Lupus And Fibromyalgia
Lupus And Fibromyalgia-understanding The Similarities And Differences In Symptoms And Management Strategies.
Lupus and Fibromyalgia are two disorders that while dissimilar in cause, share enough symptoms that misdiagnosis are common. Although both are referred to as rheumatic disorders, they are not the same condition. A rheumatic disorder simply means that the disorder causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in some part of the body. It is very important with both of these diseases to be sure that a correct diagnosis is achieved, because although the symptoms present in the same way, the underlying causes, and therefore effective treatments, are not similar at all. Lupus is a disorder of the autoimmune system. It occurs when the body's autoimmune system begins, for reasons largely unknown, to attack the body's own structures. Skin, joints, internal organs, and even blood cells are all potential targets of the confused autoimmune system in this type of illness.
As the overenthusiastic autoimmune system attacks the body, it causes inflammation and eventually permanent damage to the tissue or structure involved. Doctors believe that lupus is primarily an inherited condition, possibly triggered by environmental or other factors. Management of lupus has made huge progress; at one point persons diagnosed with lupus were not expected to live long. Treatment of the condition often involves NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin, drugs marketed to treat malaria, and corticosteroids. Since many of these drugs can have serious side effects, doctor and patient must constantly monitor any changes in symptoms, to allow the patient to only use the medication when necessary. Fibromyalgia is also referred to as a rheumatic disorder, and is also characterized by body aches and overall pain. However, unlike lupus, fibromyalgia is also accompanied by extreme fatigue, depression and sometimes anxiety.
Sleep problems or disorders are also common in fibromyalgia patients. Joint damage does not occur with fibromyalgia, although joint and musculoskeletal pain may be quite acute. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is not known, however, researchers believe that it may be due to a difference in the way the brain processes pain signals. Treatment for fibromyalgia includes NSAIDs and other over the counter pain relief medications, possibly in congruence with antidepressants and certain anti-seizure drugs. Emphasis on self-care, awareness of symptoms and other lifestyle changes is often the key to successfully managing a diagnosis of fibromylagia. Many sufferers report alleviation of symptoms with a regular program of gentle exercise and cognitive behavior therapy.