I thought that mentioning a lupus cure would grab your attention! Lupus can attack any organ or system of the human body (skin, liver, kidneys, spleen, nervous system, bones, intestine, to name a few); according to the Lupus Foundation of America, this disease afflicts @ 1.5 million Americans. Besides affecting friends and family, it has tremendous financial impact and can have a devastating affect on marriage and the family. As a chronic illness, lupus contributes to the high cost of healthcare. Based on that alone, you’d think doctors, scientists and researchers would find a cure for it. But one eludes them. Why?
Unfortunately, scientists don’t know the exact cause of lupus. If they knew the cause, then they could devote time to developing a cure. Some suspect a genetic cause, with the development of lupus needing a ‘trigger;’ but, they don’t know what the trigger is. There is thought that trauma, stress or diet can be that trigger. But, something causes the latent (passive) gene to become active and cause lupus.
Because scientists are left with a blank slate, as far as knowing the cause of lupus, they work to develop treatments for lupus’ complications. Acetaminophen (Tylenol™) is often helpful for the pain of lupus. Because the pain can be due to inflammation, ibuprofen (Motrin™) and naproxen (Naprosyn™) are often recommended. Combination preparations like Vicoprofen™ (a combination of the analgesic Vicodin and the antinflammatory, ibuprofen) might be helpful.
A stronger medication in the doctor’s arsenal to treat the inflammation of lupus, is the steroid, prednisone. Prednisone, and other steroids, have powerful anti- inflammatory effects; but also undesirous side effects (hallucinations, elevating blood sugar or decreasing bone density) naming a few. But in a crisis, when inflammation can’t be controlled by any other means, treatment with steroids is indicated.
Because of the side effects, routine treatment with steroids should be instituted when all else has been tried and failed or when your doctor feels that the likelihood of something else working better than steroids is poor. For example, ibuprofen and an inhaler won’t work in an acute asthma attack. So, the doctor has a choice to make. Administer steroids to decrease the massive inflammation so the patient can breathe and risk side effects and THEN adjust his medication regimen.
Other treatments are with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic agents (DMARD), the subject of a later discussion as well as a nutritional approach, The Autoimmune Bible and the Norton Protocol.™
Lately, the Lupus Research Institute (LRI), the SLE Lupus Foundation and the LFA (Lupus Foundation of America) are trying to make this the year when great strides are made towards finding a cure for lupus.
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