Lupus and the Endocrine System - Kaleidoscope Fighting Lupus (2023)

The endocrine system doesn’t get the respect it deserves – after all, it influences almost every cell, organ and function of the body. It is also intimately connected to your immune system and can be heavily influenced not only by your lupus, but also by the medications you take. How? Read on to find out!

  • Introduction : The 1-Minute Overview!
  • The Endocrine System in a Bit More Detail
    • Thyroid
    • Parathyroid Glands
    • Pituitary Gland
    • Pineal Gland
    • Thymus
    • Adrenal Glands
    • Pancreas
    • Ovaries
    • Testes
  • How can you keep your endocrine system healthy?
  • In Conclusion: The Most Important Take Aways!

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Introduction: The 1-Minute Overview!

The job of your endocrine system is to help regulate the major functions of your body. It does this with a collection of organs, called glands, that produce chemical messages, called hormones, which are secreted directly into your blood stream. Ideally, it works with your nervous system to keep your body in balance, maintaining such things as body temperature, optimum rates of growth and metabolism, sufficient oxygen levels in your blood, healthy reproductive cycles, etc. It also plays a role in regulating the activity level of your immune system, and that is where lupus comes in!

Hormones can affect your lupus and lupus can affect your hormones!

We do not know exactly how some of this takes place, but we do know that lupus can affect certain aspects of you endocrine system, and some specific and hormones can affect your lupus. Here is a brief overview of what we do know!

  • Those living with lupus have an increased risk of developing an endocrine disease, the most common of which involve the thyroid gland.
  • About 22% of lupus patients with an endocrine disease have an increased risk of developing a second endocrine disease.
  • Several hormones, especially estrogen can have a strong influence on lupus.
  • Some lupus medications can have a dramatic effect on the endocrine glands. This is especially true for the pancreas and sex organs.
  • The symptoms of many endocrine diseases, such as fatigue, brain fog and kidney involvement, can mimic lupus symptoms, making their diagnoses even more challenging.
  • Yet, even though an endocrine disease may share some lupus symptoms, it will require its own, specific treatment plan, and one that may be quite different from what is prescribed for lupus.
  • One endocrine gland, the thymus, directly affects how T cells develop, and T cells are one of the most important cellular components in causing the damage of autoimmune diseases like lupus.

In order to get beyond these basic facts, and to appreciate the truly awe-inspiring complexity of the endocrine system, it is helpful to describe different parts of the endocrine system and how each can affect your life with lupus.

Warning: This is a long article – 2,400 words. You may want to explore it one gland at a time!

Alternately, if you want to jump to the end, past all the details, and find out how to keep your endocrine system healthy – click here!

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The Endocrine System in More Detail

The endocrine system is a collection of 9 or more organs in the body – usually called glands – each producing its own set of hormones. Unlike sweat glands and tear ducts (examples of exocrine glands), the endocrine glands secrete chemicals directly into the blood stream. In this way, hormones can spread throughout the body and can affect many other organs all at the same time.

These chemical messages are the messages of complex feedback loops that regulate almost all of the physiological functions of the body, such as:

  • metabolic and growth rates;
  • reproduction and sleep cycles;
  • digestion and respiration;
  • movement and sensory perception,
  • even emotions like our mood and stress levels,
  • and of course, immunity/autoimmunity.

You have probably heard about most of the endocrine glands before, but it is easy to forget how critical they are to every moment of your day. The ones most significant to lupus include the thyroid, parathyroids, thymus, pituitary, adrenals, the pancreas, ovaries, testes and pineal gland.

(Video) Lupus Nephritis: From Diagnosis to Treatment

Note: There are other organs that are often not thought of as being part of the endocrine system, yet they can also secrete some hormones in special circumstances. These include the heart, stomach, liver, kidneys … even your skin.

The Thyroid

The thyroid is the gland seemingly most affected by lupus. Ironically, it is a butterfly-shaped organ that lies against the trachea at the front of your neck – about where the knot of a bow tie would be placed. Its hormones include:

  • Thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which regulate your body’s basal metabolism and influence a host of other things, such as your appetite, rate of digestion, the strength of your heart beat, overall growth rate, as well as your thought patterns and sexual functions.
  • Calcitonin, which regulates the amount of calcium in your blood.

What does this mean for someone with lupus?

