Lupus - Treatment and Symptom Management by Baltimore Rheumatologists


This 3D medical animation depicts how the immune system normally attacks foreign invaders, and how with an autoimmune disease such as lupus it can attack its own cells. Common symptoms and treatment options for lupus are also presented.

The experienced rheumatologists of Rheumatology at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when your body's immune system attacks its own tissues and organs.

About the Condition

Lupus is a chronic disease of the immune system that causes inflammation of the skin, joints and organs. Normally, the immune system defends the body against infection. However, with lupus, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues and organs, leading to inflammation and damage. 

Lupus can occur in men and women of any age and while the exact cause of lupus is unknown, lupus may be linked to genetics. Lupus may be triggered by medications or sunlight in people who are predisposed to developing lupus.

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Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

The symptoms of lupus can vary greatly in sign and severity, and may depend on the areas directly affected by the disease. Many patients with lupus have mild symptoms that may grow in severity for brief periods of time, commonly referred to as flares. The most common signs and symptoms of lupus include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Joint pain, inflammation and redness
  • Shortness of breath and chest pain
  • Skin rashes
  • Headaches and memory loss

Diagnosing lupus may be difficult because the signs and symptoms vary greatly, and may overlap those of other conditions or diseases. An accurate diagnosis should be completed by an experienced rheumatologist using a combination of blood and urine tests, as well as other physical examinations and imaging tests.

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Treatment Options

Since there is no cure for lupus, treatment is focused on alleviating the symptoms of the disease, such as reducing inflammation and pain. Medications are commonly used to treat symptoms of lupus, but because the disease is always changing and can be unpredictable, it is important to schedule regular visits with your doctor. Mercy’s rheumatologists will help determine the best treatments and medications for your needs based on several factors, including your age, current medications, overall health, medical condition and severity of attacks.  

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Patient Stories
Rheumatology Center at Mercy - Baltimore, MD


Patty knew something was wrong when she woke up with aching joints, extreme fatigue and later developed a rash. Patty sought out Dr. Lynn Ludmer for answers.