One of the symptoms I get with lupus are mouth sores. According to Kaleidoscope Fighting Lupus, Mouth sores (also referred to as oral lesions or ulcers) occur in approximately 40-50% of lupus patients and are one of the most common symptoms of lupus. While many resources online say that lupus related sores are mostly painless, I have had a few that were really painful!
I have always gotten canker sores in my mouth along my gums, tongue, and cheeks. The mouth sores I get from lupus are usually in the roof of my mouth. I have noticed a cycle to these lupus mouth sores in the roof of my mouth. They usually start out without pain as a bump in the roof of my mouth.
I can usually feel when they start because it feels kinda swollen. Almost like how it would feel if you stabbed the roof of your mouth with a sharp chip or something. Taking a picture of the lupus mouth sore in the roof of my mouth usually appears like a red spot at this time.
Then it goes through a stage where I can actually feel the layer of skin sloughing off. Once it starts doing this is usually when the lupus mouth sore starts to hurt. If I were to see a picture of it in this stage, it looks more like how a canker sore would look with a white center and red ring around it.
I have used things like Blistex and Oragel to numb these mouth sores when they hurt. Many lupus warriors I have spoken with also use a prescription grade “Magic Mouthwash” they get from their doctors. I have not tried this, but have heard it works wonders for lupus mouth sores that are incredibly painful.
If you suffer from painful mouth sores and lupus, you should ask your rheumatologist about this numbing “Magic Mouthwash” to see if it could help you.
I like this brand because it offers an easy application process. This professional strength gel really helps numb the mouth sore pain and with it’s soft brush, it makes application to the roof of your mouth really easy. Feel free to comment any products or home remedies you use for your lupus mouth sores in the comments below.
Relax! 5 Natural Ways to Reduce Stress
Okay…okay! We all hear that we need to relax sometimes, but are you taking your relaxation sessions seriously? Chronic stress can induce a ton of problems within the body.
Check out these 5 natural ways to reduce stress and start relaxing!
Natural Stress Relief #1
One of my favorite natural ways to reduce stress is by using lavender in my home and on my body. Lavender is one of the oldest natural stress relievers in the world. Lavender is known to be uplifting, as well as soothing and helpful for reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
A study was conducted that measured the effects of lavender on stress in people that were being pricked with a needle. Lavender aromatherapy in this study provided a significant decrease in the stress levels of those in the study compared to the others who received only oxygen and not lavender aromatherapy. In addition, it significantly reduced the pain intensity of needle insertion.
If you suffer from a chronic illness like lupus, lavender may be even extra beneficial if it is able to reduce anxiety and pain.
There are many ways that you can incorporate lavender aromatherapy into your natural stress relief wellness plan.
Many times when we are dealing with a lot of stress, we find it difficult to sleep. Our minds will race a thousand miles per minute and not calm down enough for us to fall asleep.
Some people with high stress levels can also experience periods of insomnia, making it even more difficult to rest our minds and bodies.
Using deep sleep music to help calm your mind can help you relax enough to fall into a sweet slumber. This natural stress relief can provide refreshing sleep while only using the sweet sounds of nature.
Have you ever considered using a stress management device to help you monitor and work yourself through periods of stress? Using a stress management device like PIP, is a great way to naturally relieve stress. The PIP stress management device allows you to ‘visually’ see your stress levels as they are occurring. Combined with feedback and training provided in their special apps, PIP will train you not only how to recognize stress but how to manage stress, be calmer and unlock a more relaxed and mindful state of living in your day to day life.
Using PIP takes only 5 minutes and is an enjoyable way to de-stress and refocus at home, in the office, or on the go naturally.
Natural Stress Relief #5
Yes, even as an adult, coloring can bring great joy and calming effects into our hectic lives. If you have not caved into the adult coloring movement, I encourage you to give this natural stress relieving art a try! You may be pleasantly surprised at how mentally rewarding coloring can be when you are looking for ways to reduce stress naturally.
