Lupus is a kind of autoimmune disease that is normally diagnosed in people who are younger than 45. So, if your aging relative has recently been diagnosed with the disease, you may be wondering why. What causes lupus and was there anything that could have been done to prevent it?
When a person has lupus, their immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues and organs, causing inflammation. In the case of lupus, inflammation can happen in areas throughout the body, including the skin, joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, and brain.
Lupus isn’t always easy to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to those caused by other conditions.
Some symptoms of lupus are:
- A butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose.
- Pain in the joints.
- Being sensitive to the sun so that skin lesions appear or get worse when the person spends time in the sun.
- Feeling short of breath.
- Confusion and memory loss.
The exact cause of lupus is not known. One theory is that it develops in response to a combination of a person’s genetics and environmental factors. These things may predispose a person to develop lupus. Then, certain things trigger the condition to happen. Some possible lupus triggers are:
- Some medications.
- Emotional stress.
- Physical stressors like surgery or an injury.
- Toxins like cigarette smoke, mercury, and silica.
Can Lupus Be Prevented?
Currently, there doesn’t appear to be any way to prevent lupus. However, there are steps that can be taken to prevent a lupus flare, which is a period when symptoms are worse.
Some things that can help are:
Routine Medical Care: Instead of waiting for a flare to occur, the older adult should see their doctor regularly to report symptoms and adjust treatment as needed.
Follow a Healthy Diet: In general, a healthy diet is one that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Protect Skin from the Sun: People with lupus should use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 55 whenever they go outside. They should also wear clothing that protects the skin, such as long sleeves, pants, and wide-brimmed hats.
Quit Smoking: Smoking can make the effects that lupus has on the heart and circulatory system even worse.
Exercise: Regular exercise helps improve overall health as well as keeping bones and muscles strong.
Senior care can help your aging relative with lupus to live better with the disease and prevent flares. If your family member is no longer able to drive, getting to medical appointments can be difficult. A senior care provider can drive them to and from appointments. A senior care provider can also attend appointments with the senior to take notes and ensure the older adult understands the doctor’s instructions. Senior care providers can also cook healthy meals and help your loved one to live a more active lifestyle.
If you or an aging loved one is considering a Caregiver in Arlington, VA, please contact the caring staff at Access Home Care Inc. Proudly Serving Northern Virginia and Surroundings for over 12 years.
Call Us: (703) 765-9350
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