  • Like lupus, autoimmune thyroid diseases affect women significantly more than men, and lupus patients are predisposed to developing autoimmune thyroid diseases.
  • Hypothyroidism: When the thyroid produces less thyroid hormone than normal.
    • This is the most common thyroid disease in patients with lupus – affecting about 6% to 15% of those with SLE.
    • Symptoms include abnormal weight gain, a slow heart rate, fatigue, brain fog, hair loss, and sensitivity to cold.
    • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition and the leading cause of hypothyroidism in the U.S.
  • Hyperthyroidism: This is the production of too much thyroid hormones.
    • It occurs in about 1% to 9% of those with lupus.
    • It can lead to abnormal weight loss, increased appetite, insomnia, anxiety, an irregular heartbeat, tremors, anxiety and sensitivity to heat.
    • Grave’s Disease: This is anautoimmune disorder in which autoantibodies attack the thyroid. It is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism.
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The Parathyroid Glands

These are four small glands located behind the thyroid. Their primary job is to control calcium and phosphate levels in the blood, and they do this by producing parathyroid hormone (PTH).

Hyperparathyroidism: This occurs when too much PTH is produced and blood calcium levels become too high (hypercalcemia) leach calcium from the bones.

Hypoparathyroidism: This is the rare condition when too little PTH is produced and blood calcium levels drop.

What does this mean for someone with lupus?

  • Diseases of the parathyroids are very rarely associated with lupus, but patients with SLE can develop hypercalcemia as a symptom of their disease and this may complicate the diagnosis of hyperparathyroidism.
The Pituitary Gland

The pituitary is the most important gland in the body. It sits directly under the brain, specifically under the hypothalamus. Even though it is only about the size of a pea, it controls many of the other endocrine glands by producing hormones such as:

  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which regulates the production of cortisol.
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which stimulates the ovaries to produce estrogen.
  • Growth hormone (GH), which stimulates the rate of grown of muscle and bone.
  • Luteinizing hormone (LH), which stimulates ovulation by the ovaries and testosterone production by the testes.
  • Prolactin, which stimulates breast milk production.
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which stimulates your thyroid to produce its own hormones.

What does this mean for someone with lupus?

  • The relationship between lupus and the pituitary is unclear.
  • Yet, about 2% of those with autoimmune hypophysitis (AH), the autoimmune inflammation of the pituitary, also have lupus.
  • Some studies have shown that the excessive production of prolactin (hyperprolactenemia) can contribute to lupus disease activity.
The Pineal Gland

The pineal is a small pine cone shaped gland near the center of the brain between the two hemispheres. It secretes the hormone, melatonin, which helps control sleep patterns.

What does this mean for someone with lupus?

  • Studies have found significantly lower melatonin levels in patients with lupus. This might add to the reasons for why over half of all patients with lupus have trouble with sleep and may be an indicator of neural involvement.

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The Thymus

The thymus is another butterfly-shaped gland that lies just under your sternum (breastbone) and is actually part of two systems: the endocrine system (because it produces several hormones) and the lymphatic system, because it also contains may lymphocytes (white blood cells) important for immunity. The name “T cell” actually is short for “thymus cell lymphocytes.”

The thymus produces the hormones thymopoietin, thymosin and thymulin, which regulate the development of T cells.

(Video) Lupus Nephritis: The Importance of Early Diagnosis

What does this mean for someone with lupus?

  • Since T cells are central to many aspects of the overactive inflammatory and autoimmune responses in with lupus, how the thymus may be involved in creating over-active T cells could be a key element in possible future therapies.

For more about T cells, the thymus and how they relate to lupus, check out the blog-article, “Lupus – B Cells, T Cells and the Immune System.”

The Adrenal Glands

The adrenal glands rest on top of each of your kidneys and produce a number of hormones, in particular the ones that are often involved in stress and the “fight or flight” response. These hormones include: adrenaline, cortisol an aldosterone.

Low production of cortisol by the adrenal glands is called adrenal insufficiency (AI) or Addison’s disease (an autoimmune condition). Cushing’s disease occurs when the adrenals produce too much cortisol.

What does this mean for someone with lupus?

