Lupus Specialist

Jeffrey Miller, MD -  - Rheumatology Specialist

Osteoporosis and Rheumatology Center of Tampa Bay

Jeffrey Miller, MD

Rheumatology Specialist & Internal Medicine Specialist located in Tampa, FL

Researchers believe as many as 1.5 million Americans are living with lupus, although the condition is often misdiagnosed. At Osteoporosis and Rheumatology Center of Tampa Bay, Jeffrey Miller, MD, has extensive experience diagnosing and treating this autoimmune disease, and has helped many men and women in Tampa, Florida, find relief. If you’re living with a collection of symptoms with no clear cause, schedule an appointment online or by phone for a full diagnostic work-up.

Lupus Q&A

What is lupus?

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease. It’s also an incredibly difficult condition to diagnose, as the same symptoms crop up in other medical conditions. Lupus creates a problem with your immune system that causes your body to mistakenly attack healthy tissues. 

Lupus can create inflammation and pain in various areas of your body. It most commonly affects the skin, internal organs, and joints. 

Researchers are uncertain of the exact cause of lupus, but they believe a combination of factors can increase your risk of developing the disease. Some of those factors include:

  • Sex, with women making up nearly 90% of cases
  • Hormonal issues
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Smoking
  • History of viral infections
  • Imbalance in gut microbiota
  • Certain medications

Very often, there is no clear indication of why an individual develops lupus. 

What are some signs I might have lupus?

The symptoms of lupus are also common in many other diseases, which is partly why the condition is so hard to diagnose. Here are some things to keep an eye out for:

  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Hair loss
  • Chest pain when breathing deeply
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Skin rashes
  • Swollen glands or lymph nodes
  • Swelling around your eyes or in your legs
  • Mouth ulcers

As you can see, these symptoms can affect various areas of your body and don’t point to a clear cause. It’s important to see a doctor if you experience unusual changes in your health or wellness. 

What can be done to treat lupus?

There is no cure for lupus, but it’s possible to manage symptoms and live a rich and full life. Your treatment plan depends on the type and severity of your symptoms and may change depending on how your body responds to treatment. 

Many men and women can manage lupus discomfort with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. Dr. Miller can advise you on the right dosing schedule to prevent digestive problems or kidney damage. 

Antimalarial medications are also helpful in treating some lupus symptoms. Corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and a class of drug called biologics can also play a role in treating lupus.

An essential part of the treatment process is learning how to avoid triggers that can worsen your symptoms. Sun exposure, estrogen therapy, and a sedentary lifestyle can all exacerbate lupus symptoms. 

Learn more about your lupus treatment options during a personalized consultation. You can book a visit with Dr. Miller online or over the phone, so don’t delay.