Three lupus experts from Jacobi Medical Center answered these common questions at an educational seminar co-sponsored by the Lupus Research Alliance.
- Who gets which tests and what do they mean?
- What can you do to take better care of your skin?
- Why are you taking each of your medications?
Decoding Your Lab Results
Asena Bahce-Altuntas, MD
A positive ANA does not necessarily mean that you have lupus.
A combination of labs and symptoms are considered to diagnose lupus.
Your doctor will check your blood and urine periodically, depending on your symptoms.
Following up with your doctor is important, and so is understanding what your doctor is looking for in the labs so you can work together to feel your best.
Making Nice to Your Skin
Beth McLellan, MD
Lupus can commonly affect the skin in many ways.
Sometimes a skin biopsy is needed to see if your skin probelm is due to lupus.
Lupus in the skin can be treated in many ways; a dermatologist can help you come up with a tailored treatment plan.
It is very important to protect your skin from the sun year-round when you have lupus.
Weapons Doctors Use to Fight Lupus
Barbara S. Mendez-Agrusa, MD
Lupus is a treatable chronic disease with good prognosis.
Steroids are usually given first because they work quickly and are excellent anti-inflammatory.
Immunosuppression is standard of care and used to reduce inflammation and prevent irreversible organ damage.
The amount of immunosuppresion needed is determined by the severity of the organ involvement.