Lupus And The Muscles
Lupus often causes myalgia, or aches and pains in the muscles. Less often, lupus can cause myositis, or inflammation in the muscles usually in the hips, thighs, shoulders, and upper arms.
The most common symptom of myositis is muscle weakness. When you have lupus myositis, it can be hard to do things like stand up out of a chair or raise your arms.
Some medicines used to treat lupus, like steroids, can also cause muscle weakness. This side effect usually goes away when you stop taking the medicine that caused it. Talk to your doctor before stopping any medications prescribed to you.
Lupus and the bones
Many patients with lupus develop osteoporosis . Other bone problems like avascular necrosis are less common than joint and muscle problems. These problems can be serious, especially for people who take high doses of steroids to treat lupus.
Lupus raises your risk for osteoporosis, a bone disease that makes bones weak and more likely to break. Other things that make osteoporosis more likely include:
- Taking steroids as part of your lupus treatment
- Being less physically active when lupus causes pain and fatigue
- Having low levels of calcium or vitamin D in your blood
- Having a family history of osteoporosis
- Lupus nephritis
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms are different for each person who has this long-term disease.
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As fresh flowers emerge in the springtime, so do seasonal allergies. The main culprit is pollen released into the air by the green grass, mold, trees, and colorful flowers in full bloom. Nasal congestion, itchy eyes, sneezing, and a sore throat are common symptoms. But can seasonal allergies cause joint pain? Yes, they can. Lets look at how seasonal allergies affect your joints:
Many people complain of an increase in joint pain around this time of the year. This is because the pollen in the air lands on your skin, eyes, and nose triggering an allergic reaction in the body. The immune system works hard to fight against the foreign allergens. This causes fatigue and inflammation within the body. The inflammatory reaction spreads to the joints and manifests as joint pain.
Steps to prevent seasonal allergies:
If your joint pain continues even after getting allergy symptoms under control, you should visit an orthopedic doctor for an in-depth evaluation and treatment recommendation.
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Joint Pain And Swelling
Up to 90% of people with lupus will have arthritis, which is defined as inflammation or swelling of the joint lining. The most common symptoms of arthritis are stiffness and aching, most often in the hands and wrists. Symptoms of arthritis can come and go and move from one joint to another. Pain and stiffness tend to be worse in the morning and improve as the day goes on. People with lupus can also experience pain in the joints without swelling or tenderness, which is referred to as arthralgia.
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Lupus And Heat Intolerance
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome which affects about 30 percent of people with lupus. It has very similar symptoms to lupus. One of the features of this syndrome is heat sensitivity, which may be the reason for having both lupus and heat intolerance. Researchers have found that people with fibromyalgia tend to have flare ups when temperatures are extremely hot and humid. People with fibromyalgia have been known to experience increased muscle pain, headaches, fatigue, and anxiety during these times. Still others have reported these same symptoms in periods of cold weather.
It is still unclear why people with fibromyalgia experience flare ups during extreme temperatures. However, experts believe that people fibromyalgia have difficulty adapting to temperature changes because they do not perspire as easy as others. This heat intolerance is caused by a limited blood flow to the skin, which lessens their ability to sweat. Dehydration may also be a contributing factor in this.
If you have lupus and heat intolerance, it would be wise to check with your doctor to make sure you dont also have fibromyalgia. Sometimes this can be overlooked because the flare ups have similar symptoms. If you know that you have fibromyalgia and lupus, you should take measures to protect yourself from both the sunlight and excessive heat. EverydayHealth.com recommends that you do this by:
Stay comfortable Wear loose fitting clothing and choose white or bright colors since they dont absorb as much heat.
How Lupus Is Diagnosed
Lupus, also called systemic lupus erythematosus, is not always easy to diagnose because it can be similar to other conditions.
Symptoms include inflammation of different parts of the body including the lungs, heart, liver, joints and kidneys.
The GP will usually do some blood tests. High levels of a type of antibody, combined with typical symptoms, means lupus is likely.
You might be referred for X-rays and scans of your heart, kidney and other organs if the doctor thinks they might be affected.
Once lupus is diagnosed, you’ll be advised to have regular checks and tests, such as regular blood tests to check for anaemia and urine tests to check for kidney problems.
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The Pain Centre Versus Arthritis
In partnership with the University of Nottingham and local NHS Trusts, Versus Arthritis supports the worlds first national centre for research into pain.
The aims of the centre are to improve our understanding of pain and ways to stop it, through existing and new treatments.
The centre has experts in rheumatology, neuroimaging, psychology, neuropharmacology, neurosciences and orthopaedic surgery.
Insomnia Sleep And Fatigue
Insomnia, narcolepsy and other sleep issues are a common symptom that many Lupus Warriors struggle with daily . You can read more about them here. These issues have many causes, including:
- Temperature sensitivity
- Medication side effects
All sleep-related symptoms have one thing in common, however: they all influence energy levels and brain and body function. Sleep-related problems can contribute to fatigue, which can in turn affect sleep cycles and energy levels further. In essence, fatigue and sleep problems contribute to each other.