Lupus is a complex autoimmune disease that plagues millions of people around the world. While lupus was first discovered and named in the thirteenth century by a physician named Rogerius. He coined the term ‘lupus’ because it is the latin word for ‘wolf’ because he believed the malar rash resembled that of a wolf bite. Over the years, many researchers and physicians have made great scientific stride in learning about lupus.
Although lupus was medically discovered generations ago, it is still lagging behind many other diseases in terms of research and treatment. There is still an undecided community of medical professionals and scientific researchers on understanding what exactly causes lupus and if lupus is genetic or hereditary. Today, we want to focus on the long held question, is lupus genetic?
What is Lupus?
Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when your body immune attacks your tissues and organs. Body systems that can be affected by inflammation caused by lupus includes the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, heart, brain, and lungs.
Lupus can be hard to detect because its sign and symptoms are often similar to those of other ailments. Facial rash which is the most significant sign of lupus looks like the wings of a butterfly unfolding across both cheeks occurs in many but not all cases of lupus.
Some people tend to develop lupus right at birth and can be triggered by injections, sunlight or some particular drugs. While there might be no cure for lupus, the symptoms can be controlled by appropriate treatment.
While cases of SLE can be found worldwide, it has increased 10x over the last 50 years in Western countries. While this post focuses on lupus genetics, it is important to understand the difference in triggers and genes. While a person may have lupus genetic markers, it is usually a trigger that causes lupus to become activated. There are many environmental factors in which a person’s lupus can be triggered.
An overwhelming majority of lupus patients are women (an astonishing 9 out of 10 SLE patients), which has led some to believe in hormonal causes of lupus. Other lupus researchers believe that physical and emotional trauma can also be the cause of lupus becoming active in a person. Infections and viruses have also been named possible triggers for SLE. There is also evidence of sunlight and chemical exposure being named as triggers for lupus. Drug induced lupus occurs in around 10% of people diagnosed with lupus and there have been over 80 various medications responsible for drug induced lupus.
So…is lupus genetic?
Normal variations in various genes can affect the risk of developing SLE, and in most cases multiple genetic factors are thought to be involved.
Lupus is a complex disease that is possibly caused by several interacting features, which includes inherited genes, environmental factors (such as certain medications, severe exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun, and likely viral exposures at key times), and female hormones.
Lupus is not contagious; it is an autoimmune disease which affects the functioning of your immune system. Therefore, lupus is not a viral or bacterial disease that can be transmitted to other people. Also, the disease is not transmitted through sexual intercourse, and it’s possible to have children even if you have lupus. An example is the pop singer Seal, who is diagnosed with discoid lupus but was still able to father three healthy children.
Lupus can be considered a hereditary disease. Recent studies carried out among lupus patients with an identical twin have revealed that there is a 25 percent possibility for the other twin to develop lupus. While for a patient with a fraternal twin, the chance of the other twin to get the disease is 2 to 3 percent.
Current evidence shows that genetics are known to play a role in the development of lupus, but there are several other factors to consider. There is a possibility of developing lupus even if you have no twin or relatives that don’t have any autoimmune disease.
No particular gene or group of genes have been proven to cause lupus, however when lupus appears in individual families, and when one of two identical twins has lupus, there is a high probability that the other twin will also be affected by the same disease.
Thus these findings as well as several others, strongly suggest that genes are involved in the development of lupus.
Sporadic which is the most common lupus cases develop means that no known relative has the diseases, however when lupus develops in people with no family history of lupus, it’s likely other family members have an autoimmune disease.
Certain ethnic groups such as people of African, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, Native American, or Pacific Island descent have a higher possibility of developing lupus, which may be attributed to genes they have in common.
It can be concluded that while lupus is caused by certain factors such as environmental exposures (like medications, exposure to ultraviolet rays and also specific viral exposures at key times), and female hormones. Inherited genes have even known to cause the disease especially in a set of twin in which one is affected by the disease, there high chance that the other will develop the disease as well. Another instance is when an individual has some of his family members suffering from autoimmune disease, there is also the possibility such individual develop lupus disease.
