Lupus and Cannabis Oil

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that arises when the body’s immune system attacks its own organs and tissues. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect various body systems — as well as your joints, kidneys, skin, brain, blood cells, lungs and heart.

Lupus Causes

The causes of Lupus include:

  • Sunlight. Exposure to sunlight may bring on lupus skin lesions or it could trigger an internal response in vulnerable people.
  • Infections. Having an infection can bring upon lupus or cause a relapse in certain people.
  • Medications. Lupus can be activated by some types of anti-seizure medications, antibiotics and blood pressure medications. People who have drug-induced lupus typically see their symptoms depart when they stop taking their medication.

Lupus Symptoms

The symptoms and signs of lupus will depend on which body systems are affected by the disease. Commonly the symptoms and signs of Lupus include:

  • Joint pain, swelling and stiffness
  • Fatigue and fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Butterfly-shaped rash on the face that covers the cheeks and bridge of the nose
  • Headaches, confusion and memory loss
  • Skin lesions that appear or worsen with sun exposure
  • Dry eyes
  • Fingers and toes turn white or blue when they are exposed to cold or during stressful periods

Lupus Traditional Treatment

Treatment for lupus depends on your symptoms. Determining whether your symptoms should be treated and what medications should be used, needs a careful conversation with your doctor regarding the benefits and risks. As your symptoms flare and subside, you and your doctor might find that you need to alter your medications or dosages. The medications most frequently used to control lupus include the following:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – OTC NSAIDs, such as naproxen sodium and ibuprofen, may be used to treat the pain, swelling and fever that is associated with lupus. Stronger NSAIDs are available per prescription. Side effects of NSAIDs include stomach bleeding, kidney problems and an increased risk of heart problems.
  • Antimalarial drugs – Some medications are commonly used to treat malaria, like hydroxychloroquine, has the ability to help control lupus. Side effects might include an upset stomach and, in very rare cases, damage to the retina of the eye.
  • Corticosteroids – Prednisone as well as other types of corticosteroids has the ability to counter inflammation caused by lupus. However, it often produces long-term side effects, such as weight gain, thinning bones, easy bruising, high blood pressure, increased risk of infection and diabetes. The risk of side effects increases as the patient takes higher doses and undergoes longer term therapy.
  • Immunosuppressants – These drugs suppress the immune system. They have the ability to be helpful in serious cases of lupus. Examples include azathioprine, mycophenolate, leflunomide and methotrexate. Potential side effects might include an increased risk of infection, decreased fertility, liver damage, and an increased risk of cancer. There is a newer medication, belimumab that has the ability to reduce lupus symptoms in some patients. Side effects of belimumab include nausea, fever and diarrhoea.