  • Some symptoms of adrenal insufficiency are similar to those of lupus so this might delay an accurate diagnosis of both.
  • The symptoms of Cushing’s disease resemble some effects of long-term use of corticosteroids as treatments for lupus. Treating for Cushing’s can also possibly trigger a lupus flare.

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The Pancreas

As an endocrine gland, the pancreas helps regulate the sugar levels in the blood with glucagon, which raises blood sugar, and more famously, insulin, which lowers blood sugar. Diabetes is the increasingly common condition where either the pancreas does not have the ability to produce insulin, or produces some, but cannot utilize it correctly.

What does this mean for someone with lupus?

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  • Though rare, lupus-associated pancreatitis can be a serious,possibly fatal condition.
  • SLE has been associated with insulin resistance, and this puts those with lupus at a higher risk for diabetes.
  • Lupus patients with diabetes are also at a higher risk for end-stage renal failure.
  • Some medications for treatment of lupus, such as glucocorticoids and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) have been known to increase the risk of diabetes.
Ovaries

The ovaries are amazing organs. Not only do they produce the eggs (ova) that were the beginning of every single human being who ever lived, but they are also part of the endocrine system and secrete hormones, most notably: estrogen and progesterone.

What does this mean for someone with lupus?

  • Estrogen has long been recognized as a factor in strengthening the body’s immune response.
  • It is considered one of the most important reasons for why women are 9-times more likely to have lupus than men.
  • Many women have more lupus symptoms before menstrual periods and/or during pregnancy, when estrogen production is high.
  • Many women find that lupus symptoms decrease significantly after menopause.
  • Lupus has been associated with some ovarian conditions, such as:
    • Primary ovarian insufficiency, which occurs when ovaries stop releasing eggs and a woman’s periods end before the age of 40.
    • Irregular menstrual cycles: These are not uncommon for those with lupus and some menstrual irregularities can also be caused by lupus medications, like prednisone and other glucocorticoids.

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Testes

The testes are the male sex organs, analogous to female ovaries. They produce the sperm, and also secrete androgen sex hormones, most significantly, testosterone. Interestingly enough, both sperm and testosterone production are controlled by hormones produced by the pituitary gland.

What does this mean for someone with lupus?

(Video) Lupus Signs & Symptoms (& Why They Occur) | Skin, Joints, Organ Systems

  • Lupus itself, does not necessarily affect the testes or testosterone levels.
  • It is possible that lupus may induce anti-sperm antibodies. However, this is not uncommon in men who do not have lupus.
  • In men, there are several common lupus drugs that can affect the testes and possibly reduce sperm count or lead to infertility: methotrexate, sulfasalazine, cyclophosphamide and mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept).

For more information on lupus and men, check out the blog-article, “Symptoms of Lupus in Men” by clicking here.

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How can you keep your endocrine system healthy?

  • Maintain a healthy (perhaps anti-inflammatory) diet and eat foods rich in the omega 3’s and 6’s, which can be found in salmon, halibut, walnuts, cashews and avocados
  • Avoid as much as possible, junk food! Too much refined sugar, salt and processed foods can affect your endocrine system and increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
  • Be aware of your family history and talk openly with your doctor about any concerns you may have regarding your endocrine system.
  • Talk to your doctor before you make any dramatic changes to your exercise regime or diet, and be careful of supplements that claim to improve your endocrine system.
  • Try to be as physically active as possible. This can mean walks and low impact workouts like yoga.Don’t push yourself too hard, but keep moving! Physical activity can positively affect the feedback loops within the endocrine system!
  • Reduce stress! Make sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night, try meditation, breathing exercises, and calm or repetitive activities like walking, knitting, etc.

In Conclusion: The Most Important Take Aways!

The endocrine system is a complex chemical network of feedback loops, controlled by glands spread all throughout the body. With all the possible things that could go wrong, it is truly a miracle that any of it works at all!

How can your lupus affect the endocrine system?

  • Lupus can increase a person’s risk of developing an endocrine disease, but no one is sure why.
  • Though it is relatively rare, inflammation caused by the autoantibodies associated with lupus can directly damage glands of the endocrine system.
  • Some lupus symptoms can mimic and mask those of an endocrine condition.
  • The most common endocrine conditions that are influenced by lupus include problems with the thyroid and sex organs.

How can the endocrine system affect your lupus?

