This May, we observe Lupus Awareness Month to encourage our community to pay attention to lupus’s emotional, physical, and economic impact. At the same time, to recognize the importance of raising funds to support lupus care and research.
What is lupus nephritis?
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), commonly known as lupus, is an autoimmune disease that provokes the immune system to attack the body’s tissues and organs, including the kidneys. Lupus nephritis happens when the autoantibodies produced by lupus affect the functions or structures of the kidneys, which may eventually lead to renal failure.
Some of the early symptoms of lupus nephritis are:
Swelling in feet, ankles, or hands
Lupus can cause severe kidney damage. Moreover, kidney failure is one of the primary causes of death in patients with lupus.
Lupus and kidneys long-term outcome
Lupus is an incurable disease that requires periodic checkups and constant medical consultation. Most patients with lupus do well long-term. However, they usually must take medication for many years, even for life.
However, if kidneys begin to fail, the patients can be treated with dialysis or by getting a kidney transplant. People with lupus nephritis do as well as people with other types of kidney disease. The life expectancy of a renal failure patient who regularly receives dialysis or gets a kidney transplant is around 5 to 10 years, though many may live longer.
End-stage renal disease
Kidneys are vital organs of the human body, as they are responsible for controlling blood pressure, strengthening bones, and getting rid of the body’s wastes, among other essential functions. Therefore, the outcome of end-stage renal failure depends mainly on the overall patient’s condition and how well they follow treatment.
Hospice takes care of lupus patients only if, unfortunately, they present kidney failure associated with the disease. Although caring for a loved one with lupus can be stressful and emotional, at Ascend Hospice Care, we have the experience of treating these patients with the love and dignity they deserve. We acknowledge the feelings of the patients and their families as a vital step in the caring process. So please, call us regarding any questions you may have.