
Particular vigilance is necessary for patients with associated Sjögren’s syndrome as lack of salivary secretion leads to a greater predisposition to tooth decay and to intra-oral infections such as oral candidiasis .
Features of SLE common to other organ systems may present with oral manifestations. For example, Raynaud’s phenomenon may rarely affect the tongue and mastication may be affected due to temporomandibular joint involvement .
Lupus Signs Symptoms And Co
Lupus affects everyone differently, but certain signs and symptoms are common. In addition, other conditions, such as fibromyalgia, occur commonly in people with lupus but are not directly due to disease activity. These co-occuring conditions are known to doctors as comorbidities. Several signs, symptoms, and comorbidites of lupus are detailed below.
Don’t Miss: How To Reduce Stomach After C Section
Can Lupus Affect The Digestive System
Hi,Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect almost any part of the body, most often the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood, or brain. Lupus can also affect the gastrointestinal system .When lupus causes inflammation in the esophagus, stomach acid can move back up into your esophagus. Almost everyone experiences this backward flow of acid, called reflux, from time to time, as either gas or the burning sensation of heartburn. However, reflux that keeps occurring is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease .Digestive problems are common in lupus. The symptoms you may experience include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. Often these symptoms are caused by drugs you take for lupus, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corti-costeroids.inflammation caused by lupus can also cause a build-up of fluids in the abdominal cavity called ascitesInflammation of the pancreas can be caused by lupus, but also can be caused by vasculitis or by certain medications you may be taking for lupus, including corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and diuretics.When lupus causes inflammation in the liver, a condition called hepatic vasculitis can occur.Thanks for your question,
Protecting Yourself From The Sun
Exposure to sunlight can sometimes make symptoms such as rashes worse, and it’s important to protect your skin when in the sun.
This means wearing clothing that covers your skin, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. You will also need to apply sunscreen with a high SPF to prevent sunburn. However, some people with lupus are not sun-sensitive and do not need to take extra precautions.
As people get most of their vitamin D as a result of direct sunlight on the skin, there is a risk you may not get enough of this vitamin if you need to avoid sun exposure. This means you may need to make an extra effort to include good sources of vitamin D in your diet to avoid problems such as osteoporosis , and you may be advised to take vitamin D supplements.
Read Also: Why Does My Stomach Blow Up After I Eat
From Nausea And Flatulence To Diarrhea And Abdominal Pains Gastrointestinal Issues Are Often Under
The gastrointestinal tract is in charge of processing food to extract nutrients and dispose of waste. The digestive process works like this:
The gastrointestinal tract begins with your mouth where food is masticated . After food is swallowed, it travels down the esophagus. This is the only part of the digestive process that is directly under control. The rest of the process is involuntary.
When the esophageal sphincter relaxes, food enters the stomach. The stomach secretes digestive enzymes and gastric acid to help digest the food. From there, the partially digested food, known as chyme, passes through the pyloric sphincter into the duodenum, which is the first part of the small intestine. The small intestine then takes over, mixing food with digestive juices from the liver, pancreas, and intestine while also absorbing nutrients into the bloodstream.
Digestive muscles continue to work and they push waste into the large intestine. Waste can include undigested parts of food, fluids, and older cells that line the GI tract. The large intestine absorbs the remaining nutrients and water then changes the remaining material into stool. The rectum, located at the lower end of the large intestine, stores the stool until it is excreted during a bowel movement.
Blood And Blood Vessels
Lupus may also cause anaemia, which is when you have a lack of red blood cells. These cells carry oxygen around the body, and if you dont have enough of them you can get out of breath and tire quickly. If you have these symptoms you should tell your doctor or nurse specialist.
People with lupus might also have a low number of platelets, cells that help the blood to clot. If you find that you are bruising easily or notice bleeding from the gums or nose you should let your doctor or nurse specialist know. Lupus can also affect your white blood cells, which are important in fighting infections.
Some people with lupus are more at risk of developing blood clots in veins or arteries. This problem is usually caused by antiphospholipid antibodies. These autoantibodies can also affect pregnancy, causing an increased risk of miscarriage.
If blood clots occur blood thinning medication will be needed.
Also Check: How To Lose Your Baby Fat Stomach
Skin And Mucous Membrane Problems
Rashes include a butterfly-shaped redness across the nose and cheeks , raised bumps or patches of thin skin, and flat or raised red areas on exposed areas of the face and neck, upper chest, and elbows. Blisters and skin ulcers are rare, but ulcers do commonly occur on mucous membranes, particularly on the roof of the mouth, on the inside of the cheeks, on the gums, and inside the nose.
have very pale or bluish fingers and toes when they are exposed to cold.
Ways Lupus Affects The Eyes
Johnstone M. Kim, MD, is board-certified in ophthalmology. He’s a practicing physician at Midwest Retina in Dublin, Ohio and previously served as a full-time faculty member at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Kresge Eye Institute in Detroit, Michigan.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the skin, blood vessels, joints, heart, kidneys, and nervous system. Lupus can also affect the eyes. Normally, the immune system fights off foreign invaders such as a virus or bacteria. People with lupus, however, have an immune system that functions abnormally by attacking healthy tissue.
People with lupus often have times of severe flare-ups and remissions. During a flare-up, inflammation and swelling occur in the body, creating fatigue, pain, and tissue damage. The eyes are also a target of the disease. Below are five common eye problems often associated with lupus.
Don’t Miss: What Foods Heal Stomach Lining
Skin Rashes And Lesions
While many people often associate lupus with the facial butterfly rash, the reality is lupus can cause a variety of skin rashes and lesions, most of which appear on sun-exposed areas like the face, ears, neck, arms and legs. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, 66 percent of people with lupus develop some sort of skin disease.
There are three main types of cutaneous lupus:
Lupus And Heart Problems
The most common heart problem linked to lupus is an inflammation of the sac around the heart. This may cause severe pain in the left side of the chest. People with lupus are also more likely to develop plaques that narrow or clog the arteries. This can lead to coronary artery disease. Other complications include heart valve disease and inflammation of the heart muscle. Call 911 immediately for chest pain, rather than trying figure out the cause yourself.
Recommended Reading: What To Do When Your Stomach Hurts Really Bad
Gastrointestinal Malignancy In Sle
There has been a case report of rectal and anal carcinoma in a series of 96 patients with SLE . Three studies have shown increased risk of malignancy , although there was no increased risk of GI malignancy. Various solid tumours have been documented, including uterine, breast and cervical, as well as an increased risk of lymphomas. These contrast with other studies in which the frequency of malignancy was noted less often . Abu-Shakra et al. noted that there was a significant increased risk of haematological cancers, but there was a lower risk of all cancers. In our own group of 266 patients under long-term review with a follow-up period of 1695 patient-years, 15 malignancies were diagnosed in 14 patients . Only one malignancy originated from the gut with a patient presenting with metastatic disease from a colonic primary tumour. As may be expected in a predominantly female population, the commonest was breast carcinoma . Eighteen per cent of our patients have been treated with cyclophosphamide and 3% with cyclosporinnone of these patients have developed malignancies. We have found no evidence that treatment with cytotoxic agents conferred an increased risk of developing malignancies in patients with SLE.