  • Statistically, having an endocrine disease with their lupus does not seem to increase a patient’s mortality.
  • Most often, endocrine disease developed after lupus was diagnosed.
  • Of course, it is possible for a person to develop an endocrine disease that is not directly related to their lupus.
  • Some symptoms of endocrine conditions can mimic and mask those of lupus.
  • Several lupus medications have been found to increase the risks for some endocrine diseases.

Finally, the most important thing is to consistently take you prescribed medications and stick to your treatment plans in order to reduce your overall disease activity and avoid the flares. Active flares can lead to organ damage and that can include those amazing , endocrine glands!

References

Choux C, Cavalieri M, Barberet J, et al.Traitements immunosuppresseurs et préservation de la fertilité: indications et modalités pratiques [Immunosuppressive therapy and fertility preservation: indications and methods].Rev Med Interne. 2018;39(7):557-565. doi:10.1016/j.revmed.2018.02.010

Hickman, R.A., & Gordon, C.(2011). Causes and management of infertility in systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheumatology, 50(9):1551-8. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/ker105

Klionsky, Y., & Antonelli, M. (2020). Thyroid disease in lupus: An updated Rreview.ACR open rheumatology,2(2), 74–78. https://doi.org/10.1002/acr2.11105

Kostoglou-Athanassiou, I., Athanassiou, L., and Athanassiou, P. (2021). Endocrine manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus. Hamdy, R, & Mohammed, A. (Eds.), Lupus. IntechOpen. DOI:10.5772/intechopen.97363

Jara, L. J., Medina, G., Saavedra, M. A., Vera-Lastra, O., Torres-Aguilar, H., Navarro, C., Vazquez Del Mercado, M., & Espinoza, L. R. (2017). Prolactin has a pathogenic role in systemic lupus erythematosus.Immunologic Research,65(2), 512–523. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12026-016-8891-x

Jiang, M.Y., Hwang, J.C. & Feng, IJ. (2018). Impact of diabetes mellitus on the risk of end-stage renal disease in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.Nature Scientific Reports,8, Article 6008. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-24529-2

Lee, K.H., Lee, H.J., Lee, C., Kim, J.Y., Kim, J.M., Kim, S.S., Jeong, S., Hwang, I.S., Kim, N., Kim, N.E., Shin, S., Shin, D., Song, J.S., Shin, D.H., Kim, J.D., Kim, J., Lee, Y.S., Kang, H., Kim, … Shin, J. (2019). Adrenal insufficiency in systematic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and antiphospholipid syndrome (APS): A systematic review. Autoimmunity Reviews,18(1). 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autrev.2018.06.014.

(Video) Lupus Fatigue: Causes, Treatments and Management

Li, J., May, W., & McMurray, R.W. (2005). Pituitary hormones and systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis and Rheumatism, 52(12). 3701-3712. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/art.21436

Makol, A., & Petri, M. (2010). Pancreatitis in systemic lupus erythematosus: frequency and associated factors — A review of the Hopkins Lupus Cohort. The Journal of Rheumatology, 37(2). 341-345. https://www.jrheum.org/content/37/2/341

Muñoz, C., & Isenberg, D.A. (2019). Review of major endocrine abnormalities in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, 37(5), 791-796. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31172923/

Panareses, A., D’Andrea, V., Pironi, D., & Filippini,A. (2014) Thymectomy and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Annali Italiani di Chirurgia, 85(6). 617-618. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25919914/

Robeva, R., Tanev, D., Kirilov, G., Stoycheva, M., Tomova, A., Kumanov, P., Rashkov, R., & Kolarov, Z. (2013) Decreased melatonin levels in women with systemic lupus erythematosus – a short report. Balkan Medical Journal, 30(3). 273-276. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4115899/

The Cleveland Clinic. (2022, May 15). Thymus. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/23016-thymus

The Mayo Clinic. (2022, August 13). Hyperparathyroidism. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hyperparathyroidism/symptoms-causes/syc-20356194

Stein, E.M., & Erkan, D. (2018, May 21). Top 10 points lupus patients should know about autoimmune thyroid diseases. Hospital of Special Surgery. https://www.hss.edu/conditions_top-ten-series-lupus-autoimmune-thyroid-diseases.asp

Xiang, P., We, Q., Zhang, H., Luo, C., & Zou, H. (2020). Autoimmune Hypophysitis With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: A Case Report and Literature Review.Frontiers in Endocrinology,11, 579436. https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2020.579436

Author: Greg Dardis, MS

Professor Dardis was formerly the Chair of the Science Department at Marylhurst University and is currently an Assistant Professor at Portland State University. His focus has been human biology and physiology with an interest in autoimmunity. Professor Dardis is also the President of the Board of Directors of Kaleidoscope Fighting Lupus.

