Systemic lupus erythematosus, or simply lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease or immune system malfunction. A person’s immune system normally protects the person from viruses, bacteria and other foreign materials. When a person has an autoimmune diseases like lupus, the immune system turns against itself and attacks itself.
Lupus does not have a known cause, and because of that it has no known cure. The exact cause of lupus is unknown, but scientists suspect that it is likely to be a combination of factors, people who contract lupus are probably genetically predisposed to lupus, and know that environmental factors such as infections, antibodies, ultraviolet light, extreme stress and certain drugs play a critical role in triggering lupus.
Managing lupus is different from person to person. Individuals with lupus can usually live a normal life span. Medications are usually prescribed to patients, although treatment is not required at all times, but most patients will undergo some treatment. Some medications that are often prescribed for people with lupus are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen, corticosteroids, antimalarials and immunomodulating drugs. The treatment goal for lupus is to stop the immune system from attacking & destroying vital organs. Another popular treatment for lupus is simply exercising and eating right.
Since we have no known cause of lupus, you cannot prevent it. It is sometimes referred to as a chronic disease because there in no cure at the moment and if a person experiences lupus’ symptoms that person will have lupus forever.
How the Immune System Works The immune system defends the body from attack by "invaders" recognized as foreign. It is an extraordinarily complex system that relies on an elaborate and dynamic communications network that exists among the many different kinds of immune system cells that patrol the body. At the "heart" of the system is the ability to recognize and respond to substances called ...
One complication about lupus, is the flares that individuals will experience. People with this disease must have blood tests to predict these flares. When a lupus flare occurs, people will usually notice a return of the symptoms they experienced previously, but sometimes they will notice new symptoms. Some may be fever, swollen joints, increase in fatigue, rashes, sores or ulcers in the mouth or nose. A temperature over 100 degrees, not due to an infection, is often a helpful sign in identifying a flare. Other complications are it can cause insomnia, extreme fatigue, depression and poor body image. It also affects the central nervous system involvement which can cause memory and concentration difficulties. In some cases it can cause seizures. There are also risks in pregnancy such as stillbirth, or the mother may develop toxemia of pregnancy/preeclampsia which can cause things such as high-blood pressure, swelling and transient diabetes. Toxemia of pregnancy can be dangerous because it can cause spontaneous abortions or strokes. People with lupus also tend to get depressed because of the pain, fatigue and side effects from medication. The depression can be actually cause a flare in lupus in some cases.
If a person has lupus there are places to get help. The Lupus Foundation of America provides a lot of help for lupus’ patients. For help you can write to them at: Lupus Foundation of America, 1300 Piccard Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850. You can also call them at 1-800-358-0121 or 1-301-670-9292. There are also foundations, such as the Dorough Lupus Foundation.
There are many symptoms of lupus. They can affect many body components such as the blood, joints, nervous system, kidneys and other organs. The most obvious symptom is a rash which usually spreads across the nose and cheeks in the shape of a butterfly. Although the rash only appears in less than one-third of the people. Most lupus patients suffer from aches, pains and swollen joints. Extreme fatigue is also common among lupus patients. Lupus can also cause mouth ulcers, fevers, anemia, weight loss, pale/numb fingers, discomfort in cold weather, skin rash after exposure to the sun and sensitivity to light. Lupus patients usually do not have all the symptoms, but few do. Some do not experience symptoms for a period of time, but then the symptoms may flare up without warning, and disappear just as quickly.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that attacks women between the ages of 15 and 40. It occurs less often in men than in women. The people affected by lupus vary depending on the country or region. In the US alone, the prevalence rate is highest among Asians of Hawaii, blacks of Caribbean origin, and Native Americans of the Sioux, Arapahoe, and Crow tribes. Lupus is a disease that affects the immune ...
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