Lupus is an inflammatory condition that causes a wide range of symptoms. However, many patients don’t know that neuropathy can be a lupus symptom, too. While it’s less common than fatigue or a facial rash, it is still a very real problem for many lupus patients. But what causes this neuropathy? Is the problem permanent? And can your doctor help you avoid it? We’ll answer these questions in the article below.
What is Lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack its own tissues- including joints and organs. This inflammatory response can cause a wide range of symptoms, including fatigue, weight loss, fever, and swollen or stiff joints. Lupus is a chronic disease. This means that, while there is no cure, your doctor can help you manage your symptoms so you can live a normal life.
Connection to the Nervous System
Lupus affects different parts of the body, which means that all patients will have different symptoms. For some patients, the disease affects their nervous systems, causing painful symptoms including neuropathy.
In order to understand why, we must first understand the role of the nervous system. This is a big task, since the nervous system is connected to every single part of the body. It’s made up of two parts: the central nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord, as well as the peripheral nervous system. This is the highway of nerves that run throughout the body, communicating with the brain. If nerves are inflamed, then patients can experience nerve pain and/or numbness, called neuropathy. They might also experience headaches, vision changes, or confusion.
How Do I Deal With Lupus Neuropathy?
Not all patients experience lupus neuropathy, and many patients who do experience it have symptoms that improve over time. Treating inflammation is key. Over-the-counter and prescription drugs can help reduce swelling for better nerve function.
Your Doctor Can Help
A rheumatologist can help patients manage their lupus symptoms, whether they have lupus neuropathy or not. At Houston Rheumatology, we can help you manage your lupus for life. Call us today to schedule your appointment, or click the link above to book online.