Does lupus affect your brain?

Brain and central nervous system.
If your brain is affected by lupus, you may experience headaches, dizziness, behavior changes, vision problems, and even strokes or seizures. Many people with lupus experience memory problems and may have difficulty expressing their thoughts.

What brain problems does lupus cause?

Lupus and the central nervous system

Symptoms include: Confusion and trouble concentrating (sometimes called lupus brain fog) Seizures (sudden, unusual movements or behavior) Stroke (blocked blood flow in the brain that causes brain cells to die)

Does lupus mess with your brain?

Lupus can affect both the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system. Lupus may attack the nervous system via antibodies that bind to nerve cells or the blood vessels that feed them, or by interrupting the blood flow to nerves.

Can a brain MRI detect lupus?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the gold standard technique for studying the brain in lupus (Sarbu et al., 2015c). The neuroimaging findings are classified as small or large vessel disease, and inflammatory-type lesions (Sarbu et al., 2015b).

What are the struggles of lupus?

Having lupus can make everyday life challenging. When your lupus is active, symptoms like joint stiffness, pain, fatigue, confusion, or depression can make simple tasks difficult — and sometimes impossible. Since these symptoms aren't visible, the people around you may have trouble understanding how you feel.

Lupus Patient Success Story - Lupus Affecting the Brain in a Young Patient

What organ does lupus affect first?

Kidneys About one half of people with lupus experience kidney involvement, and the kidney has become the most extensively studied organ affected by lupus. Lungs About 50% of people with SLE will experience lung involvement during the course of their disease.

What should you not do if you have lupus?

5 Things to Avoid if You Have Lupus
  1. (1) Sunlight. People with lupus should avoid the sun, since sunlight can cause rashes and flares. ...
  2. (2) Bactrim and Septra (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim) Bactrim and Septra are antibiotics that contain sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. ...
  3. (3) Garlic. ...
  4. (4) Alfalfa Sprouts. ...
  5. (5) Echinacea.

How do you treat lupus in the brain?

Treatment Options

The treatment of neuropsychiatric lupus depends on the particular problem and its cause. When the problem is due to very active lupus (flaring), the disease is treated with steroids and immunosuppressive drugs (such as cyclophosphamide, mycophenolate mofetil, azathioprine etc).

How does a doctor confirm lupus?

Your doctor will look for rashes and other signs that something is wrong. Blood and urine tests. The antinuclear antibody (ANA) test can show if your immune system is more likely to make the autoantibodies of lupus. Most people with lupus test positive for ANA.

How often does lupus affect the brain?

Research shows as many as 90% of people with lupus have symptoms that involve their brain, spinal cord, or nerves. It's called neuropsychiatric lupus.

Can you live a normal healthy life with lupus?

Many people with lupus can minimize flares, lessen the burden of the disease and live a quality life by following their treatment plan and taking care of themselves. In fact, nearly 90 percent of people with lupus live to a normal life expectancy.

Is lupus a life threat?

With close follow-up and treatment, 80-90% of people with lupus can expect to live a normal life span. It is true that medical science has not yet developed a method for curing lupus, and some people do die from the disease. However, for the majority of people living with the disease today, it will not be fatal.

Can stress cause lupus to get worse?

Research shows that stress can worsen lupus symptoms and trigger flares. Stress relates to the feeling of being overwhelmed. Under stress, the body secretes hormones like cortisol to trigger the fight or flight response. In instances of prolonged stress, the human body can be severely affected.

Can lupus make you lose your memory?

People with lupus can have cognitive symptoms, like having a hard time thinking clearly or remembering things. This is also called “brain fog” or “lupus fog,” and it often comes and goes over time. In some people, lupus fog can be present for many years.

Does lupus progressively get worse?

Overall, SLE gradually gets worse over time, and damage to the major organs of the body can be life-threatening.

What are advanced symptoms of lupus?

Joint pain, stiffness and swelling. Butterfly-shaped rash on the face that covers the cheeks and bridge of the nose or rashes elsewhere on the body. Skin lesions that appear or worsen with sun exposure. Fingers and toes that turn white or blue when exposed to cold or during stressful periods.

Is lupus a serious diagnosis?

The seriousness of SLE can range from mild to life-threatening. The disease should be treated by a doctor or a team of doctors who specialize in care of SLE patients. People with lupus that get proper medical care, preventive care, and education can significantly improve function and quality of life.

Who is the best doctor to treat lupus?

Rheumatologist. This specialist is an expert on joints and muscle, and some autoimmune diseases. They're typically your go-to doctor for lupus.

Why is lupus so hard to diagnose?

Lupus is a disease that is known for being difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are different from person to person, they mimic the symptoms of many other diseases, and they can come and go. It can sometimes take several years to receive an official diagnosis.

How do you stop lupus from progressing?

Other ways to help prevent lupus flares include the following:
  1. Getting enough sleep.
  2. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise habits.
  3. Prioritizing mental wellness.
  4. Stopping smoking.
  5. Taking your medications as directed.

What happens if lupus goes untreated?

If left untreated, it can put you at risk of developing life-threatening problems such as a heart attack or stroke.

What happens when lupus attacks the nervous system?

Lupus causes your immune system to attack your own organs and tissues, including your nervous system. This can result in mild symptoms such as headaches or numbness, but also serious conditions such as stroke or seizures.

Is living with lupus hard?

Living with lupus can be hard, but a positive outlook is important. You can do several things to help you live with lupus. A good place to start managing your lupus is to work with your doctor and take your medications as directed. At times, you may feel sadness and anger.

Do you need rest with lupus?

Get Enough Rest to Prevent Fatigue

If you have lupus you may need even more sleep. “It's important to develop good sleeping habits,” says Jolly. “It can really make the difference in getting a good night's sleep.”

What is the best climate for lupus sufferers?

Research has established links but not whether those factors cause lupus symptoms to worsen. The best places to live may be those with moderate temperature fluctuations and low levels of wind, humidity, and air pollution.