All images unless otherwise noted are property of and were created by Kaleidoscope Fighting Lupus. To use one of these images, please contact us at[emailprotected]for written permission; image credit and link-back must be given to Kaleidoscope Fighting Lupus.

All resources provided by us are for informational purposes only and should be used as a guide or for supplemental information, not to replace the advice of a medical professional. The personal views expressed here do not necessarily encompass the views of the organization, but the information has been vetted as a relevant resource. We encourage you to be your strongest advocate and always contact your healthcare practitioner with any specific questions or concerns.

FAQs

Does lupus affect the endocrine system? ›

Lupus can increase a person's risk of developing an endocrine disease, but no one is sure why. Though it is relatively rare, inflammation caused by the autoantibodies associated with lupus can directly damage glands of the endocrine system.

Can lupus be triggered by hormones? ›

Women and Lupus

Research shows that estrogen helps make women's immune systems stronger than men's, so the hormone could also trigger lupus or make it worse. Some women with lupus also get symptom flare-ups around their period or during pregnancy when estrogen levels are higher.

Can lupus affect your adrenal glands? ›

Systemic lupus erythematosus is a complex autoimmune disease with multisystem involvement with varied presentation. Autoimmune adrenal disease, on the other hand, can be associated with other autoimmune diseases. Adrenal insufficiency as a presenting feature of Systemic lupus erythematosus is a rare occurrence.

What organ does lupus affect first? ›

Kidneys About one half of people with lupus experience kidney involvement, and the kidney has become the most extensively studied organ affected by lupus. Lungs About 50% of people with SLE will experience lung involvement during the course of their disease.

Can an endocrinologist treat lupus? ›

These may include: Cardiologist: For heart issues, such as lupus myocarditis and lupus pericarditis. Pulmonologist: For lung issues, such as pleurisy due to lupus and other lung conditions. Endocrinologist: For issues relating to your thyroid, adrenal function, or other endocrine issues.

What is the relationship between the endocrine system and autoimmune disorders? ›

Autoimmunity affects multiple glands in the endocrine system. Animal models and human studies highlight the importance of alleles in HLA (human leukocyte antigen)-like molecules determining tissue specific targeting that with the loss of tolerance leads to organ specific autoimmunity.

What foods trigger lupus flare ups? ›

Alfalfa and garlic are two foods that probably shouldn't be on your dinner plate if you have lupus. Alfalfa sprouts contain an amino acid called L-canavanine. Garlic contains allicin, ajoene, and thiosulfinates, which can send your immune system into overdrive and flare up your lupus symptoms.

What are the 3 overall causes of lupus? ›

Causes
  • Sunlight. Exposure to the sun may bring on lupus skin lesions or trigger an internal response in susceptible people.
  • Infections. Having an infection can initiate lupus or cause a relapse in some people.
  • Medications.
27 Jan 2021

Is lupus inherited from mother or father? ›

Lupus can be hereditary in both men and women.

Can lupus cause Cushing's syndrome? ›

Answer: There is no apparent correlation between development of Cushing's disease and systemic lupus. However, because patients with systemic lupus improve with steroids, the onset of Cushing's disease may actually decrease the manifestations of lupus.

Can lupus affect cortisol levels? ›

Future studies of these other stress hormones, which address their potential role in the four diseases, would be informative. ... ... Blunted cortisol (low levels in the morning) has been noted in rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Sjögren syndrome.

What autoimmune disease affects the adrenal glands? ›

This is called an autoimmune disorder. Addison's disease can develop if your immune system attacks your adrenal glands and severely damages your adrenal cortex. When 90% of the adrenal cortex is destroyed, your adrenal glands will not be able to produce enough of the steroid hormones cortisol and aldosterone.

What is the most serious form of lupus? ›

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the most common and most serious type of lupus. SLE affects all parts of the body. Cutaneous lupus erythematosus, which affects only the skin.

