Kim Kardashian West, who has often shared her health struggles with fans, including with psoriasis and her difficult pregnancies, may have lupus antibodies and rheumatoid arthritis. It was revealed on the Season 17 premiere of Keeping Up with the Kardashians show that the 38-year-old reality star’s medical tests may have come up with false positive results for lupus.
What are lupus antibodies?
As an autoimmune disease, the body’s defence system produces antibodies that attack its own tissues causing inflammation. Lupus can affect several different parts of the body and when internal organs such as the heart, lungs, brain or kidneys are involved, it can be much more serious.
There are two main types of lupus called discoid lupus and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Why does it occur?
Though there are no known factors, it is understood that lupus is probably due to a combination of environmental, hormonal and genetic factors. Lupus isn’t directly passed on from a parent to their children but if you have a close relative with lupus, there are risks involved. Lupus isn’t contagious, which means that you can’t catch it from anyone else.
It’s hard to predict exactly how lupus will affect one as most people with the disease don’t exhibit the more serious complications. It is advised to follow the doctor and rheumatology specialist’s advice and look out for early treatment possibilities while carefully monitoring the condition to prevent potentially serious complications.
Who is prone to lupus?
It is about nine times as common in women than in men and more common in younger people. However, only about one in 15 cases begin after the age of 50, when it tends to be less severe.
The most common symptoms of the disease are joint pains, skin rashes and extreme fatigue. “I’ve been feeling so tired, so nauseous and my hands are really getting swollen. I feel like I literally am falling apart. My hands are numb,” mentioned Kardashian.
Kardashian speculated that based on the symptoms she believed she may have rheumatoid arthritis but decided to seek out a professional opinion. “It’s so scary,” she said. “So, I have to go to the doctor and see what’s going on because I can’t live like this.”
Other common symptoms are fever, weight loss and swelling of the lymph glands. But most people are likely to have one or a few of the possible symptoms, and many will find that the symptoms come and go.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid creams, antimalarials, steroid tablets among others are prescribed by doctors to treat the condition.
Too much ultraviolet light from sunlight can cause a red rash across the cheeks and the bridge of the nose, which is known as the butterfly rash. It can also sometimes cause problems with internal organs to flare up.