Lupus is a disease which has disrupted the lives of nearly 1.5 million people in the United States. For the fact it is an autoimmune disease, it can reach organs and tissues such as the skin, joints, kidneys and the brain. May is Lupus Awareness Month.
Although it is a chronic disease with no cure, the treatment aims to control symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life. One of the ways to treat lupus is with CBD, since the substance helps with chronic pain and has an anti-inflammatory effect, two conditions that affect most people living with lupus.
What Exactly Is Lupus?
Before talking about its treatment, we should know more about this disease which afflicts so many people around the world. Here are some of the Lupus symptoms:
- Joint pains caused by inflammation;
- Loss of appetite;
- Skin redness;
- Photosensitivity (abnormal sensitivity to sunlight).
Lupus is triggered when the immune system starts not to differentiate bacteria and viruses from healthy tissues. Thus, by mistake, it begins to produce antibodies to attack healthy organs.
The disease can be either genetic or naturally developed due to environmental factors. Women are more likely to be affected by this disease than men, corresponding to 90% of the patients who suffer by it. Lupus can still reach more commonly African, Chinese and Caribbean. This data shows how the disease affects people depending on geographical location and race, which ends up providing vital clues on how it started to spread.
This disease, although it usually appears between the ages of 14 and 45, can be developed at any age. Therefore, regardless of the age factor, immediately seek a doctor when you notice the symptoms of lupus.
Types of Lupus And The Diagnosis Of The Disease
There are four types of lupus and its main symptoms:
- Systemic lupus erythematosus, the most common type. Symptoms are kidneys, nervous system, brain, and blood vessels inflammation; hardening of the arteries;
- Cutaneous lupus erythematosus, this type affects mainly the skin. Symptoms are rashes and skin lesions that are scaly on the face, scalp, neck, mouth, nose, or vagina; redness; hair loss; alterations of the affected skin pigment;
- Drug-induced lupus erythematosus, caused by some prescription drugs. Symptoms are muscle aches and pains in the joints (sometimes accompanied by swelling), flu-like symptoms like fatigue and fever, and abnormalities in laboratory tests.
- Neonatal lupus, which is not really a kind of lupus, but it occurs when the pregnant woman already has the disease, and her antibodies reach the baby that is in her uterus. The child may have rashes, liver problems or low red platelets.
Over the diagnosis of lupus, there are several ways to know if the person suffers from this condition, such as:
- Laboratory tests: blood tests (complete blood count), renal and hepatic evaluation; urine analysis; antinuclear antibody test;
- Image tests: x-ray; echocardiography;
- Biopsy test.
Always take into consideration that the symptoms and diagnosis will be different from person to person because each body differently reacts when it comes to diseases.
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Traditional Treatments And CBD
Lupus can lead to death when not treated properly. Treatments for this disease include anti-malarial drugs, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Apart from them, of course, there is an alternative treatment with CBD.
CBD is a cannabinoid found in Cannabis sativa which has several beneficial properties to health. The reason why this cannabinoid helps with the treatment of lupus is that we have in our body the endocannabinoid system, which regulates the natural functions of our body, such as mood, hunger, pain, sleep, immune system, metabolism, memory, inflammation, reproduction, digestion, and helps protect and develop neurons. Endocannabinoids, when synthesized by our body, bind to specific receptors and help in the regularization of these physiological processes.
These receptors are the CB1 and CB2. The CB1 are found throughout the human body, but they’re mostly located in the brain and spinal cord. They focus on the parts that are associated with behaviors they impact, such as the hypothalamus, which is responsible for appetite, tonsils, and it influences memory and the emotional process. Besides that, it is found at the tips of nerves, where they act to reduce pain. And CB2 is in the periphery of the nervous system and in immune cells. When they are activated, they reduce inflammation.
One of the reasons CBD helps with this treatment is that we naturally have the endocannabinoid system in our body which, coincidentally, is very similar to the cannabinoids found in cannabis and for this reason, the cannabinoids contribute to reducing pains, inflammations, and rashes, some of the significant problems of lupus.
The chronic pain can be eased by the use of CBD, and of course, it would not be different from the pain caused by lupus, which can also follow inflammation, creating even more considerable discomfort.
And as we have already mentioned in this post, CBD can also help with skin complications, which is another characteristic symptom of lupus. Its anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce the swollen appearance caused by the bruises.
Now we’re aware of how severe Lupus is, we can conclude that it’s difficult to diagnose this disease, and the symptoms of it affect the life of patients very negatively. Thus, CBD can make them live better, and it is important not to stop talking with your specialist doctor about treatment with CBD or any other medicine.
BAS aims to help people to have a better quality of life with CBD, and improve the future of science by bringing more knowledge about the world of Cannabis to people who don’t know much about its benefits.