Lupus is a disease that affects the body’s immune system and causes it to confuse healthy tissues with dangerous viruses, germs, and bacteria. As a result, the body mistakenly creates antibodies that attack, damage, and destroy healthy tissues of the body. For most people with lupus, this results in chronic pain, inflammation, and damage to specific areas of the body.
Unfortunately, lupus can affect anybody at any time, though the average age range for people with lupus is between 15 and 44 years old. Changes in season and temperature can significantly affect symptoms experienced.
Lupus and Summer Weather
What many people don’t realize about lupus is that there are certain “triggers” that can cause symptoms to flare up. One of the most common triggers of lupus symptoms is exposure to sun and heat. Unfortunately, in a climate like we experience here in Jacksonville, this can mean very unpleasant summers for those with lupus. Sun and heat exposure can cause symptoms to flare up because when UVA or UVB rays hit the skin, inflammation in the cells naturally occurs and often sets off a chain reaction of other symptoms. Studies have found that “75 percent of patients with systemic lupus and 90 percent of discoid lupus patients will suffer flare-ups of symptoms from even brief exposures to sun or heat.”
Treatment and Management Options for Lupus Patients
While lupus is not a curable disease, the good news is that there are treatment and management options available to keep flare-ups at bay and improve the overall quality of life for lupus patients. Specifically, certain medications can be effective in reducing the occurrence of flare-ups and reduce swelling or pain associated with the disease. The key to the best treatment and quality of life with lupus is to have the support and guidance of the right doctors, such as rheumatologists who have worked specifically with lupus patients.
If you have been struggling with managing your lupus, schedule an appointment with one of our experienced doctors. Dr. Oza and Dr. Roane specialize in providing quality care to all their patients and have been doing so for decades. Call the Arthritis & Osteoporosis Treatment Center today.