Lupus is an autoimmune disorder. It means that the body’s immune system attacks the healthy tissues mistakenly, leading to damage to skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs. Swelling in legs, ankles and feet in lupus is due to damage to kidneys.
Immune system is a powerful protective system in body and it defends people against germs and microorganisms every day. In most cases, the immune system does a great job of keeping people healthy and preventing infection. However, in lupus, the immune system attacks the healthy tissues to cause inflammation in body. If the kidney tissues are involved, it will lead to inflammation in kidneys. Chronic kidney disease is one of long-term complications of lupus.
Kidneys can remove excess fluids from body and keep useful substance in blood. However, in lupus, if the filters in kidneys are inflamed and damaged, a large amount of proteins leak into urine, leading to decreased colloid osmotic pressure. As a result, the fluids in blood vessels infilter into subcutaneous tissues, leading to swelling. Due to gravity, the swelling firstly occurs in the lower parts of the body. That is why the patients with lupus have swelling in legs, ankles and feet.
As for the treatment of swelling in lupus, it is important to reduce the fluids intake. Additionally, restricted limitation on the intake of proteins can reduce the protein loss in urine to relieve swelling in legs, ankles and feet. As mentioned above, swelling is due to damage of kidney structure. Therefore, to control the swelling completely, the treatment goal should be restore the impaired kidney structure and recover renal function. Chinese herbal medicine can is an alternative treatment for lupus with kidney damage. It can control lupus from its causes and control swelling and the associated symptoms completely.