What should you not do if you have lupus? ›

5 Things to Avoid if You Have Lupus
  1. (1) Sunlight. People with lupus should avoid the sun, since sunlight can cause rashes and flares. ...
  2. (2) Bactrim and Septra (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim) Bactrim and Septra are antibiotics that contain sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. ...
  3. (3) Garlic. ...
  4. (4) Alfalfa Sprouts. ...
  5. (5) Echinacea.

What are the four stages of lupus? ›

There are four main types of lupus: neonatal, discoid, drug-induced, and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the type that affects the majority of patients.

Where is the best place to be treated for lupus? ›

The general recommendation is to find a physician who is affiliated with a medical school—a university hospital, for example. They are generally regarded as very good places to go for the diagnosis and treatment of lupus.

Who is the best doctor for lupus? ›

Many people who have (or suspect they have) lupus see a rheumatologist (or pediatric rheumatologist if a child or teen). This type of doctor specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the joints and muscles.

What labs are abnormal with lupus? ›

A low white blood cell or platelet count may occur in lupus as well. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate. This blood test determines the rate at which red blood cells settle to the bottom of a tube in an hour. A faster than normal rate may indicate a systemic disease, such as lupus.

Do endocrinologists deal with autoimmune diseases? ›

Because autoimmune diseases can affect any organ or tissue in your body, there are other doctors you may need to see if you deal with immune system issues. These include: endocrinologists, who diagnose and treat conditions related to your hormones.

Does an endocrinologist treat autoimmune disease? ›

Endocrinologists – autoimmune Addison's disease, autoimmune hypophysitis, Graves' disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, testicular autoimmunity, type 1 diabetes, Schmidt (polyendocrine) syndrome.

What is a common disease that can have an impact on the endocrine system? ›

Some of the most common types of endocrine disorders include: Menopause. Diabetes. Addison's disease.

What vitamins help with lupus? ›

Vitamins. Vitamin E, zinc, vitamin A, and the B vitamins are all beneficial in a lupus diet. Vitamin C can increase your ability to absorb iron and is a good source of antioxidants.

Does drinking water help lupus? ›

Be sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water throughout the day. This supports the elimination of toxic build up in the body, and a faulty digestive process common with lupus sufferers.

What supplements should people with lupus avoid? ›

But some herbs might trigger a flare if you have an autoimmune condition like lupus.
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Which Supplements Should I Avoid If I Have Lupus?
  • Echinacea.
  • Spirulina.
  • Alfalfa tablets.
  • Garlic.
8 Mar 2022

What is borderline lupus? ›

Borderline lupus, which can also be known as unspecified connective tissue disease, or probable lupus, or latent lupus, would define a patient who may have a positive ANA without a DNA or Smith antibody (blood tests used to diagnose lupus), who has arthralgias rather than arthritis, a brain fog or memory loss, and no ...

How does lupus affect the brain? ›

Lupus and the central nervous system

Symptoms include: Confusion and trouble concentrating (sometimes called lupus brain fog) Seizures (sudden, unusual movements or behavior) Stroke (blocked blood flow in the brain that causes brain cells to die)

Can lupus be caused by stress? ›

Psychological stress associated with exposure to trauma appears to boost the odds of women developing lupus, according to a study by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital researchers.

Does lupus get worse with age? ›

With age, symptom activity with lupus often declines, but symptoms you already have may grow more severe. The accumulation of damage over years may result in the need for joint replacements or other treatments.

What injections are given for lupus? ›

BENLYSTA is a prescription medicine, given intravenously (IV) or subcutaneously for adults with active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus) or active lupus nephritis on other lupus medicines. BENLYSTA IV is approved in children aged 5 years and older with SLE on other lupus medicines.

Is there a DNA test for lupus? ›

The anti-double stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) test is used to help diagnose lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE) in a person who has a positive result on a test for antinuclear antibody (ANA) and has clinical signs and symptoms that suggest lupus.

What does high cortisol feel like? ›

Some of the most common signs of high cortisol levels include: weight gain — particularly around your stomach, upper back, and face. fatigue. getting sick often.

