The chronic fatigue, pain, and muscle stiffness caused by fibromyalgia can sometimes be difficult to bear. This makes it very important to seek appropriate fibromyalgia treatment in order to help you deal with the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Unfortunately, because so little is known about fibromyalgia, many patients are often misdiagnosed. Every year, thousands of fibromyalgia sufferers are actually diagnosed with lupus, a chronic autoimmune disorder. It is important that you recognize the different symptoms of each disease in order to ensure that you are diagnosed appropriately.
What is Lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that causes chronic inflammation throughout your body. It can affect any or all of your organs, resulting in dozens of physical symptoms ranging from headaches to irregular heartbeats. Most of us are protected by an immune system that attacks invading bacteria and infections. If you have lupus however, your immune system canï¿½t tell the difference between foreign cells and your bodyï¿½s natural cells and tissues. As a result, inflammation starts to build throughout your body, causing many physical problems.
Lupus currently affects between 500,000 and one million men and women in the United States. Every year, 16,000 more people are diagnosed with the disease. The majority of lupus sufferers are female, with women accounting for about 90% of all lupus patients. However, both men and children can also develop the disease.
Types of Lupus
There are three different types of lupus.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE): SLE, simply called systemic lupus, is the most common form of lupus. Systemic lupus tends to attack the organ system throughout the body, resulting in a wide variety of symptoms. Systemic lupus generally operates in a cycle, during which you will experience periods of symptom flares followed by periods of symptom remission.
Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE): DLE, commonly referred to as discoid lupus, usually only affects the skin and face. It rarely causes complications with internal organs. Discoid lupus is characterized by a red rash, called the \"butterfly rash,\" appearing across the nose and cheeks. It can be diagnosed by performing a simple skin biopsy. 10% of those with discoid lupus go on to develop systemic lupus.
Drug-Induced Lupus: Rarely, lupus is caused by the use of certain prescription drugs. The drugs hydralazine and procainamide, used to treat high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats, have been indicated in drug-induced lupus. This form of lupus is most commonly found in men.