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Lupus Treatment in Langhorne, PA

What is Lupus?

Lupus is a disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. It is an autoimmune disease that is lifelong, or chronic. It is scientifically known as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).

Our highly trained rheumatologists are experienced in treating lupus. Contact our rheumatology clinics in Langhorne, Philadelphia, and Bala Cynwyd to schedule an appointment. Call us at (215) 725-7400.

What are the Symptoms of Lupus?

Lupus symptoms usually come and go in waves. This can make diagnosis and treatment difficult. These waves of symptoms are called flare-ups. During a flare-up, your symptoms can be severe enough to affect your daily routine. You might also have periods of remission when you have mild or no symptoms.

Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems, including:

  • Your joints
  • Skin
  • Kidneys
  • Blood cells
  • Brain
  • Heart
  • Lungs

Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms often mimic those of other ailments. The most distinctive sign of lupus is a facial rash. The rash resembles the wings of a butterfly unfolding across both cheeks and can occur in many but not all cases of lupus.

Who gets Lupus?

The exact cause of lupus remains unclear, although it’s believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors.

Lupus can often be overlooked, as its symptoms mimic those of other diseases.

You may be at risk for lupus if:

  • You are a woman
  • If you are 15- 44 years old
  • If you are of a certain racial or ethnic group like African American, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, or Pacific Islander
  • If you have a family member with lupus
  • If you have a family history of another autoimmune disease
  • If you have experienced certain infections
  • You experience symptoms after taking certain drugs
  • Hormones make symptoms worse
  • Genetics may play a role, as it often occurs in families

Diagnosing Lupus

Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because it can affect many parts of your body and cause lots of different symptoms. Even small changes or issues that seem unusual for you can be key. Don’t be afraid to talk to one of our rheumatologists if you have symptoms or changes in your health.

As you talk with our rheumatologists, you may expect the following as you try to diagnose lupus:

  • Reviewing your medical and family history
  • Physical exam
  • Discussion of symptoms
  • Blood tests to see how well your immune system is working
  • Checking for infections or other issues like anemia or low blood cell counts
  • Urinalysis to check your pee for signs of infections or other health conditions
  • An antinuclear antibody (ANA) test looks for antibodies to see if your immune system has been overly active
  • A biopsy of your skin or kidney tissue to look for damage

Treatment of Lupus

Despite its complexity, there has been an increase in ongoing research to help treat lupus.

Although there is no cure, the goal is minimizing damage to your organs and how much lupus affects your day-to-day life.

Most people with lupus need a combination of medications to help them prevent flare-ups and lessen their issues during one.

You might need:

  • Hydroxychloroquine – an antiviral medication to relieve symptoms and slow down damage
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – Over-the-counter (OTC) NSAIDs relieve pain and reduce inflammation
  • Corticosteroids -prescription medications taken by mouth or injection that reduce inflammation like Prednisone
  • Immunosuppressants – medications that hold back your immune system and stop it from being as active

Schedule a Lupus Treatment Consultation in Langhorne, PA

Our expert rheumatologists will work with you to help you get the relief you need. As you manage flare-ups, your team will pay close attention to your medication and lifestyle factors. Schedule an appointment at our rheumatology clinics in Langhorne, Philadelphia, and Bala Cynwyd by calling (215) 725-7400.

Ready to schedule your visit?

Request an appointment today to meet with one of Pennsylvania’s top rheumatologists!