Lupus Genetic Markers
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation and destruction of multiple body organs. The antibodies get activated against its body organs and start destroying them. It has clinical heterogeneity which means that it has a variety of disease manifestations. It may involve one body organ in one person and multiple organ systems in the other. It shares its signs and symptoms with other autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Same is true regarding its severity.
Lupus and Genetics
Lupus is a multifactorial disorder with an elusive etiology; it has a strong association with multiple factors, genetic and non-genetic factors. Clinical studies have established that ultraviolet radiation, specific drugs(isoniazid, hydralazine, procainamide) and infections (Epstein-bar virus) can also lead to SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus).
Currently, there is an explosion of information regarding the possible role of genetic markers in this disease. Hundreds of studies are being done in many parts of the world to establish its genetic predisposition. This new evidence has profound effects on understanding the etiology and planning an effective remedy.
What makes Lupus a genetic disease?
Lupus has been found to exert some typical etiological features similar to the known hereditary disease. It has a clear predilection for affecting women in their young ages. It is so common in females that it is being labeled as a women disease. About 9 out of 10 lupus patients are young women. Apart from having a strong link with a specific age and gender, its runs in families too. About 10% of lupus patients have some relevant bearing the same disease. It was found to have a remarkable 40% concordance in monozygotic twins and 4% concordance in dizygotic twins. In addition, it is prevalent in certain races like Hispanic, African-Americans, and Asian-Americans. All of these factors make it clear that lupus has a strong genetic predisposition; faulty genes being the real culprit.
Study approaches for complex genetic causes:
In order to understand the genetic side of lupus, you must also have an idea about methods that are being applied to find the truth. Currently, two major approaches are being used:
Linkage studies involve gathering of families in which 2 or more than two persons have lupus. The genome of such families is scanned using microsatellite markers and their genetic makeup is studied. In association studies, one single gene is selected and hypotheses are formed against it. Most common practice is to study a single code using case-control cohort method. In order to refine results, trio design is being formed which includes testing of both patient and his/her parents. With the latest advances in technology, these methods are also getting quick, easy and improved.
Important Genetic markers in Lupus:
Before naming the exact genes related to lupus, it is important to know that lupus is a genetically complex trait. It means that several genes, coding regions or loci are involved in causing susceptibility in this disease. There are no single genes but a group of many loci implicated in lupus. There is also the possibility of their mutual interaction and interaction with hormonal or non-genetic factors. The important lupus genetic markers can be listed as:
HLA region genes:
HLA (human leukocyte antigen) genes are a topmost group of genetic markers that are strongly associated with lupus. These genes maintain the body immune system. The deletion of C4A allele has been found closely related to increased risk of lupus for many years. However, HLA region contains hundreds of genes and it has not been possible to pinpoint a single culprit gene yet. It is quite clear that HLA is the strongest genetic association of lupus among all other genes. HLA class 1&2 have been shortlisted and further studied for finding exact code.
FCγR 2A and 3A:
The Fc receptors for immunoglobin G protein are located at membranes of certain immune cells. These are responsible for the clearance of immune complexes and have been found to be linked with lupus. Several meta-analyses have shown their presence in patients of kidney lupus.
STAT4 is a newly discovered agent and polymorphism in these genes is related to lupus and rheumatoid arthritis both.
Interferon regulatory factor 5 is a part of innate immunity and is said to increase the risk of lupus according to many cohort studies. Many groups of successive cohort studies established its possible role in causing lupus and other autoimmune diseases.
Unfortunately, no genetic marker or group of genes has been finally confirmed and are being further investigated. Much has to be done yet to solve the genetic mysteries of lupus. After years of studies, we have an idea about the possible culprit genes and their mechanisms. With advancing technology and refined tools, we should be hoping for some breakthrough in the future.
