Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease that can affect the skin, joints, kidney or many other parts of the body. The disease predominantly affects young women.
Mayo Clinic has more than 150 years of experience using a team approach to complex diseases. In the Lupus Clinic, rheumatologists work together with a multidisciplinary team of doctors trained in conditions of the kidney (nephrologists), skin (dermatologists), brain (neurologists) and heart (cardiologists) that affect people with lupus. In this coordinated approach, evaluation and a treatment plan can often be developed in days to provide comprehensive, coordinated care.
Your visit to the Lupus Clinic will include:
- A comprehensive lupus evaluation. A trained rheumatologist with expertise in lupus will review your medical history, conduct an initial exam, and order diagnostic tests. He or she consults with other specialists to develop the most appropriate treatment plan for you. At Mayo Clinic, an integrated team of doctors and other health care professionals from many areas are often involved in your care.
- Evaluation and management of conditions associated with lupus and its treatment. Rheumatologists will review your signs and symptoms and evaluate you to diagnose conditions associated with lupus or the medications used for its treatment. Conditions evaluated include cutaneous lupus, lupus nephritis, antiphospholipid syndrome, pregnancy planning and pregnancy complications from lupus, glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis, and heart disease risk associated with lupus.
Optional available services include:
- Discussion about managing risk of heart disease, which can be associated with mortality in systemic lupus erythematosus. Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, offers a unique practice, the Cardio-Rheumatology Clinic, to treat and prevent heart disease while addressing the distinct concerns of people with lupus. The established risk factors for heart disease in people with lupus are different, compared with those without the disease. The health care team in the Cardio-Rheumatology Clinic understands these differences in risk factors and helps you and your local doctors to optimally manage your heart disease risks.
- Integrative medicine and wellness. A health care professional will guide you in making healthy lifestyle changes to help improve your quality of life. Depending on your unique needs, staff may recommend a personalized exercise prescription, a healthy-eating plan, advice about how to quit smoking and stress management techniques.
- Hormone therapy discussion. Oral anti-conception and postmenopausal hormone therapy (HT) needs to be carefully assessed in people with lupus. However, many women with lupus have menopausal symptoms or concerns about the use of hormone therapy for contraception and other problems and its effects on lupus.
Staff will help you make careful decisions about this therapy based on your symptoms and the latest scientific information. The lupus program works closely with the Women's Health Clinic at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota to provide this service.
Doctors in the Lupus Clinic at Mayo Clinic are active in research in many areas, including prevention of lupus complications, studying new therapies for lupus and elucidating optimal treatments for lupus. At any point in time, there may be ongoing lupus-related clinical trials, giving eligible people the unique opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research focused on advancing the understanding of lupus and its therapies. The clinic has a group of skilled research study coordinators embedded in the clinical practice who can assist in the process of research study participation for interested and eligible people.