Lupus is an autoimmune condition that attacks your kidneys and causes life-threatening complications such as kidney failure. There is no known cure for lupus, but there are effective medications for managing lupus and restoring normal body functioning. If you’re struggling with lupus Barker Cypress, Houston Kidney Specialists Center has the solution.
What is lupus?
Lupus refers to an inflammatory, autoimmune condition that occurs when your immune system becomes overactive and attacks your body organs and tissues. The symptoms of lupus range from mild to severe, causing remission and repeated cycles of inflammation of your body tissues. Some of the common symptoms of lupus include:
· Fever and joint stiffness
· Sharp stabbing pain in your chest or other parts of your body
· Swollen muscles, eyes, and joints
· Red or scaly rashes
· Hair loss
· Shortness of breath
The symptoms of lupus range from one patient to another and the severity of your symptoms may depend on the variant of the disease and the affected body part.
Does lupus cause kidney problems?
When systemic lupus attacks your kidneys, it causes a condition called lupus nephritis, which causes your kidneys to malfunction. Your body releases antibodies to attack the disease, in turn causing scarring and inflammation in your kidney’s blood vessels. A malfunctioning kidney can cause serious complications that may put your life in jeopardy. The most common symptom of lupus nephritis is unexplained swelling of your abdomen and ankles. You may not be aware that you have kidney lupus until you undergo a series of tests, including blood work.
What are the common signs and symptoms of lupus nephritis?
The common systems of lupus nephritis include:
· Weight gain
· Blood in urine
· High blood pressure
· High protein levels in urine
How can your doctor diagnose lupus?
The professional team at Houston Kidney Specialists first reviews your medical and family history. Then they discuss your symptoms and your lifestyle before conducting a comprehensive physical exam to determine the severity of your condition. If they suspect that lupus is affecting your heart’s functioning, they may recommend an echocardiogram or chest x-ray. The team may also require urine tests to inspect your protein levels. The team may also request for blood work to assess your:
· Glomerular filtration rate
· Anti-nuclear bodies
Additionally, the caring team at Houston Kidney Specialists may recommend other tests to assess the overall health of your kidney.
What are the treatment options for lupus?
Your doctor first performs a comprehensive medical exam to determine your lupus variant before recommending treatments to restore your kidney functioning and manage lupus. Most of the treatment plans include the following:
· Immunosuppressive drugs
· Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
· Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
These treatments restore the normal functioning of your immune system, reducing inflammation and regulating fluid retention and blood pressure. Your doctor may recommend a few dietary changes, such as minimizing protein and sodium intake to lessen the risk of kidney malfunction.
For more information about the treatment options for lupus, contact Houston Kidney Specialists or book your spot online.