Best Place To Live In Usa With Lupus – Although lupus and myositis share some symptoms, they are different conditions with very different causes and treatments.
A complex autoimmune disease that affects 1.5 million Americans, lupus is often called “the great imitator” because its symptoms resemble many other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia. One of these conditions is myositis, a very rare condition characterized by muscle weakness, fatigue and, in some cases, a rash. As a result, myositis can easily be mistaken for lupus, especially at first.
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“Many people know a little about lupus, but few know what myositis is,” says Lisa Christopher-Stein, MD, a rheumatologist and director of the Johns Hopkins Myositis Center in Baltimore, Maryland. He explains that while the diseases are different, they can be considered relatives and share common features. “They’re similar to fatigue, they affect women more, they’re a little more vague — and there’s often a delay in diagnosis.”
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Read on to learn about the connection between lupus and myositis, as well as their symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which your body’s immune system attacks healthy cells. 90 percent of lupus patients are women. Compared to Caucasians, women of African, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian descent have a higher risk of developing lupus. Lupus is most often diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 45, although one in five lupus patients are diagnosed as children. Although it is not clear what causes lupus, genetics and environment play important roles.
There are many types of lupus. The most common is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which affects seven out of 10 patients. In fact, Dr. Christopher-Stein says, “When people say lupus, they often mean generalized SLE.” The condition causes chronic inflammation and can damage many parts of the body, including organs such as the heart and kidneys. SLE symptoms can be mild and tolerable or severe and life-threatening. Although people die from SLE, survival rates have improved significantly over the years, and many people with lupus live healthy lives.
About 1 in 10 lupus patients have the superficial or superficial form of lupus, which causes a rash or sores. A different type of drug-induced lupus; Symptoms usually disappear completely after stopping the drug. Infantile lupus, which affects children, usually disappears within the first six months of life and does not cause long-term problems.
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Lupus can cause a variety of symptoms. They can affect any part of the body, appear at any time, and come and go frequently. Many patients experience flare-ups and remissions as symptoms worsen and improve again. The most common symptoms are:
Most people with lupus have pain, swelling, or stiffness in the joints or muscles. This is often the first symptom of the disease.
Severe or prolonged fatigue is almost universal among people with lupus and may sometimes be the only symptom.
A red rash that often spreads across the face in the form of a butterfly is considered a symptom of lupus. Some patients may develop scaly patches called desquamative lesions.
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Lupus can also affect organs throughout the body, including the heart, brain, and lungs. About half of patients develop a nephritis called lupus nephritis. People with nephritis have trouble removing waste from the blood, which can cause blood in the urine and swelling of the arms, legs, and feet. If left untreated, lupus nephritis can lead to kidney damage and end-stage kidney disease.
Also known as inflammatory myopathy, myositis is an umbrella term for a variety of conditions that cause inflammation and muscle weakness. Dr. Christopher-Stein says, “Typically, ‘myo’ means muscle and ‘itis’ means inflammation. Myositis can be caused by a variety of reasons, including an autoimmune reaction when your body attacks your muscles,” he explains.
Myositis affects women more than men, mostly between the ages of 30 and 60, while children and older men can develop forms of the disease. In general, it is very rare, and is not well understood, especially compared to lupus. Dr. Christopher-Stein explains, “In the United States, lupus affects 1 in 1,000 people, and black women are affected more than 250 times.” “Myositis affects one in 100,000 people.” All told, between 50,000 and 75,000 Americans have myositis.
There are different types of myositis, including polymyositis, dermatomyositis, autoimmune necrotizing myopathy, and body myositis—a form more common in men than women. Although they can be very symptomatic for a long time, most myositis can be treated and are not usually life-threatening in the absence of severe lung or heart disease.
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Although symptoms vary by person and type of disease, the main feature of myositis is usually muscle weakness, which often begins slowly and worsens over time. More often than not, you will have trouble with certain movements. Dr. Christopher-Stein says: “You can get out of a low chair or get out of the shower or upper extremities, reach your hand over the cabinet or reach above your head. Drying your hair. Long.”
Due to weakness, patients with myositis may fall. People with polymyositis or dermatomyositis can develop serious heart problems and even breathing problems. Other common symptoms of myositis include:
Dermatomyositis causes a distinctive rash that helps doctors distinguish it from polymyositis. Bright and purplish-red in color, the rash often appears on the eyelids, face, neck, shoulders, upper chest, and/or back, although it can appear elsewhere. Sometimes, patients with dermatomyositis develop rashes without muscle weakness.
Some patients with myositis may have fever, malaise, or weight loss. People with dermatomyositis – especially children – may develop calcifications or hard nodules under the skin.
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Although people with myositis have symptoms, many people with these symptoms often wait to see a doctor.
“Especially with myositis, they forgive their symptoms and think of them as a normal part of aging,” says Dr. Christopher-Stein. He explains that this is dangerous because it delays the diagnosis of myositis.
Because of their similar symptoms and the rarity of myositis, myositis is often confused with lupus. “Many patients are initially diagnosed with lupus,” says Dr. Christopher-Stein. But there are some key differences, even in similar-looking symptoms:
“On the skin, it’s not uncommon for lupus patients to be diagnosed with dermatomyositis because the butterfly rash on the cheek is very similar,” says Dr. Christopher-Stein. One difference, he explains, is where the rash comes from. Lupus usually does not appear on the lower nose and upper lips, although dermatomyositis does.
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People with lupus may feel tired and weak, but their muscles are still strong and usable, explains Dr. Christopher-Stein. Whereas in myositis, “it’s more than just fatigue—it’s actual muscle weakness.”
It is important to remember that many autoimmune diseases have similar symptoms, at least initially. Some people with these symptoms may not have lupus
Myositis, but another condition. Or, they may have both diseases because they often occur together. In any case, correct diagnosis is important for treatment.
A test cannot diagnose lupus or myositis; To diagnose both disorders, providers must consider a variety of factors and rule out other conditions. It often takes months or in some cases years before diagnosis. “Diagnosis of both of these diseases can be significantly delayed because they affect multiple organ systems,” says Dr. Christopher-Stein.
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Even if your doctor suspects lupus or myositis, to start the process, they will first ask about your symptoms, your medical history, and your family’s medical history.
“Myositis doesn’t usually run in families, but lupus does,” says Dr. Christopher-Stein. You will receive a full physical examination.
If your doctor believes you have lupus, he will continue with blood tests. These include a complete blood count (CBC) – to check if your white blood cells, red blood cells or platelets are low – and an antinuclear antibody (ANA) test, which can show that your immune system is attacking your body. Most people with lupus have a positive ANA test (although a positive ANA can indicate diseases other than lupus). The diagnostic process may include a urine test to check for kidney problems or a biopsy of your skin or kidney to look for inflammation.
If your doctor suspects you have myositis, they may test your blood for high levels of an enzyme called creatine kinase. Diagnostic tests including electromyography, nerve conduction tests, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can help rule out other conditions. In conclusion,