Taking care of sleep symptoms can help with fatigue. You can find a few tips for how to go about doing that, here.
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Why Does Lupus Cause Hair Loss
One of the complications of lupus can be damage to your skin and hair loss. People with lupus can develop scarring on their skin and scalp from rashes. This can cause your hair to thin and fall out. You could also experience hair loss as a side effect of some medications that treat lupus hair loss can be a side effect of steroids. If your hair is thinning or falling out, talk to your healthcare provider. Sometimes, changing your medications can help with this issue. Your provider might also recommend using gentle shampoos .
Sleep & Fatigue In Sle
Other studies supported the finding of increased unrestorative sleep in SLE patients by showing high frequency of primary sleep disorders including sleep apnea and abnormal limb movements during sleep in SLE patients, as well as increased daytime sleepiness due to sleep fragmentation and more arousals . One study assessed 100 women with SLE and their sleep quality by utilizing the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index , a questionnaire that assesses sleep quality and disturbances over a 1-month period. Completed questionnaires reflected moderate-to-severe sleep impairments in 56% of the SLE population. Cumulative damage, disease activity, functional disability, pain severity, use of prednisone, depressed mood and lower levels of exercise participation were all positively correlated with poorer sleep quality .
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How Do You Get Energy When You Have Lupus 6 Ways
Fatigue is the most common symptom of systemic lupus erythematosus . If you are struggling with lupusfatigue, there are things you can do to boost your energy levels, such as making dietary changes and exercising regularly.
Learn more about lupusfatigue and how to manage symptoms.
Who Is Affected By Lupus
Anyone can have lupus. It can happen to women, men, children and even newborns. Its much more commonly seen in women than men, with about 90% of diagnosed cases being women of reproductive age. Experts have a difficult time estimating how many people in the United States have lupus because it is difficult to diagnose. Lupus has a wide variety of symptoms that can also be signs of other medical conditions. Because of this, there may be people with lupus who go undiagnosed throughout their lives.
Lupus is also more prominent in certain ethnicities. African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American women are all more likely to develop the condition than Caucasian women.
Your risk of having lupus is also increased if you have a family member with lupus or another autoimmune disease.
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Physical Activity & Fatigue In Sle
Previous studies of patients with SLE have shown the impact of aerobic or muscle strengthening or supervised exercise strategies on improved health outcomes including fatigue , improved exercise tolerance and quality of life . When aerobic capacity is measured in the physiology laboratory, even patients with mild SLE struggle with performing daily activities and their performance is comparable to levels in individuals with severe cardiopulmonary and metabolic disease . SLE patients were found to be less fit with reduced levels of aerobic fitness and reduced exercise capacity including reduced muscle strength, reduced resting lung function, depressed mood, poor sleep quality and functional incapacity, and this physical disability correlated with increased levels of fatigue by a linear regression model . In one study of women with SLE that measured aerobic capacity with a bicycle ergometer exercise test during low-to-moderate activity, VO2 max was significantly lower in SLE females than levels predicted for sedentary women . Another study looking at SLE women and aerobic capacity supported the previous studys findings that aerobic capacity measured by peak oxygen consumption during the treadmill tests was decreased in SLE women compared to controls, was lower than expected for physiologic deconditioning and that this aerobic insufficiency was highly correlated with the perception of severe, activity-limiting fatigue in this population .
Fighting Lupus Fatigue And Boosting Energy
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of lupus. In fact, most people with lupus have fatigue at some point in their illness.
âWhen lupus hit, it was like running into a wall at 80 mph,â says Ann S. Utterback, PhD, a broadcast voice specialist in Virginia who was diagnosed with lupus in 2006. âI had been very active my whole life, and the fatigue just knocked me flat. Most days I have about four good hours.â
Experts arenât certain what causes the fatigue of lupus. In some patients it may be caused by fibromyalgia, a syndrome of widespread muscle pain and fatigue. About one-third of people with lupus have fibromyalgia. In other cases, the fatigue can be caused by another condition, such as anemia or depression. Fatigue can also be a side effect of medication.
If fatigue hinders you, there are ways you can try to increase your energy with lupus. This article offers five key ways to cope with fatigue and boost your energy levels.
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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome And Lupus
While Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not an overlap disease of lupus, current research is revealing more and more similarities between both conditions and what may cause them.
In 2015, the Institute of Medicine published a report stating that somewhere between 800,000 and 2.5 million Americans suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and that most of these individuals have been undiagnosed. The IOMs report also noted that women are more prone to getting CFS than men and the average age for experiencing symptoms is 33. While it is mostly white individuals who are eventually diagnosed with CFS, CFS may actually be more prevalent in Hispanics, especially those from a lower socioeconomic background. It is interesting to note that these affected demographics are very similar to the demographics of lupus.