What does Cushing syndrome look like? ›

CS is most often due to a tumor or mass found in the pituitary gland, but can also be caused by tumors in the adrenal glands themselves. People with Cushing's syndrome may see their face get round ("moon face"), they gain weight in unusual ways, bruise easily or feel weak, tired and sad.

Does estrogen make lupus worse? ›

Many women have more lupus symptoms before menstrual periods and/or during pregnancy, when estrogen production is high. This may indicate that estrogen somehow regulates the severity of lupus. However, it does not mean that estrogen, or any other hormone for that matter, causes lupus.

Can adrenal fatigue cause autoimmune diseases? ›

Adrenal Fatigue and surrounding circumstances can be a perfect storm for triggering an autoimmune disease. In advanced Adrenal Fatigue, cortisol levels are diminished and not available to effectively downregulate an overactive immune system.

Can you have Addison's disease and lupus? ›

Coexistence of Addison's disease and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a rare occurrence with only few reported cases in the literature.

What are 3 diseases that affect the adrenal glands? ›

Some of the most common include:
  • Addison's disease, also called adrenal insufficiency. In this disorder, you don't produce enough cortisol and/or aldosterone.
  • Cushing's syndrome. ...
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia. ...
  • Adrenal gland suppression. ...
  • Hyperaldosteronism. ...
  • Virilization.
7 Jun 2021

How do you know if your adrenal glands aren't working properly? ›

Symptoms of both forms include chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle weakness, weight loss, and stomach pain. You might also have nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, diarrhea, depression, or darkening of the skin.

What does an adrenal crisis feel like? ›

Acute adrenal crisis is a medical emergency caused by a lack of cortisol. Patients may experience lightheadedness or dizziness, weakness, sweating, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, or even loss of consciousness.

How do you know when lupus is active? ›

A lupus "flare" or "flare up" is when your lupus symptoms worsen and you feel ill as a result.
...
Common symptoms that indicate a flare are:
  1. Ongoing fever not due to an infection.
  2. Painful, swollen joints.
  3. An increase in fatigue.
  4. Rashes.
  5. Sores or ulcers in the mouth or nose.
  6. General swelling in the legs.
29 Jul 2020

Does the weather affect lupus? ›

Your symptoms of lupus can be overwhelming and dramatically affect your quality of life. Cold weather is one thing that can trigger and worsen your symptoms of lupus. Cooler temperatures can take a toll on most people, even if they don't have an autoimmune disease. It places additional stress on your body.

Where is lupus most common in the world? ›

Although data on the prevalence of SLE among Africans and Asians living in the tropics are limited, SLE is reportedly more common and more severe in people of African and Asian extraction living in industrialized countries.

What medications make lupus worse? ›

The most common medicines known to cause drug-induced lupus erythematosus are: Isoniazid. Hydralazine. Procainamide.
...
These may include:
  • Anti-seizure medicines.
  • Capoten.
  • Chlorpromazine.
  • Methyldopa.
  • Sulfasalazine.
  • Levamisole, typically as a contaminant of cocaine.
2 May 2021

Is Magnesium Good for lupus? ›

In a study about lupus SLE, fibromylagia and magnesium deficiency, one recommendation was for magnesium levels to be checked to ensure inflammation is not due to low magnesium, rather than from the autoimmune condition. This ensures the patient is not prescribed medication levels that are too high.

How much sleep does a lupus patient need? ›

Get plenty of rest. Some people with lupus need up to 12 hours of sleep every night. Pace yourself. Do not do too many activities.

What foods trigger lupus flare ups? ›

Alfalfa and garlic are two foods that probably shouldn't be on your dinner plate if you have lupus. Alfalfa sprouts contain an amino acid called L-canavanine. Garlic contains allicin, ajoene, and thiosulfinates, which can send your immune system into overdrive and flare up your lupus symptoms.

How did I get lupus? ›

It's likely that lupus results from a combination of your genetics and your environment. It appears that people with an inherited predisposition for lupus may develop the disease when they come into contact with something in the environment that can trigger lupus. The cause of lupus in most cases, however, is unknown.

What can trigger lupus? ›

An infection, a cold or a viral illness. An injury, particularly traumatic injury. Emotional stress, such as a divorce, illness, death in the family, or other life complications. Anything that causes stress to the body, such as surgery, physical harm, pregnancy, or giving birth.

