Dr. Vijay Karia and the staff of Integrative Rheumatology of Texas serve residents in the greater Houston area as well as patients living in Cypress, The Woodlands, and Tomball. The doctor is a board certified rheumatologist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of lupus and other rheumatic disorders.
Lupus is one of many autoimmune disorders that can affect the joints. Although it has symptoms that are similar to many arthritis conditions, lupus can also have an impact on the skin, the lungs, and many other vital organs. It’s characterized by a butterfly-shaped rash that often appears across the cheeks and over the bridge of the nose. Types of lupus include discoid lupus and systemic lupus. It commonly strikes women more than men and often appears between the ages of 15 and 45. Minority and ethnic groups—blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asians, and American Indians/Alaska Natives—are affected more than whites. As an autoimmune disorder, the symptoms are caused by the body's immune system attacking its own tissues. A malfunction in the body's immune response causes healthy tissues to be attacked as if they were an invading virus or foreign body.
Lupus and other autoimmune disorders can be placed into remission and their symptoms can be effectively treated. Each patient's treatment plan will be based on the severity of their symptoms and any other health conditions and current medications. Positive lifestyle changes to reduce environmental factors that trigger painful episodes are also very important. Relaxation therapy is beneficial in reducing stress and allowing the body to release tension. DMARD and biologic therapy can be used to reduce pain and inflammation, while exercises, such as swimming and walking will keep a person active with improved mobility.
Managing the symptoms and controlling how a person reacts to stressful situations can reduce the long-term effects of lupus. Swimming, walking, yoga, and stretching are forms of exercise that work to keep the body moving. Maintaining adequate circulation and range of motion are extremely important when trying to manage the long-term effects of lupus and other autoimmune disorders. Under treated lupus can lead to organ damage such as renal or cardiac failure. Without treatment, joint pain and stiffness can progress reducing quality of life.
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