Best Youtube Videos for Beginners Yoga for Lupus and Fibromyalgia
One of my favorite and sometimes only way to stay active, is to do yoga. Most people have heard of yoga and may think it is just some kind of health fad that does not provide any real benefit. The truth is, if I do not do some sort of yoga or stretching daily, my body will get ‘stuck’ and it becomes a lot harder to get my body moving again. I started looking on Youtube for various yoga videos aimed at those with fibromyalgia and other diseases with chronic pain.
Naturally, I was looking for videos aimed at those who were new to yoga. Surprisingly, after doing many sessions over the last year or so, I am still on the beginner videos! I try to do some poses and stretches as soon as I wake up to help my joints and muscles ‘warm up’ for the day. Then, I try to incorporate a few more stretches in the afternoon to keep my joints and muscles engaged. While the mornings are the hardest times for me, I have found that doing even a few light moves will help my body make it through the day.
I always take things slow and modify certain poses and stretches to fit what needs I have for the day. As many of you know, with lupus and fibromyalgia, you can be fine one day and not the next. I use this unreliable body schedule to figure out which poses I will focus on for the day and where I may need to modify the exercises a little more.
For example, if woke up to a stiff back and lower back pain, I would look for poses that can help with that symptom. The next day, I could be having knee issues, so I would look for a new video that focuses on kneed pain.
The best part of this is that it can be tailored to your specific needs daily…and it’s completely FREE!
If you have been looking for a way to start becoming more active with lupus or fibromyalgia, I highly recommend checking out some of these beginner videos below.
If you find a channel you really like, make sure you subscribe to them on Youtube so that you can follow when they post new videos.
Yoga is a great way to stretch your body while also focusing on better breathing and a calmer mind. Stress is a major flare trigger for me, so yoga really helps me to practice better mind health as well.
Most of us are aware of the Malar rash and rashes we may get when exposed to the sun or even UV lights. I experienced rashes after the sun that looked similar to “sun poisoning” (and was told that is what it was for many years). Just recently, I have begun to develop wheals of incredibly itchy and burning spots that resemble hives (urticaria). These spots pop up when I start flaring and are quickly resolved once I start on a high Prednisone taper. The thing about these lupus hives are that they last longer than 24 hours compared to allergic hives you may have had in the past.
They also leave a residual dark spot once they have gone away. I have had these pop up on my hands as well and actually blister. These have left some very small scars. This starts out as a circular rash that is incredibly itchy. The first time these appeared, I was told that I have Shingles. Most of them followed a dermatome, but I had a few on the other side of my body. The ER doctor stated that because of lupus, it could cause a more widespread outbreak of Shingles. I was given anti-virals. The only ones that blistered were on my fingers.
When it appeared for the third time in a two month time frame, I went back to the doctor. I was given a high steroid taper to help with the rash and reduce the flare symptoms I was feeling during this latest rash episode. The steroids reduced the rash considerably within 24 hours of starting the taper. I have not had the rash biopsied, but if it presents again I am going to have to do that.
Here are pictures of my rash over the course of 3 separate outbreaks.
Have you had any rashes pop up that your doctors are unsure of? Let me know in the comments below!
Blue Green Algae and Autoimmune Disease
“Blue-green algae” consists of a group of bacteria that produce blue-green pigments. Blue Green algae grows in salt water and sometimes, large fresh water lakes. Blue-green algae is commonly used in various food over the past few centuries in Mexico and some African countries. Since the 1970s, blue green algae supplements have also emerged in the US market.
Should People with Autoimmune Diseases Take Blue Green Algae Supplements?
According to MedlinePlus.Gov, people with autoimmune diseases like MS, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis should avoid using blue green algae. This is because blue green algae is thought to stimulate the body’s immune system and could cause autoimmune diseases to become more active. This increased stimulation of the immune system could lead to more flares and increased symptoms in some people with autoimmune diseases. For those suffering from autoimmune diseases, it is recommend that you avoid using blue-green algae.
Plaquenil is the brand name of Hydroxychloroquine. Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-malarial drug that has been used for a long time in rheumatic diseases like lupus and arthritis. It was originally created as an anti malarial drug, but was found to help manage lupus patients around the time of World War II. Hydroxychloroquine can be seen as a foundation drug that many lupus patients will continue to be on for the rest of their lives.