What are the 3 overall causes of lupus? ›

Causes
  • Sunlight. Exposure to the sun may bring on lupus skin lesions or trigger an internal response in susceptible people.
  • Infections. Having an infection can initiate lupus or cause a relapse in some people.
  • Medications.
27 Jan 2021

What are the top 5 signs of lupus? ›

What are the common symptoms of lupus?
  • loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss.
  • shortness of breath.
  • joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain.
  • swollen glands.
  • muscle pain.
  • chest pain when you take a deep breath.
  • hair loss.
  • sun sensitivity.

Can lupus affect cortisol levels? ›

Future studies of these other stress hormones, which address their potential role in the four diseases, would be informative. ... ... Blunted cortisol (low levels in the morning) has been noted in rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Sjögren syndrome.

What is the most serious form of lupus? ›

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the most common and most serious type of lupus. SLE affects all parts of the body. Cutaneous lupus erythematosus, which affects only the skin.

Is lupus inherited from mother or father? ›

Lupus can be hereditary in both men and women.

What foods trigger lupus flare ups? ›

Alfalfa and garlic are two foods that probably shouldn't be on your dinner plate if you have lupus. Alfalfa sprouts contain an amino acid called L-canavanine. Garlic contains allicin, ajoene, and thiosulfinates, which can send your immune system into overdrive and flare up your lupus symptoms.

How do you know when the endocrine system is not functioning properly? ›

While each endocrine disorder has its own set of symptoms, some of the most common symptoms found among many of them include:
  1. Mood swings.
  2. Fatigue.
  3. Weakness.
  4. Unintended weight fluctuations.
  5. Changes in blood glucose levels or cholesterol levels.

What can trigger endocrine disorders? ›

Endocrine disorders have several potential causes, such as tumors, genetic factors, or hormonal imbalances. Because these conditions affect hormones, they can cause a wide range of symptoms and influence growth and development, metabolism, sexual function, and mood.

What is the most common female endocrine disorder? ›

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrinopathy among women of reproductive age, impacting 5-10% of premenopausal American women.

What are the four stages of lupus? ›

There are four main types of lupus: neonatal, discoid, drug-induced, and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the type that affects the majority of patients.

What is the number one symptom of lupus? ›

The most common lupus symptoms (which are the same for men and women) are: Extreme fatigue (feeling tired all the time) Pain or swelling in the joints. Swelling in the hands, feet, or around the eyes.

What should you not do if you have lupus? ›

5 Things to Avoid if You Have Lupus
  1. (1) Sunlight. People with lupus should avoid the sun, since sunlight can cause rashes and flares. ...
  2. (2) Bactrim and Septra (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim) Bactrim and Septra are antibiotics that contain sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. ...
  3. (3) Garlic. ...
  4. (4) Alfalfa Sprouts. ...
  5. (5) Echinacea.

Can lupus cause Cushing's syndrome? ›

Answer: There is no apparent correlation between development of Cushing's disease and systemic lupus. However, because patients with systemic lupus improve with steroids, the onset of Cushing's disease may actually decrease the manifestations of lupus.

Does estrogen make lupus worse? ›

Many women have more lupus symptoms before menstrual periods and/or during pregnancy, when estrogen production is high. This may indicate that estrogen somehow regulates the severity of lupus. However, it does not mean that estrogen, or any other hormone for that matter, causes lupus.

What autoimmune disease affects the adrenal glands? ›

This is called an autoimmune disorder. Addison's disease can develop if your immune system attacks your adrenal glands and severely damages your adrenal cortex. When 90% of the adrenal cortex is destroyed, your adrenal glands will not be able to produce enough of the steroid hormones cortisol and aldosterone.

Videos

1. Dr Greiling Discusses Cutaneous Lupus
(Kaleidoscope Fighting Lupus)
2. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Nursing SLE NCLEX Review: Pathophysiology, Symptoms, Treatment
(RegisteredNurseRN)
3. Lupus (SLE) NCLEX® Review | NRSNGacademy.com
(NURSINGcom)
4. Lupus and Your Skin with Dr Nisha Desai
(Kaleidoscope Fighting Lupus)
5. Lupus Nephritis: What the Experts Want You to Know`
(Kaleidoscope Fighting Lupus)
6. What Is Lupus? Signs, Symptoms and Treatment [2020]
(Dr. Frita)
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