Lupus is a long-term autoimmune disease that can affect your entire body, including your joints, skin, and kidneys. Board-certified rheumatologist Behnam Khaleghi, MD, offers innovative, effective treatments for lupus using biologic drugs at Pacific Rheumatology Medical Center in Orange and Laguna Hills, California. For the most advanced lupus treatments available, schedule an appointment online or by phone today.

request an appointment

Lupus is an autoimmune disease, meaning your immune system, which usually fights off invading infections, attacks your own body instead. This leads to widespread tissue damage and inflammation that can affect many organs, including:

  • Joints
  • Skin
  • Brain
  • Lungs
  • Kidneys (lupus nephritis)
  • Blood vessels

Lupus is a chronic condition that has no cure, but as a highly skilled rheumatologist, Dr. Khalegi offers innovative treatments to control the disease.

Who gets lupus?

Anyone can get lupus, but this disease is most common among women of childbearing age (15-44 years old). About nine out of 10 people with lupus are women. Though the cause of lupus is still being studied, there may be a link between this disease and elevated levels of the female hormone estrogen.

What are the symptoms of lupus?

Lupus affects everyone differently, with no two cases appearing exactly alike. The signs and symptoms you experience depend on the parts of your body affected by the disease. Common signs and symptoms of lupus include:

  • Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling
  • Butterfly-shaped rash across your cheeks
  • Skin lesions that appear or worsen in the sun
  • Headache, confusion, and memory loss
  • Fever with no known cause

Kidney damage is one of the most common complications of untreated lupus. As many as 50% of adults with lupus develop a kidney disease called lupus nephritis.

Most people with lupus experience a mild form of the disease that involves occasional episodes, or flare-ups, of worsened symptoms. These flare-ups may be triggered by factors such as sun exposure.

How is lupus diagnosed and treated?

Because the signs and symptoms of lupus vary so much from person to person, accurate diagnosis from a highly trained expert like Dr. Khalegi is important. To diagnose lupus, Dr. Khalegi performs a physical exam and carefully reviews your symptoms and medical history. He may also take blood and urine tests to check for signs of lupus.

Then, Dr. Khaleghi develops an individualized treatment plan tailored to your specific lupus symptoms. He offers innovative lupus treatments using biologic drugs, such as Benlysta®.

Dr. Khaleghi also advises you on steps you can take to prevent lupus flare-ups, such as using sun protection and scheduling routine appointments at Pacific Rheumatology Medical Center.

To find out how you can control lupus, call Pacific Rheumatology Medical Center or book an appointment online today.