Rheumatology of Central Indiana
Rheumatology located in Muncie, IN & Richmond, IN
Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that may affect any part of your body, such as your joints, kidneys, or skin. Because it may affect any body part or system, lupus is hard to diagnose. Rheumatology of Central Indiana specializes in diagnosing and treating autoimmune disorders like lupus. For comprehensive care, call the office in Muncie, Richmond, New Castle, Greensburg, Shelbyville, or Marion, Indiana, or click the online scheduling button today.
Lupus Q & A
What is lupus?
Lupus, or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is a chronic autoimmune disorder that can affect any part of your body. An autoimmune disorder means your immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys your body’s own cells, tissues, or organs.
People with lupus have a hyperactive immune system that might attack the joints, skin, blood vessels, or major organs like the heart or kidneys. The immune system attack causes inflammation and damage to these body parts, affecting their function.
Though researchers are still investigating what causes someone to develop lupus, doctors theorize the chronic autoimmune disorder develops from a combination of factors, including genetics, environment, and organ characteristics.
What are the symptoms of lupus?
Lupus symptoms vary and no single case is like another. In some people, lupus symptoms are mild and develop slowly; in others, the symptoms are severe and occur quickly.
Common symptoms of lupus include:
- Joint pain
- Butterfly rash on the face
- Weight loss
- Dry eyes
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Most people with lupus have mild symptoms that flare up for a set period of time and then improve or go away altogether.
How is lupus diagnosed?
When you visit Rheumatology of Central Indiana with symptoms that indicate lupus or another autoimmune disorder, your provider conducts a comprehensive evaluation to find the root cause of your symptoms.
They ask detailed questions about your symptoms and when they started. They also review your medical and family history and perform a physical exam. If your provider suspects you have lupus, they run a series of blood tests to confirm or rule out a diagnosis.
The most important diagnostic test for diagnosing lupus is an antinuclear antibodies (ANA) test. Testing positive for these antibodies means your body’s immune system is attacking your healthy tissues. If this test is negative, you don’t have lupus.
How is lupus treated?
Rheumatology of Central Indiana takes a patient-centered approach to care and develops individualized treatment plans that best meet your needs and goals. There’s no cure for lupus, so treatment focuses on reducing your overactive immune system to limit flare-ups and damage.
Treatment for lupus may include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Antimalarial drugs
- Biologic agents
Rheumatology of Central Indiana schedules regular follow-up appointments to monitor your disease and symptoms and adjust your treatment plan as needed.
Lupus is a chronic health condition that causes systemic inflammation. For expert care, call Rheumatology of Central Indiana or book an appointment online today.