Selena Gomez Suffers From Lupus, And So Do Millions
Lupus is a serious debilitating condition where the immune system, instead of attacking only foreign substances in the body, also attacks healthy tissues and cells. When this happens, your body is unable to tell the difference between healthy tissue, bacteria, germs, and viruses. The immune system then produces antibodies that destroy healthy tissue resulting in chronic pain, inflammation, and damage in various body parts including the skin, joints, heart, lungs, kidneys,>
According to the Lupus Foundation of America, around 1.5 million Americans and 5 million people worldwide have lupus. The disease is characterized by a variety of symptoms, such as swelling and pain in the joints, rashes, constant fever, muscle pain, sensitivity to the sun, swollen glands, mouth ulcers, fatigue, hair loss, chest pain, nausea, anxiety, depression, and many more. Because there are so many symptoms, those diagnosed with lupus often have to consult with a host of doctors: rheumatologists, dermatologists, cardiologists, hematologists, nephrologists, psychologists, and more.
Doctors still aren’t sure about what exactly causes lupus, but the medical community agrees that genetics plays an important role. Many also believe that lupus is a side effect of taking pharmaceutical medications. To treat the symptoms lupus, these doctors need to develop a treatment plan that is specific to each patient’s needs, since no two cases are the same. Presentlythere is still no known cure for lupus although early detection plays an important role in addressing symptoms effectively.
Given the range and severity of symptoms, living with lupus can significantly affect one’s quality of life. Most patients who are diagnosed with lupus experience flares, which refer to certain periods of time when symptoms are exacerbated, and then disappear. However, the symptoms of each person will depend on the body part affected by the disease. Certain triggers can cause flares to show up, such as exposure to sunlight, infections, or taking medications.
Pharmaceutical medications are available for lupus, such as immunosuppressants and steroids both of which are known to result in serious side effects. Some of the possible side effects of conventional lupus medications include pulmonary fibrosis, kidney problems, various cardiovascular problems, and stomach bleeding.
How Can Cannabis Alleviate Symptoms Of Lupus?
The two primary characteristics of lupus are inflammation and pain, in different parts of the body. It’s a known fact that cannabis has proven to be helpful in treating inflammation and pain without the side effects of pharmaceutical medications. Most people who are diagnosed with lupus suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, and given that cannabis is an established natural alternative anti-inflammatory and analgesic agent, individuals suffering from lupus can benefit from
Cannabis can also be taken in conjunction with prescription medications for severe cases of lupus. A majority of patients with lupus are gravely affected by painful skin conditions. This is where the use of topical cannabis ointments can help. Cannabis topicals can help reduce the appearance and frequency of skin-related symptoms caused by lupus, which can also reduce anxiety and depression in patients.
Because lupus already damages the organs, smoking cannabis may not be recommended for those who want to seek relief from symptoms. Vaporizing marijuana is a safer alternative and won’t irritate the respiratory system especially for those who are already physically vulnerable because of lupus. Consuming cannabis edibles is also another effective and therapeutic option. There are many cases of anecdotal evidence online where patients have said that CBD-rich strains been beneficial in helping to alleviate the symptoms of cannabis, while for others a strain that is high in THC has been more helpful. Another option for taking cannabis to treat lupus is cannabis capsules, which can make it easier to swallow and can help with controlled dosing.
The Lupus Foundation of America, in its website, supports studying the efficacy of medical marijuana in alleviating the symptoms of lupus. The foundation also urges patients to have honest discussion with their doctors about the possibility of using cannabis for lupus. So far, only New Hampshire and Illinois have approved lupus as one of the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana however you may be able to get an MMJ referral to treat lupus by citing pain and nausea which is accepted in most states that have legalized marijuana.