Welcome to our family. I am in Victorville, so we are very close. I understand your fear for the health of your daughter, I went through the same emotions with my daughter.
Many of us with Lupus suffer from Lupus Headaches/Migraines. They are very much like migraines, but do not usually respond to the same conventional treatments for migraines.
The joint pains are a common symptom for most of us. More than 90 percent of people with SLE experience joint and/or muscle pain and these pains are usually the symptoms that send us to the doctor prior to diagnosis. The major cause of joint pain in Lupus is inflammation of the joints (arthritis) which can cause: pain, swelling, tenderness, a feeling of warmth, and fluid collection.
The pain in and around the joints is not always due to lupus arthritis. It also can be due to other medical disorders that often co-exist with Lupus, and these include: fibromyalgia, avascular necrosis of bone, bursitis and tendonitis, other types of arthritis, infection. Inflammation of the skeletal muscle also may develop in people with Lupus. This condition is called myositis and can sometimes cause weakness and loss of strength of the extremities.
Early treatment can significantly slow down damage to her joints and lessen the pain and stiffness. The pain in the joints (Lupus arthritis) is treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These medications are effective for are usually well-tolerated. They include:
- salsalate (saliscylate)
When NSAIDs are not adequate to control the pain, doctors may prescribe antimalarial agents such as hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) along with the NSAIDs.
Corticosteroids (prednisone) are used when the joints remain swollen and painful despite the other treatment mentioned. Also, imunosuppressive medications are also effective for inflammatory arthritis. However, these medications are also used for other symptoms of Lupus and also help with the arthritic pain and inflammation. These drugs include:
Please do not think of this as a death sentence for your daughter. Lupus can be a severe and life-threatening disease sometimes. However, most children with lupus will do very well. The prognosis of lupus depends on the severity of the internal organ involvement, if any. Even if there is significant internal organ involvement, aggressive treatment has made the symptoms manageable. Children, like your daughter, with arthritis and headaches as the primary symptoms, have found that with early treatment, the symptoms can be easily controlled.
You will probably have to make some adjustments in lifestyle in order to help her to manage this disease, but she can live a relatively normal lifestyle for many, many, many years if she begins treatment and makes those adjustments now.
We are here to help you in any way that we can and to provide you with information, answers, comfort and support. You are not alone!
Peace and Blessings
Look For The Good and Praise It!