Living with Lupus

Lupus Treatment Team: Clinicians to Know

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Fatigue, photosensitivity, joint pain… With such diverse symptoms, treating lupus can be difficult. Get the right clinicians on your lupus treatment team.

Because of this variability, it is essential to work with your health team to ensure that the treatment methods work for your specific condition. Combinations of medications can be adjusted by medical professionals to find safe and appropriate doses, but this process can take months or even years.

Lupus Clinical Treatment Team

Rheumatologist
  • A sub-specialty of internal medicine
  • Specializes in issues with joints, soft tissues, and autoimmune diseases
  • Generally treats people with lupus

 

Depending on symptoms, additional clinicians may be necessary. Other specialities of potential value are:

Dermatologist
  • Specializes in skin, nails, hair
  • Useful for cutaneous lupus (lupus of the skin, causing red, scaly rashes on the face, neck, and scalp)
Cardiologist
  • Specializes in diseases and abnormalities of the heart
  • Useful for treating┬áheart disease
Nephrologist
  • Specializes in the physiology and diseases of the kidneys
  • Useful for support with lupus nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys caused by SLE)
Neurologist
  • Specializes in disorders of the nervous system
  • Useful for support with neuropsychiatric lupus (NPSLE), neurocognitive dysfunction, or central system lupus (CNS lupus)
Gastroenterologist
  • Specializes in the digestive system including diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract
Obstetrician
  • Specializes in childbirth and the care of women giving birth
  • Useful for support with high-risk pregnancies; if you are a woman with lupus who is considering pregnancy, you should share that with the obstetrician
Psychologist, Psychiatrist, or Counselor
  • Specializes in the study of behavior and the mind
  • Useful for support for depression, anxiety, stress management, fear and phobia management, and more
  • Note: Psychiatrists are able to write prescriptions whereas psychologists and counselors rely on non-medicinal methods
Physical Therapist / Occupational Therapist
  • Specializes in rehabilitation to promote mobility, function, and quality of life
  • Useful for rebuliding strength and flexibility to ensure autonomy

 

Lupus Treatment Plan Goalsdart-target-accuracy

The goals of a a treatment plan should be discussed with a clinician to determine the appropriate strategies based on your age, symptoms, current health, and lifestyle.

  • Suppress the overractive immune system
  • Reduce inflammation throughout the body
  • Protect organs and minimize damage
  • Prevent flares
  • Limit symptoms that cause discomfort or pain
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