Strange Pain, Fatigue, Hair Loss. Lupus Hidden in Your Child

  • By Premier Family Medical
  • 31 May, 2017
Strange Pain, Fatigue, Hair Loss. Lupus Hidden in Your Child

According to The Lupus Foundation, 1.5 million Americans suffer from lupus. This chronic inflammatory disease most commonly affects women of childbearing age. But, many children also develop this condition.

To put this into perspective,  five to 10,000 teenagers have systemic lupus . The systemic form is just one of the four types of lupus. Plus, this estimate only applies to teens. Can you imagine, then, how many thousands of young ones are living with this disease?

This raises two important questions. How can you recognize possible symptoms of this disease in your child? If your child is diagnosed, what treatments are available?

What it is, What is Does

As mentioned earlier, this is a chronic inflammatory condition. A glitch in the autoimmune system causes the body to attack healthy tissue and organs. This results in a grip of  unpleasant symptoms . Which symptoms, though, depends on the type that an individual has.

Systemic lupus is by far the most common. It is so named because it can affect many organ systems including the heart, lungs, kidneys and skin to name a few. It causes:

 - Chronic inflammation in the affected areas of the body
 - Chest pain when taking deep breaths
 - Fatigue
 - Fever with no cause
 - Hair loss
 - Increased sensitivity to sunlight
 - Mouth sores
 - Skin rash (usually a “butterfly” rash across the nose and cheeks, which worsens with exposure to the sun)
 - General and ongoing discomfort

Another form, called drug-induced lupus , leads to symptoms of systemic lupus. It can result from long-term use of certain medications, including some for acne. This may be of special concern if you are the parent of a teen. It’s good to note, though, that symptoms subside once the medication at fault is discontinued.

Then, there’s cutaneous lupus , also known by the name discoid. This form makes up  10% of all cases  and affects only the skin. This results in:

 - Patchy, crusty, coin-shaped lesions (which usually appear in areas exposed to the sun)
 - Patchy, bald areas on the scalp
 - Lesions in the mucous membranes (mouth and nose)
 - Noticeable darkening or lightening of older lesions
 - Firm lumps in the fatty tissue under the skin

Last but not least, there is neonatal lupus , which affects fetuses. This condition can occur even if the mother herself does not have the disease. The baby may then be born with:

 - Skin rash
 - Low blood cell count
 - Liver problems

Generally, these symptoms disappear within six months and have no lasting effects.

Help for Children With Lupus

The above symptoms certainly don’t sound like a walk in the park...especially for a child. You might be wondering, then, what treatments are available. How will your child be able to cope with this condition?

While there is not yet a cure available, symptoms can be successfully tackled. Your child's doctor may prescribe:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications for pain, fever and swelling
  • Immunosuppressants, which suppress the reactions of the immune system
  • Corticosteroids, which are helpful for pain

You’ll be happy to know that there are things you can do to help. Like what? You can encourage:

  • A healthy diet and exercise to limit inflammation
  • Rest to prevent pain from overexertion
  • Adequate sun protection
All of these things can help to quell symptoms that could otherwise put a damper on your child’s everyday life.

Recent posts from the Premier Family Medical Blog

Premier Family Medical Blog

By Premier Family Medical 21 Jun, 2017

In the United States alone, it’s estimated that  five and a half million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease . Imagine that already large number multiplied the world over. How many millions would that make? As of 2016, the estimate was upwards of  44 million .  

Although this is a common disease, there’s sadly very little understanding as to what it is, what it does, who it affects and what can be done to help those who live with it. In honor of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, which is this month, we’ll discuss all of those things.
By Premier Family Medical 14 Jun, 2017

In a  2007 study , most men indicated that they had health insurance. Yet 58% had a reason for not going to the doctor. By far the most common reason — coming in at 36% — the majority of men said they only go to the doctor when they are extremely ill.

While it might be easy for guys to brush off seemingly minor problems, it’s not the wisest thing to do. Why not? Often times, symptoms can be indicative of underlying conditions that require swift medical attention and treatment. The longer health issues go undiagnosed and untreated, the worse they can become.

Have we got you on edge fellas? While we do, why not consider a few common symptoms that are often dismissed but could point to a number of health issues
By Premier Family Medical 07 Jun, 2017
The National Center for Health Statistics estimates that approximately 5 million Americans are living with hernias. June is Hernia Awareness month. Therefore, we want to promote awareness of what hernias are and what to do if you suspect that you have one.
More Posts

Request An Appointment Find A Doctor Find A Location

Ask Us Anything

Do you have a health topic or question you'd like us to blog about?  Send us a message and lets us know what you want to hear from us. 
*All submissions are confidential

Share by: