Know Your Pain

Lupus Headache and Its Treatment

Lupus headache is caused by lupus or the treatment of lupus, compounded by disorders of the nervous system like depression. Lupus headaches take a long time to cure as the cause is not straightforward and depends on many factors.

Lupus and its treatment affect the brain and the nervous system which leads to headache, memory loss, fatigue, nausea, joint pain and other problems. The medicines that are commonly used to cure lupus are known to cause headache as a major side effect. Lupus headache is more or less similar to migraines. It can be caused by Hughes disease too.

Constriction of blood vessels is thought to be the trigger of lupus headache. Inflammation of lymph vessels could also trigger it.

Typical symptoms of lupus headache are:

"    Moderate to severe pain, throbbing or pulsating in nature
"    Unilateral pain
"    Pain increases with movements
"    Pain lasting for a few hours to a few days
"    Increased sensitivity to light and sound
"    Increased sensitivity to odor
"    Nausea and vomiting

Both adults and children can be affected by lupus headache. Those who have anti-phospholipid antibodies in the blood are at a higher risk.

Treatment of lupus headache:

"    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) can be bought over the counter; but it is advisable to consult a doctor.
"    Prednisone is often prescribed by doctors. Prednisone is a synthetic steroid hormone made from cortisone and used to treat allergies and autoimmune diseases. Prednisone reduces inflammations which are a major cause of lupus headaches.
"    Some anti-malarial medicines are found to help in treating lupus headache. Doctors may recommend Plaquenil for some patients.
"    Preventive measures can be taken to avoid lupus headaches. Those suffering from lupus need to take care of their eyes and mouth as there are chances of eye infections and mouth ulcers that cause headaches. Anti-malarial medicines and prednisone are known to pose risks of eye infections.
"    Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can keep lupus headache away. Regular exercise, specialized diets, and techniques for mental peace can be used to good effect.
"    Since fatigue causes headache among those suffering from lupus. Adequate rest needs to be taken between activities.

Lupus headache in children:

Lupus headache in children is as bad as migraine. Increase in the level of anti-phospholipid antibodies is behind many of the cases of lupus headache. Memory loss and eyesight problems are known to happen among children too. But it is not due to tension and nor is it related to medication used to treat other medical conditions.