What’s the Best Treatment for Lupus?

Q:
What’s the best treatment for lupus?

A:
Lupus is a chronic disease that causes inflammation throughout your body. The condition can be quite challenging, because besides skin rashes, it may affect your internal organs.

So how to treat lupus effectively? Here are some common options.

Medications— the main treatment
Lupus medications work in different ways. What they have in common is that they all reduce swelling in the body.

  • NSAIDs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naprosyn, or indomethacin, help reduce swelling, stiffness, and pain.
  • Antimalarial drugs work well in helping ease lupus symptoms such as joint swelling and skin rashes.
  • Benlysta, though does not benefit all patients with lupus, helps some reduce doses of steroids.
  • Corticosteroids. During serious lupus flares that affect organs such as the kidneys, high doses of steroids can quickly control symptoms.
  • Immunosuppressive drugs. Because lupus is caused by an overactive immune system, drugs that suppress the immune system can help relieve symptoms.

There is no one medication that helps all people with lupus. That is to say a drug might work well in some people and not at all in others. Keep in mind turn to your doctor to find the right lupus drug or combination.

Surgery and transplants

In severe cases, lupus can cause damage to the organs — especially the kidneys. Some people develop kidney failure and need a transplant.

Experimental treatments

Scientists are studying other ways to treat lupus, such as stem cell transplants.

Complementary medicine

Some supplements, such as DHEA or fish oil, might help people with lupus. But be sure to talk to your rheumatologist before taking any supplements.

Lifestyle Changes for Lupus

  • Eat a healthy diet. Although no specific meal plan has been shown to help with lupus symptoms, aim for a diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in unhealthy fats.
  • Exercise. Exercise is key if you have lupus. It can help improve your mood, boost energy, lower your risk of heart disease.
  • Reduce stress. In many people, stress can trigger flares. Use techniques like meditation, biofeedback, yoga, and breathing exercises to cut down on stress
  • Rest. People with lupus might need more rest than the average person.

For the best treatment, keep in close contact with your doctor.

 

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.