It is only known to be an autoimmune pathology and mostly affects the female sex. In fact, for every 9 women who have it, only one man gets lupus.
Andthis is a very heterogeneous disease. There are people who are engaged with renal commitment and others in which haematological manifestations of blood cells predominate, for example. There is also skin lupus, which affects only the skin and not the rest of the noble organs of our body.
In general, how does lupus operate? This disease causes inflammation of some organs, such as the kidneys; the membranes that cover the heart and lungs, and the brain, which over time can deteriorate them if not controlled. It also affects the joints and blood vessels. As for risk factors, the only identifiable is genetic inheritance. “However, having a frontline family member, parents or siblings, with lupus gives you a better risk of developing it, but that’s relative. Not necessarily a mother with the disease will pass it on to her children,” says Dr. Llanos.
Symptoms of this pathology are varied and may include: hair loss, spots on the skin, change in the color of the hands when exposed to cold, mouth ulcers, low fever, decreased white blood cells, anemia and low platelets.
“The most common is that the clinical manifestations of lupus occur gradually, that it does not present as an acute picture. Clinical examination of these symptoms, along with some laboratory tests, allows us to make the diagnosis, says the specialist. In the face of suspicion of having the disease, it is ideal that the patient always asks her GP first. If he deems it appropriate, he will refer her with a rheumatologist to follow a well-directed therapy.”
Treatment of this disease involves administering immunosuppressive patients. These drugs, which lower the body’s natural defenses, basically seek to modulate the immune system so that it stops perceiving the same as a threat and does not continue to be attacked as if it were defending itself from an external agent. Depending on the clinical manifestations of the disease and how the affected person responds, the intensity of treatment is defined, which is usually lifelong. Having lupus increases cardiovascular risk in these patients, compared to healthy people of the same age, so controlling this aspect is as significant as tracking the disease itself.
Notwithstanding the above, the main thing is to understand that you can live with lupus. The singer and actress, known internationally, Selena Gómez, has shown far that it is possible to lead a normal life from a family, work and social point of view. Today a person committed to their treatment and adopting a healthy lifestyle can function normally despite suffering from this disease.” Patients should not be scared, they should approach the centres where they find a treatment team with which they feel welcomed and confident, so that they can clarify their doubts, their fears and all the apprehensions that the treatment or manifestations of the disease can causethem.”.
In general, those with lupus should:
• Avoid smoking.
• Keep a regular check on the progression of your disease.
• Control cardiovascular risk factors (diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, sedentary lifestyles, smoking, obesity).
• Avoid exposure to the sun and always use photoprotective about factor 55.
• Perform proper physical activity.