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Understanding Lupus Treatment with Stories of Hope and Progress

Updated: Apr 22

In our previous blogs, we dove into understanding what lupus is and how it is diagnosed. Today, we are going to talk about managing lupus and the treatment!

Let’s first share a couple of stories that illustrate the journey of patients grappling with this complex autoimmune condition.

Story 1: Triumph over Severe Lupus

A patient with alarming symptoms: low platelet counts, bleeding tendencies, joint pain, and inflammation. Despite consulting other rheumatologists, her diagnosis remained elusive. However, her presentation—accompanied by a positive DNA and low complement levels—hinted at lupus. Initiating treatment with Plaquenil was our first step, but we knew it wouldn't suffice. Collaborating with a hematologist, we addressed her platelet issues, recognizing the autoimmune nature of her condition.

The turning point came with the introduction of Benlysta, a biologic injection. This intervention propelled her into remission, alleviating her symptoms entirely. Witnessing her journey from severe lupus to thriving health underscores the significance of tailored treatments in lupus management.

Story 2: Navigating Mild Lupus

On another occasion, a young patient presented with milder lupus symptoms: a facial rash resembling a mask, joint pain, and hair loss. Despite the less severe manifestation, her positive DNA and low complement levels warranted treatment. Plaquenil proved effective, swiftly restoring her to optimal health.

Understanding Lupus Nephritis:

Some lupus patients face the daunting prospect of nephritis—a condition affecting the kidneys. Collaborating closely with nephrologists, we confront the intricacies of kidney inflammation. Detecting kidney involvement poses a challenge, often manifesting subtly through symptoms like increased water retention or fatigue. Treatment strategies vary depending on the severity and nature of kidney inflammation.

Tailored Treatment Approaches

One fundamental principle in lupus management is recognizing its heterogeneous nature. Lupus isn't a one-size-fits-all condition, necessitating individualized treatment approaches. Plaquenil, an antimalarial agent, serves as the cornerstone of treatment, primarily for preventing flares.

For milder cases, adjunct therapies like methotrexate or biologics such as Benlysta and Sifalimumab offer promising outcomes. In severe manifestations like lupus nephritis or systemic involvement, more aggressive immunosuppressive agents like CellCept or Cyclophosphamide become imperative.

Striving for Remission: The Goal of Lupus Management

The overarching goal in lupus treatment is achieving remission—a state where symptoms vanish, enabling patients to resume a normal life. However, it's crucial to distinguish remission from a cure. Lupus may enter remission with diligent treatment, but ongoing management is often necessary to sustain it.

Looking Ahead: Advances in Lupus Treatment

Exciting advancements, like CAR T-cell therapy, offer hope for severe lupus cases. While not universally applicable, such breakthroughs signify a promising frontier in lupus management, underscoring the optimism within the rheumatology community.

In conclusion, understanding lupus treatment entails a nuanced approach tailored to each patient's unique presentation. With comprehensive care and ongoing research, the landscape of lupus management continues to evolve, offering renewed hope for patients worldwide.

Remember, if you or someone you know is navigating lupus, seek guidance from a rheumatologist for personalized care and support on the journey to remission.

Are you, or someone you love, looking for a rheumatologist near you? Maybe you queried google for the “best rheumatologist in Denver” and felt that no other arthritis clinic in Denver really seemed personable? Or maybe you are simply looking for a doctor that will listen to you and work with you to achieve disease remission? Well you have come to the right place. UnabridgedMD has the best rheumatologist in Denver, Colorado and we cannot wait to work with you. Click here to get in touch. 

Schedule a free 15-minute discovery call with Dr. Amigues herself, so that we can make sure we are the right fit for you, here: LINK. We cannot wait to welcome you to the UnabridgedMD family!


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