The immune system usually fights off serious infections and bacteria to keep the body healthy. An autoimmune disease begins when the immune system attacks the body because it involves something foreign. There are numerous autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus.
The word lupus has been used to classify several immune diseases that have similar clinical presentations and laboratory features but are the most common type of lupus. People are often referring to SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS when they say lupus.
SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS is a chronic disease that can have phases of worsening symptoms that alternate with periods of mild symptoms. Most people with SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS can live a routine life with treatment.
According to the Lupus Foundation of America, almost 1.5 million Americans are living with diagnosed lupus. The foundation assumes that the number of people who are having the condition is much higher and that many cases go undiagnosed.
What are the symptoms of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus?
Symptoms can differ and can change over time. Common symptoms include:
- severe tiredness
- joint pain
- joint swelling
- a rash on the nose and cheeks, which is termed as “butterfly rash.”
- hair loss
- blood-clotting obstacles
- fingers turning blue or white and tingling when cold, which is identified as Raynaud’s phenomenon
- Other symptoms depend on the portion of the body the disease is overwhelming, such as the digestive tract, the heart, or the skin.
Lupus symptoms are also symptoms of various other diseases, which makes diagnosis tricky.
The disease isn’t associated with a certain gene, but people with lupus frequently have family members with other autoimmune conditions.
Environmental triggers can include:
- ultraviolet rays
- regular medications
- physical or emotional stress
Sex and hormones
SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS attacks women more than men. Women also may undergo more severe symptoms during pregnancy and with their menstrual periods. Both of these considerations have led some medical professionals to assume that the female hormone estrogen may play a role in causing SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS. Though, more research is still required to prove this theory.
How is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus diagnosed?
Your practitioner will do a physical exam to monitor for typical signs and symptoms of lupus, including:
- sun sensitivity rashes, like a malar or butterfly rash
- mucous membrane ulcers, which may happen in the mouth or nose
- arthritis, which is swelling or tenderness of the small joints of the hands, knee, feet, and wrists
- hair loss
- hair thinning
- symptoms of cardiac or lung involvement, such as rubs, murmurs, or irregular heartbeats
No one single test is indicative for SYSTEMIC LUPUS, but screenings that can assist your doctor come to an informed diagnosis include:
- blood tests, such as antibody tests and a comprehensive blood count
- a urinalysis
- a chest X-ray
How Systemic Lupus Erythematosus can be treated?
No remedy for SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS exists. The purpose of treatment is to reduce symptoms. Treatment can vary depending on how critical your symptoms are and which parts of your body SLE affect. The treatments may include:
- anti-inflammatory medications for joint injury and stiffness, such as these options available online
- steroid creams for rashes
- corticosteroids to reduce the immune response
- Antimalarial drugs for skin and joint problems
- disease-modifying drugs or targeted immune system agents for more critical cases
Doctors might suggest eating or avoiding certain foods and lessening stress to overcome the likelihood of triggering symptoms. You might require to have screenings for osteoporosis because steroids can thin your bones. Your doctor may also prescribe preventive care, such as immunizations that are protected for people with autoimmune diseases and cardiac screenings.