What causes CFS?
The Office on Womens Health acknowledges that it is unclear as to what exactly causes CFS and because of this, it is also not preventable. Individuals who suffer from CFS often report feeling poorly after experiencing the flu or other viruses including Epstein Barr Virus , the virus that causes mononucleosis. Sometimes, individuals with CFS say they started feeling bad after stressful life experiences such as surgery or emotional duress.
What are the symptoms of CFS?
Some common symptoms of CFS include:
How is CFS diagnosed and treated?
An individual must have the following three symptoms:
Lupus Medications And Fatigue
Some drugs commonly used to treat the various symptoms of lupus may also cause fatigue. For instance, steroids used to manage inflammation such as prednisone may cause insomnia or otherwise interfere with good sleep. Other medicines that may contribute to feeling tired include1:
- Cold and allergy medicines
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What Causes Joint Pain
Joint pain can have many possible causes. The reason for your joint discomfort can be as simple as a sprain, or your joint pain may seemingly arise out of nowhere. For some people, cold or wet weather is a trigger. Whatever the cause of your joint pain, we have treatment options that can provide relief.
Obesity & Fatigue In Sle
The prevalence of obesity in SLE is between 28 and 50% . Few studies have documented associations between diet and nutrient density with SLE and/or fatigue, although adverse associations between obesity and fibromyalgia, functional capacity based on the difficulty performing activities of daily living and inflammatory markers have been noted in SLE . Data from LUMINA, a multiethnic SLE cohort study, showed that 28% of the patients were obese, with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 and above, and that this was associated with worse depression and fatigue . Another study showed a prevalence of obesity of 39% and demonstrated a positive association between obesity and higher levels of fatigue in the SLE cohort . Obesity and SLE are both inflammatory diseases with evidence of increased TNF- levels in SLE and evidence of increased C-reactive protein and IL-6 levels . Higher concentrations of both C-reactive protein and IL-6 increase concerns that these patients may be at higher risk of developing vascular disease. Identifying obesity as a cause of fatigue and poor quality of life in SLE is important, because this risk factor can potentially be modified.
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Lupus Can Range From Mild To SevereHow lupus affects the body
|Severity||How it affects the body|
|Mild||Joint and skin problems, tiredness|
|Moderate||Inflammation of other parts of the skin and body, including your lungs, heart and kidneys|
|Severe||Inflammation causing severe damage to the heart, lungs, brain or kidneys can be life threatening|
Coping With Fatigue Associated With Autoimmune Disease
The inflammatory response associated with autoimmune conditions and arthritis is systemicmeaning it affects the whole body. These conditions can cause a variety of symptoms, including pain, swelling, stiffness, loss of joint functionand fatigue. In fact, fatigue is one of the most commonand frustratingsymptoms.
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Lupus Fatigue: Causes Treatment And Managing Expectations
The unrelenting exhaustion of lupus fatigue affects up to 80% of those living with SLE. Read on to learn what the medical community has to say about its causes, symptoms and some of the best ways to cope with this extremely common and sometimes debilitating condition.
Fatigue is more than just a desire for a shot of espresso in the morning or the need to hit the sack a little early to make up for a late night out. Fatigue can be a physically and emotionally debilitating conundrum one that is not easy to solve and it goes beyond curling up on the couch with a throw blanket and a good movie waiting for of sleep to take its course. Fatigue can mean that sleep itself is illusive.
In their article Fatigue in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, researchers Grace Ahn and Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman note that approximately 53-80% of individuals with SLE report experiencing fatigue as one of their main symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, fatigue is the feeling of unrelenting exhaustion that is profound and isnt relieved by rest. It can grossly affect your ability to function day-to-day and experience a good quality of life. Fatigue is a loss of energy you may fear youll never recoup. Therefore, fatigue is not only physically draining, but can be emotionally devastating as well.
What are the causes and symptoms of lupus fatigue?
What does the research say about managing lupus fatigue?
Combating and Coping with Fatigue
How Is Lupus Treated
Treatment for lupus depends on the organs involved. There is no cure for it, but treatment can help control symptoms. Often, a patient with lupus has a health care team with specialists such as:
- a rheumatologist
- a nephrologist
- an infectious disease specialist
- a dermatologist
- a social worker
- a psychologist
Medicines can help lower the risk of flare-ups and improve symptoms. Someone with lupus may take:
- corticosteroids to control inflammation
- immunosuppressive drugs to lower the body’s immune response
- antimalarial drugs to help treat skin rashes and joint pain
- acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen or naproxen, for joint and muscle pain
Doctors may also recommend that people with lupus:
- Avoid the sun as much as possible and wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outside to help reduce the number of flare-ups.
- Get regular exercise to help with tiredness and joint stiffness.
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