Even if it is not working by itself, most rheumatologists will layer lupus treatment with another drug while still keeping their lupus patients on Hydroxychloroquine. This is because Plaquenil has been studied and shown to help manage lupus symptoms like muscle and joint pain, skin rashes, pericarditis, pleuritis, and even fatigue. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of further organ damage in lupus patients when taken for long term management of lupus. The risk of flares also drops to around 50% when a patient is on Plaquenil.
For over 50 years, Hydroxycloroquine was one of the only medicines that had been approved specifically as a treatment for lupus. In recent years, many strides have been made to increase funding for lupus research and clinical trials, and there is great hope on the horizon for lupus sufferers.
According to the study conducted by Target Identification in Lupus grantee Keith Elkon, MD, of the University of Washington and his colleagues, a new drug they designed, has shown promising results in a study with mice. This lupus study, focused on the type I interferons that are believed to be produced in excess among lupus patients. Type I interferons are are a large subgroup of interferon proteins that help regulate the activity of the immune system. In patients with lupus, these proteins are found in excessive numbers and could explain the overreaction of lupus patient’s immune systems.
Anti-malarials also work in lupus patients by reducing the number of interferon proteins, but they are not sufficient for more serious lupus symptoms and manifestations. This study by Dr. Elkon provides a promising look to a safer and more reliable drug that will help to reduce interferon proteins and provide better lupus disease management.
This new drug, currently called X6, was shown to provide a better response to lupus symptoms than that of Hydroxychloroquine. During the study, Dr. Elkon and his team compared the results of the new drug X6 to Hydroxychloroquine in mice that carried a specific gene mutation, also found in some lupus patients. The results were exciting for the lupus community.
According the journal published, the lupus researchers concluded that drug X6 diminished the amount of type I interferons in the mice, while hydroxychloroquine did not. In the same study, the research team noted that X6 worked better to reduce heart inflammation as well. It was concluded that X6 outperformed Hydroxychloroquine in this study and further tests will need to be conducted before this new lupus drug would be allowed in human clinical trials.
The Lupus Research Institute is one of my favorites sites to stay up to date on all the new lupus research and drugs that will hopefully lead to a cure for lupus. I highly recommend visiting their site to stay abreast of new treatments and studies being conducted that solely focus on lupus and its treatment.
Topricin Fibro Pain Relieving Cream Review
Topricin FIBRO Pain Relieving Cream Review– An amazing breakthrough for Fibromyalgia pain. This pain cream is perfect to rub over sore muscles or joints. If you suffer from fibromyalgia and are looking for a topical pain relieving rub, Topricin Fibro Pain Relieving Cream should be your first choice to try!
When we heard there was a pain relieving cream specifically targeting Fibromyalgia pain, we were on cloud nine! If you suffer from lupus and fibromyalgia, you probably understand the importance of finding a topical cream that can help alleviate the sore muscles and trigger points associated with fibromyalgia.
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Lupus and Fibromyalgia sufferers can finally experience safe, effective, and natural pain relief via Topricin Fibro Cream.
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Topricin FIBRO Pain Relieving Cream Review, showed that this Topricin Fibro Cream is odorless and does not make your skin feel greasy.
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Aesculus hippocastanum 6X……….. Relieves pain in the lower back, hip and spine
Arnica montana 6X…………… Treats pain of impact, falling injuries and contusion to muscles and joints
We have compiled a list of the best 5 Lupus Books that you can order online from Amazon without ever having to leave your house. Shop these informative lupus book from Amazon from the comfort of your own home. These books detail tips, advice, and educational information on lupus. If you are recently diagnosed with lupus, these books will definitely be vital in understanding exactly what lupus is and how you can manage your lupus. Educating yourself on SLE will be beneficial to your health and you can learn tips to help prevent lupus flares. These books have awesome reviews online from other lupus patients. Let us know below if you have read any of these lupus books from Amazon!