A medical condition in which connective tissue of the body are attacked by the immune system is known as lupus erythematosus or lupus joint pain. Joint pain is actually a symptom of lupus. Apart from the joints, lupus erythematosus also affects kidneys, skin, blood cells, lungs and heart. Lupus causes maximum trouble to the patient when flares occur. It causes aches and the joint pain aggravates.
Lupus and Joint Pain
It is difficult to diagnose the problem of lupus and a single or sure shot method (test) is not available to carry out the diagnosis. Time taken for the correct diagnosis could take years. In the process of diagnosis, detailed history of the patient is checked. Signs/symptoms which could be related to or point towards the presence of lupus disease are studied thoroughly. In the next step, a series of blood tests are conducted. The presence of antibodies if any, in the blood is checked. Any possibility of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has to be first ruled out before coming to any conclusion.
Symptoms of Lupus
There are many different symptoms which could be observed in patients suffering from lupus. The joints that might experience pain include the ones in shoulders, arms, hips, legs, feet, etc. There are many symptoms of lupus apart from joint pain. Red rashes, fever and muscle pain are some of these.
Other symptoms are mentioned below.
- Chest pain is one of the symptoms of lupus. In this type of chest pain, trouble increases when a person lies down.
- The reaction to sunlight exhibited by lupus patients is extreme in comparison to normal people.
- Moist areas of the mouth or nose are lined with painless sores.
- The level of white or red blood cells in the body drops down considerably.
- The patient might suffer from severe mental illnesses and seizures.
- The kidney function of lupus patients decreases considerably. It causes swelling of legs and feet.
- The blood of lupus patients may contain antinuclear bodies (ANA).
- Apart from antinuclear bodies, the blood may contain other factors such as anti-native DNA auto antibodies, the LE cells or anti-Sin auto antibodies. Patients could also test positive for syphills.
Lupus Joint Pain Treatment
In order to keep the joints in a healthy state, one should drink water aplenty. It helps maintain the lubrication of joints. Medications such as Motrin and Tylenol are used for the treatment of joint pain in lupus. In some cases, steroids with anti-inflammatory properties are used in relieving the pain. Steroids also help in reducing the swellings. Taking enough rest also helps in dealing with the problem of lupus erythematosus. One should try to avoid any kind of stress or irritation. Regular exercise and intake of balanced diet also helps in the treatment of this disease. Bad habits such as smoking, alcohol intake and drug abuse should not be practiced. Reducing the intake of these substances helps in lowering the frequency of flares. The methods used for treatment however, differ from patient to patient. This is because, the manner in which lupus affects people varies a lot.
The information about lupus erythematosus, its causes, symptoms and treatment is provided in short in the above article. It would help in determining presence of the disease and curing it.