Specialists in Duke’s nationally-ranked rheumatology center are renowned for their research and treatment of lupus, an autoimmune disease that primarily affects the joints, kidneys and skin. We use innovative approaches to minimize your symptoms of pain and fatigue, and are continually researching new ways to stop the progression of lupus.
Comprehensive lupus care
Lupus is a complex disease that can be difficult to diagnose, with symptoms ranging from fatigue and skin rashes to painful and swollen joints and fever. Our experienced rheumatologists have the skills and tools to make an accurate diagnosis, and work with specialists across Duke to manage lupus’ affect on your body’s multiple systems and organs. Our comprehensive approach to care helps you lead a normal, active life.
Choose Duke for your lupus treatment because we offer:
- Comprehensive, expert care. Lupus is a complex disorder that can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, lungs, nervous system, and other internal organs. Our physicians work closely with Duke dermatologists, nephrologists, psychiatrists and others. You have convenient access to complete care from multiple experts and the best chance for a positive outcome.
- Specialized care before and during pregnancy. We are one of the few centers in the nation to offer care focused on pregnant women or those who plan to become pregnant, and work in close partnership with Duke’s high-risk obstetric doctors to find safe, effective medications to manage your disease, and to help you have the healthiest pregnancy possible.
- An active research program. You may be eligible to participate in clinical trials that test new therapies before they are widely available. Through this research our physicians are contributing to knowledge about the disease and establishing best practices in caring for lupus patients. You may also participate in research studies that help us better understand lupus and its impact on your daily activities.
- Nationally ranked program. Our rheumatology program is ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
We strive to manage the fatigue, fever, joint pain, skin rashes and other symptoms of lupus, allowing you to resume the activities you enjoy. Your treatments options may include:
Relieves lupus symptoms such as skin rashes, joint pain, fatigue and mouth sores.
A corticosteroid that reduces swelling, pain and inflammation in the most aggressive cases of lupus.
A disease-modifying antirheumatic drug commonly used to treat arthritis and rheumatic conditions.
Also known as biologic response modifiers, these medications target specific areas in the immune system to reduce lupus’ inflammatory effects.
Aquatic exercise, biking, walking or stretching will help to relieve the joint pain and swelling associated with lupus.
Depression and sleep problems are common among patients with lupus. We strive to find the best therapies to manage your symptoms. We also collaborate closely with therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists to develop the best plan for your care.
Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because many of its symptoms appear gradually and may be confused with other conditions. Along with a review of your medical history and a comprehensive physical exam, your evaluation -- which may require multiple consults -- may include:
Check for anemia and rheumatoid factors such as antibodies or blood proteins.
If necessary, a small sample of tissue may be removed from your skin or kidneys to confirm your diagnosis.