February is American Heart Month, a perfect time to consider managing your risks of heart disease. But what does that have to do with lupus? Quite a lot.
Our team at Allergy A.R.T.S. in Amarillo, Texas, specializes in comprehensive allergy, rheumatology, and asthma care that’s personalized to meet your needs. We’re happy to provide information about lupus and its effects on your overall well-being and heart health.
Lupus is an autoimmune condition that causes chronic inflammation as the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues and organs. While joints and skin are commonly affected, inflammation associated with lupus can also threaten many other vital organs, including the kidneys, brain, lungs, and heart.
Lupus affects the heart and blood vessels in various ways, including:
The inflammation triggered by lupus can lead to inflammation of the heart muscles (myocarditis) or the lining of the heart (pericarditis). These conditions can compromise the heart's ability to function correctly.
Lupus may accelerate the development of atherosclerosis, a condition where plaque builds up in the arteries, restricting blood flow. This may affect arteries that supply blood to vital organs, including the kidneys, brain, and heart. Atherosclerosis can also compromise the health of arteries in the legs and arms.
Lupus is associated with an increased risk of blood clot formation. When these clots travel to the heart, they can cause serious complications, including heart attacks.
Lupus can contribute to the development of coronary artery disease, narrowing the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. This can lead to chest pain, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular issues.
Our team at Allergy A.R.T.S. manages potential heart complications from lupus through:
We recommend individuals with lupus undergo regular cardiovascular screenings to detect potential issues early on. This may include tests to assess heart function, blood flow, and the presence of inflammation.
Adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle is crucial for managing lupus-related cardiovascular risks. This includes maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, managing stress, and avoiding tobacco use.
Medications that control inflammation can reduce the risk of blood clots and manage lupus symptoms. It's essential that individuals adhere to their personalized treatment plan and communicate any concerns with their Allergy A.R.T.S. specialist.
Early detection and a proactive approach to managing lupus-related cardiovascular risks are paramount to successful treatment outcomes.
Schedule a visit at Allergy A.R.T.S. today for a comprehensive treatment strategy that protects your heart and overall health. Call the office or request an appointment online.