Lupus Specialist

Tara Rizvi, MD

Tara Rizvi, MD

Rheumatologist located in Katy, TX

If you’ve been diagnosed with lupus, it can be overwhelming and frustrating to consider all the implications of this autoimmune disorder and how it can affect your life. Tara Rizvi, MD, at Houston Rheumatology and Arthritis Specialists in Katy, Texas, is a rheumatologist who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and long-term support of this disease and its potential complications. In fact, Dr. Rizvi's primary research focus at the Baylor College of Medicine involved testing innovative learning tools to improve compliance in patients with lupus and lupus related kidney disease. For a consultation and personalized treatment plan, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Lupus Q & A

What is lupus?

Lupus, or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes your immune system to attack the tissues of your body. The immune system wrongly attacks healthy cells, causing damage to cells, tissues, and entire systems of your body.

Lupus can cause significant damage to your:

  • Joints
  • Blood cells
  • Skin
  • Brain
  • Kidneys
  • Heart
  • Lungs

Around 1 in 2000 people in the United States are diagnosed with lupus, and women are much more likely than men to have the condition. However, lupus can affect anyone of any race or age, including children.

What are the symptoms of lupus?

Symptoms of lupus are difficult to diagnose in many cases both because they can mimic other conditions and because they are unique to each person.

Your specific symptoms depend on the systems affected by lupus, and may include:

  • A butterfly-shaped rash on your face
  • Skin rashes or sores, especially after exposure to sunlight
  • Joint pain
  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)
  • Kidney problems
  • Headaches
  • Confusion or memory loss
  • Shortness of breath or chest pain

It’s not fully understood what causes lupus, but it’s believed that heredity plays a role. Often, triggering events like infections, certain medications, or sunlight can cause presentation of the symptoms.

What are some long-term complications of lupus?

Lupus is a chronic condition, meaning that it does not have a cure and requires long-term management. It does have potentially significant complications, including lupus kidney disease.

Lupus nephritis is one of the most common complications of lupus and is caused by autoimmune damage done to the kidneys. This causes failure of the renal system, and an inability of the body to remove toxins from the blood. This leads to widespread injury to the entire body and can result in a need for long-term dialysis.

Other potential long-term complications of lupus include:

  • Blood clots
  • Anemia
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Stroke
  • Depression
  • Seizures

Dr. Rizvi has extensive experience and knowledge in evidence based, patient centered care and treatment of patients with this difficult disease. She specializes in the treatment of complications caused by lupus, such as lupus nephritis and lupus cerebritis. She is committed to providing you with the long-term support you need, including extensive education about your diagnosis to help empower you to live a full life.

For a consultation with Dr. Rizvi about your lupus diagnosis, call Houston Rheumatology and Arthritis Specialists or book an appointment today.