What is Lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases are conditions in which your own immune system attacks your body. With lupus, people develop autoimmune antibodies that attach to organs and tissues. These antibodies attack the body and cause
damage instead of fighting infection because it can not identify the difference between an invader and healthy tissue.
How Does it Affect You?
Lupus primarily affects joints, lungs, blood cells, nerves, and kidneys. Common signs and symptoms include:
Joint pain, stiffness and swelling
Butterfly-shaped rash on the face and nose
Fingers and toes that turn white or blue during extreme cold temperatures or stressful situations
Shortness of breath
Causes of Lupus Flare-ups
Lupus flare-ups can be caused by various factors. Some of these factors include:
Severe exposure to UV light
Treatments for lupus primarily manage the inflammation in the body. Medications can include NSAIDS, Corticosteroids, Immunosuppressants, Antimalarial drugs (decrease immune response) and Biologics are all used in medical management of Lupus flare-ups and symptoms.
Homeopathic and alternative medicine can also benefit individuals with Lupus. Fish oil supplements, Vitamin D, acupuncture, and DHEA supplements have all been shown to benefit individuals with Lupus.
A healthy diet, adequate exercise, managing stress levels, and managing sun exposure all play a vital role in managing your flare-ups on a regular basis and self-care.
Lupus and the Pelvic Floor
Lupus is an inflammatory condition which can lead to diffuse inflammation in the body.
Lupus can cause myositis and myalgia. Myositis is inflammation of the muscles and myalgia refer to muscle pain.
When treating an individual with Lupus for pelvic floor conditions it is important to consider that during a flare-up, increase in inflammation can affect how the individual tolerates therapy and if their pre-existing pelvic pain conditions experience a flare-up.
Also, if flare-ups are caused by stress, it is important to educate this patient population on how to downtrain their neurological system and learn relaxation techniques.
Patients dealing with a lupus flare-up will also benefit from education on how to manage inflammation through diet. There are certain foods and drinks that are known to increase inflammation in the body.