Hi everyone! I know i havent been posting in a long time! it's cuz i think i'm on Remission!?!
My hands, knees, wrists dont hurt as much anymore! i'm not as afraid of the sun as i used to be - i dont wear hats and hardly any sunblock! if u remember i used to BATHE in 50spf everyday! Nowadays i just wear SPF 15 on my face! if i remember, i'll put some Spf50 on my arms!
I've been back to work since July 24th - I'm on the computer the entire day and i actually feel good about it! My butt and back hurt but i think it's cuz i'm sitting the whole time!
Its weird... i'm wondering how long this will last??
I just took another blood test on Tuesday - i have no idea what the results mean: Component Value Flag Low High Unit
C3 47.90 L 79 152 mg/dL
C4 13.60 L 18 38 mg/dL
My next appointment is in October! it's not even September yet! i dont know if i can wait 2 months for the actually explanation of the results! :(
Any help or suggestions or any kind of advice would be very helpful! Very greatful for u guys! :lol:
First of all, glad you are feeling so much better!! Secondly, remission can last for a long time or a very short time... There's no real way of knowing... Third, DON'T be afraid of the sun, but DON'T forget the sunscreen and the hat, either!! Even if you are in remission, it can send you right back into a flare!!!! Don't take things for granted just because you are feeling better! You still need to be aware of it all! Lupus doesn't go away, it just hides for periods of time... You still have to be cautious to keep yourself from going into another flare!!! This is from the Lupus Center about photosensitivity...
I am not photosensitive (sensitive to sunlight) since I have never developed a rash from sun exposure.
Many lupus patients develop a rash after being exposed to sunlight or artificial ultraviolet (UV) light. But many patients do not realize that sunlight can cause symptoms other than a skin rash; it can also cause fatigue, joint pain, and problems with the kidneys, heart, or lungs. UV light from the sun can damage and kill skin cells. Patients with lupus may have problems processing and clearing these dead cells from the body. As a result, the body's immune system reacts to the contents released from these dead skin cells, contents not previously exposed to the immune system, and forms auto antibodies against these contents. In other words, the body's immune system turns against the body. Therefore, to avoid aggravating their condition, patients with lupus, regardless of their history of photosensitivity, should protect themselves from sunlight and avoid tanning devices.Sun-protection, including sun-protective clothing and sun block (SPF 30 or higher containing zinc or titanium) is an important basic therapy in managing lupus.
Amy Kao, MD, MPH
With reference to your blood tests, a physical exam of the blood test is done in order to detect antibodies found in the blood. A standard reference range is not available for this test. Because reference values are dependent on many factors, including patient age, gender, sample population, and test method, numeric test results have different meanings in different labs. Your lab report should include the specific reference range for your test. A typical lab report will have your results followed by a normal or reference range. I strongly recommend that you discuss your test results with your doctor and ask what the reference range is and what does their lab consider normal range. Here is some information about the C3 and C4 blood tests:
C3 and C4: A compliment test (C3, C4, CH50, CH100) measures the amount of complementary proteins circulating in the blood. The strongest susceptibility genes for the development of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in humans are null mutants of classical pathway complement proteins. Patients with SLE present with decreased complement levels and with complement deposition in inflammed tissues.
The complement system is a set of circulating blood proteins that act as mediators of inflammatory response – especially in the destruction of foreign substances like bacteria and viruses. It is part of the body’s innate immune system. It does not require advance exposure to an invading microorganism or substance (like an antibody does) and it does not maintain a memory of previous encounters. The complement system has evolved to recognize antigen antibody complexes (immune complexes) as well as certain structures and polysaccharides (complex carbohydrates) found on the outside membranes of microorganisms and other foreign cells.
Once complement activation has been initiated, the complement proteins are sequentially activated down one of two different pathways, the classical or the alternative, ending in the formation of the membrane attack complex (MAC). Complement activation causes several things to happen:
It kills a number of microorganisms through the action of the Membrane Attack Complex (MAC). This is formed of activated complement proteins C5 to C9 and acts by creating a lesion (hole) in the microbial membrane, causing lysis (rupture) of the cell.
It increases the permeability of blood vessels, allowing white blood cells to move out of the bloodstream and into the tissues.
It attracts white blood cells to the site of the trouble.
It stimulates phagocytosis (a process in which microorganisms are engulfed by macrophages and neutrophils and killed).
It also increases the solubility of the immune complexes and helps to clear them out of the serum.
One important component of the complement system, however, is the membrane attack complex (MAC). A MAC is assembled on the surface of each microorganism or abnormal cell that has been targeted for destruction (lysis). Each activated complement protein adds to a structure that, when finished, creates a hole (lesion) in the cell membrane and lyses the cell (destroys it by letting the contents out, like piercing a water filled balloon).
Complement and the regulation of its activity is an important part of the immune system. While antibodies need time to be generated, complement is immediately available and helps alert other parts of the immune system. Inherited or acquired deficiencies in one or more of the complement components may adversely affect the integrity and function of the immune system.
C3 and C4 are the most frequently measured complement components. Total complement activity (CH50, or CH100) will be measured if your doctor suspects a deficiency that is not measured by C3 or C4. CH50 measures the function of the complete classical complement pathway, C1 – C9. If this measurement is outside the normal range, then each of the 9 different complement levels can be measured individually to look for hereditary or acquired deficiencies. The most important step in complement system function is the activation of the third component of complement (C3), which is the most abundant of these proteins in the blood.
I hope that this was helpful
Congratulations on your remission, but I have to agree with solesinger. We never know how long that remission will last. I went 9 years but recently I'm in and out of flares. Still be careful of the sun. I don't wear much sunscreen except on my face or if I know I'm going to be out in the sun I stay covered and wear my spf 45. Stay healthy by playing it safe!
But congrats on feeling better :lol:
I can't give any advice other than "enjoy every moment of feeling good", You go girl!!!!!!!!
your friend beautifulbeluga