Lupus Specialist

Sahni Rheumatology & Therapy

Rheumatology & Physical Therapy located in West Long Branch, NJ

Lupus is a complex and chronic disease that can affect any part of your body and cause serious health complications. Women develop lupus 10 times more often than men, with symptoms first appearing between the ages of 15-44. At Sahni Rheumatology & Therapy in West Long Branch and Colonia, New Jersey, Kiren Sahni, DO, FACR, and the rheumatology team specializes in the treatment of lupus, relieving symptoms during acute flare-ups and helping patients keep their disease in remission. To learn more about lupus, call the office or schedule an appointment online.

Lupus Q&A

What is lupus?

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect many areas of your body, including your joints, skin, kidneys, heart, and other organs.

When you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks healthy tissues. As a result, inflammation develops, and the affected tissues are damaged.

These are the three primary types of lupus:

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

The most common type of lupus, SLE affects many organ systems and is known for causing chronic inflammation in your joints, skin, and kidneys.

Cutaneous lupus

SLE often causes a skin rash, but if you have cutaneous lupus, your skin is the only part of your body affected.

There are several types of chronic cutaneous lupus, each with distinct rashes. For example, discoid lupus produces raised, scaly lesions on your scalp that cause scarring and hair loss.

Drug-induced lupus

Some medications can cause lupus-like symptoms. However, the problem goes away after you stop taking the medication.

What symptoms develop due to lupus?

Lupus symptoms depend on the type of lupus and the part of your body that’s affected. Your symptoms may develop gradually, appear suddenly, and range from mild to severe. Most patients experience flare-ups followed by periods of remission.

These are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Skin rash
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Chest pain
  • Unexplained fever
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Sudden swelling in your feet, legs, fingers, arms, or eyes
  • Increased urination, especially at night
  • Memory problems

Severe cases of SLE cause serious complications such as kidney disease, nervous system inflammation, and hardening of the arteries.

How is lupus treated?

Ultraviolet (UV) light triggers flare-ups and worsens any existing symptoms in about 40-70% of patients with lupus. If you’re in this group, you’ll need to use sunscreen daily.

Indoor lighting can also cause problems. Incandescent and fluorescent lights give off a small amount of UV radiation, but with prolonged exposure, they can trigger your symptoms. The solution is to switch to LED lights.

Since systemic and cutaneous lupus are chronic conditions, your treatment focuses on using medications to keep the disease in remission and relieve acute symptoms when a flare-up develops. Your doctor at Sahni Rheumatology & Therapy may prescribe one or more medications, such as:

  • NSAIDs, to reduce pain, fever, and inflammation
  • Antimalarial drugs, to treat rashes, mouth ulcers, and joint pain
  • Corticosteroids, to diminish inflammation and pain
  • Immune modulators, to control inflammation and suppress immune activity
  • Biologics, to reduce acute symptoms during flares

Biologics are given intravenously in the comfort of a private infusion suite located in the office. The infusion suite has a TV and WiFi access, and it’s staffed by highly trained registered nurses.

If you have questions about lupus or you need treatment, call Sahni Rheumatology & Therapy or schedule an appointment online.