Soha Dolatabadi, MD -  - Internist

Soha Dolatabadi, MD

Internist & Rheumatologist located in Downtown, Los Angeles, CA

Lupus Specialist
Dr. Dolatabadi is a top internist in Southern California, dedicated to using the most advanced techniques for the diagnosis and care of lupus in patients in Westlake and the downtown Los Angeles area.

Lupus Q&A

by Soha Dolatabadi, MD

What is lupus?

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune condition that develops when the immune system malfunctions and begins to recognize healthy cells and tissues as “foreign invaders.” In response, the immune system triggers a chemical reaction, releasing antibodies that begin attacking these healthy tissues and destroying them. While some autoimmune diseases attack one type of tissue or organs, in lupus the attacks are widespread and may involve the joints, skin, lungs, heart, kidneys and brain.

What causes lupus?

The cause of lupus is unknown, but research shows the disease is more likely to occur in people with relatives who also have it, suggesting a genetic component. Lupus symptoms can also be triggered by stress, disease, certain medications – even exposure to sunlight.

What symptoms does lupus cause?

Lupus can cause an array of symptoms, but very few people experience all of them. The most common symptoms include:

  • rash, often on the cheeks and nose

  • inflamed, painful joints

  • swollen glands

  • unexplained fever

  • memory problems or difficulty focusing

  • extreme fatigue

  • sun sensitivity

  • unusual loss of hair

  • circulation issues causing pale or purplish toes or fingers and coolness

  • seizures

  • mouth sores

  • kidney dysfunction

  • multiple miscarriages

How is lupus diagnosed?

Lupus can be difficult to diagnose, partly because it doesn't always cause severe symptoms, and partly because the symptoms it does cause can also be caused by other diseases and disorders. Providing a detailed medical history and a description of all your symptoms is the best way to help your healthcare provider arrive at the proper diagnosis. Lab tests can also help rule out other possible causes.

How is lupus treated?

Treatment depends on the symptoms you're experiencing. Anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed, as well topical creams for rashes. Corticosteroids, anti-malarial drugs and monoclonal antibodies are also commonly prescribed. Your treatment will be customized specifically for your symptoms.

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Soha Dolatabadi, MD
1127 Wilshire Boulevard
Suite 708
Los Angeles, CA 90017