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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is lupus?

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    I have completed a Bachelor of Exercise Science, Graduate Diploma in Education - Secondary, Master of Human Nutrition and I am a Level 2 Athletics … View Profile

    Lupus is an auto-immune disease.  When our bodies come in contact with foreign substances , it sets about to produce anti-bodies to attack and engulf it.  Unfortunately with lupus the body recognises healthy cells as foreign and hence attacks it own cells.  This can cause a number of reactions being most commonly inflammation, painful joints and skin rashes.  There are a number of symptoms that combine to allow for correct diagnosis of the disease.   The symptoms are different for everybody and therefore makes diagnosis difficult and sometimes a long process.  Symptoms can include: skin rash especially butterfly rash across nose, joint pain, sensitivity to sun, poor circulation in fingers, muscle ache, low white blood counts, chest pain, increased risk of blood clots, hair loss, headaches, inflammation of heart, dizziness, fatigue etc.  It can take some time to diagnose, often due to a number of visits with varying ailments to doctor although there are some blood tests that can be carried out such as the ANA test available.  Once diagnosed patients may be put on medication to control symptoms and prevent flares. Anti-inflammatories(NSAIDS), corticosteroids and plaqinil may be prescribed and precription will depend on severity of symptoms.  With medication and the patient managing flares with rest, symptoms can be controlled and thus the patient can have a normal lifespan.

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