Lupus and Cannabis
The body’s natural immune system goes awry and unable to differentiate between the healthy tissues and the foreign substances, causing it to attack them all together. This results in damage in various parts of the body, pain, and inflammation. This immune system disorder is known as Lupus.
Diagnosing the Disease
Nobody can tell the exact cause of Lupus. However, experts believe that some people are born with a genetic tendency to lupus. This inherited gene, plus coming into contact with other factors, might trigger the disease.
Factors known to cause Lupus symptoms include:
– tremendous stress
– extreme exposure to sunlight
– some medications and antibiotics
– some infections
– contact with chemical compounds
There is no diagnostic test that can confirm Lupus because signs and symptoms vary from person to person, they change over time and they share it with other disorders and diseases. These varying factors make it tremendously difficult to diagnose Lupus.
Currently, doctors follow the guidelines established by The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) for diagnosis using 11 symptoms:
1. serositis – lungs or heart inflammation
2. mucosal ulcers – mouth and nose sores
3. arthritis – tenderness, swelling, pain of joints
4. photosensitivity – skin rash caused by exposure to light
5. blood disorder – low blood counts
6. kidney disorder – high protein count in urine
7. antinuclear antibody test positive
8. immunologic disorder – positives on antiphospholipid antibody tests, anti-Smith, and anti-ds DNA
9. neurologic disorder – seizures or psychosis
10. Malar rash – rash on cheeks
11. discoid rash – red patches that cause scarring
The presence of at least 4 of any of the symptoms above is enough to determine if the patient has lupus.
Symptoms of Lupus
Lupus flares are characterized by the following symptoms:
• painful, swollen joints and arthritis
• swelling of hands and feet
• fever over than 100F (38C)
• prolonged fatigue
• skin lesions or rashes
• rash across the cheeks and nose
• shortness of breath or chest pain
• sun or light sensitivity
• hair loss
• abnormal blood clotting
• Raynaud’s phenomenon
• mouth or nose ulcers
• weight loss or gain
• dry eyes
• easy bruising
• memory loss, headaches, anxiety and depression
Treatment for lupus may include:
• Corticosteroid cream
• Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
• Antimalarial medicines
• Corticosteroid pills
The doctor may also recommend other medicines and other alternative treatments.
Cannabis as Alternative Treatment for Lupus
Cannabis or ‘medical marijuana’ is considered an ideal medication to help Lupus patients cope with the symptoms of the disorder. As an anti-inflammatory, cannabis also suppresses certain parts of the immune system.
It can be purchased in many forms:
• in oil capsules
• preloaded syringe of oil to squirt in your mouth
• drops that can be put under the tongue
• as creams or lotions
• a transdermal patch
Cannabis is an alternative medicine to relieve pain and inflammation caused by Lupus, with no side effects.
It is important to know everything about Lupus because you need to understand how it might shape your life and that of your loved ones if anyone gets affected with the disease.
The knowledge learned will help you and your friends or relatives to understand the limitations and needs of a person with Lupus and you can react accordingly.