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Copyright 2012. Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under Lupus Erythematosus 35

Differential Diagnoses of Lupus


Other conditions are occasionally incorrectly diagnosed as lupus; these disorders include
many vasculitic disorders. The differential diagnosis disorders include Wegeners
granulomatosis, Takayasu arteritis, giant cell (temporal) arteritis, Behet's disease,
rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, Cogan syndrome, Kawasaki disease and ankylosing
spondylitis. Of interest, recent reports have also established associations between 1)
inflammatory abdominal aortic aneurysms and lymphoplasmacytic thoracic aortitis and 2)
multiple sclerosis [124-127]. In Tables 5 and 6, we summarize some diagnostic tools to assist
in differentiating between lupus and differential entities, as well as a summary of primary
symptoms and signs encountered in lupus patients.

Coping with Lupus among Family and Friends


The lupus patient may have to bear the burden of the illness largely alone, either because
partners 1) do not appreciate a real and deserving condition, or 2) do not understand the
chronic nature of lupus.
Please refer to Table 1 for a summary of multiple organizations providing excellent
supportive material for lupus patients and their families and friends. In general, the following
recommendations should be considered: 1) pursue education about lupus; 2) counterbalance
fatigue by resting and by pacing daily activities; 3) try to resolve stress, depression, pain or
anger, and avoid other triggering factors such as sun exposure or fluorescent lights; 4) be
open and honest with family and friends regarding lupus unpredictability, especially in regard
to neurological and or behavioral alterations; and 5) try to pursue new interests and skills if
desired, and ask for help as needed from family, friends and health professionals.

Treatment
Multiple researched treatments are available for lupus patients; several therapies are
based on large clinical trials, or on other studies [73-75, 102-104, 108-112, 120, 125,126,
127].

NSAIDs
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For lupus patients with joint pain, chest pain or fever, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs (NSAIDs), are often prescribed; some, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, are available
over the counter. Common side effects of NSAIDs include stomach irritation, heartburn,
diarrhea, and fluid retention. Some lupus patients may also develop liver, kidney, or
neurological complications; thus, it is important to maintain access to a physician while
taking these medications [73-75, 102-104, 108-112, 120, 125,126, 127].

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