Is There a Link Between Lupus and Menopause?
Lupus is a chronic disease that affects one in three women, but it’s not diagnosed until the condition has progressed to the third phase. The disease is also called systemic Lupus erythematosus. In women, the disease is known as systemic Lupus erythematosus (SLE) and can be triggered by an antigen. Lupus occurs in women who are carriers of the genetic disorder, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).
Women with Rheumatoid Arthritis may develop Lupus because of an overabundance of certain types of anti-rheumatic antibodies called T-cells in their blood. The T-cell is a type of lymphocyte, which develops in the thymus gland and plays a central role in the immune response. T cells can be distinguished from other lymphocytes by the presence of a T-cell receptor on the cell surface.
The immune cells that originate as precursor cells, derived from bone marrow, and develop into several distinct types of T-cells once they have migrated to the thymus gland. T-cell differentiation continues even after they have left the thymus. These types of antibodies are produced in response to substances called triggers in the body such as Bacteria, Fungi or Virus.
Lupus is often triggered by trauma, including surgery
Some women are predisposed to developing Lupus because they have a weakened immune system. Others have inherited a genetic problem that makes them more susceptible to this disease. If the cause of the disease is unknown, there is no way to determine if a person will be prone to developing Lupus. Lupus, however, can be diagnosed if there are abnormalities on the immune system.
Lupus can affect anyone at any age
However, the disease is more common in pregnant women. Lupus can be very painful, so it’s important to be checked out for any problems before pregnancy and before taking birth control pills if taken during pregnancy. Although the causes of Lupus are still not fully understood, there are some theories about how the disease happens.
It’s been theorized that a chemical called acetylcholine is released into the bloodstream when cells in the nervous system become activated. A faulty or overactive immune system, anaemia and other issues may make someone more vulnerable to Lupus. Read: Menopause Management in Women with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Because the symptoms of this disease can be similar to those of menopause, doctors have found that hormone therapy may help to prevent it from becoming more severe. This therapy, called tamoxifen, contains estrogen. Many women have prescribed these medications during menopause as a preventative measure. They also are used for treating lupus-related complications. Lupus can be treated by a variety of medications
Most women who suffer from this condition are prescribed anti-rheumatic drugs like
- Methotrexate and
Lupus can also be treated with steroidal medications and photodynamic therapy. Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) involves exposing the skin to laser light and then destroying the lupus-causing antigens with light. Since the damage isn’t permanent, the immune system fights back by producing antibodies to attack the damaged areas.
The treatment may be successful in helping the body to repair itself after it has been damaged. Patients may also experience some short-term side effects like itching, burning, and rash. While treatment options may vary depending on the stage of the illness, there are treatments that may be used to both manage and prevent the disease.
In addition, doctors may try to prevent further damage from occurring by managing stress and limiting stress. Certain diets may help, but often are not the best choice for everyone. Lupus may also be helped by lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and exercise.
And while it’s best to take care of yourself before you go into menopause, having a good overall health is also important. The symptoms of Lupus should be monitored closely by a physician. In some cases, a doctor may recommend that you have surgery to treat certain symptoms.
However, in others, it may be necessary to keep symptoms under control with medication. Lupus can be treated. Lupus is not a serious illness and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you or your loved one has Lupus, talk to your doctor to decide what options are best for treatment.
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