What is Lupus
Lupus is an autoimmune disease. This means that your immune system, which usually protects against infections, attacks healthy cells and tissues causing damage to parts of the body including joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lung, blood vessels and brain.
- There are several types of lupus
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the most common type. This condition can be mild or severe and can affect many parts of the body
- Discoid lupus(DLE) causes a red rash that doesn’t go away
- Subacute cutaneous lupus(SCLE) is associated with systemic lupus erythematosus in 50% of patients and can be associated with Sjogren’s syndrome. SCLE occurs in genetically predisposed individuals. The reaction is associated with ultraviolet light and known to be caused by certain medicines
- Neonatal lupus, which is a rare form of lupus that affects newborns. It is thought to be caused by certain antibodies from the mother
Lupus is most common in women, however anyone is susceptible to having lupus. The cause for lupus is not known. Common symptoms include:
- Pain and swelling in joints
- Muscle pain
- Fever with no known cause
- Red rashes, most often on the face, known as the “butterfly rash”
- Chest pain when taking deep breath
- Hair loss
- Pale or purple fingers or toes
- Sensitivity to the sun
- Swelling in legs or around eyes
- Mouth ulcers
- Swollen glands
- Feeling very tired
These symptoms may come and go, also, new symptoms may appear at anytime.
There is no cure for lupus, but medicines and lifestyle changes can help control it. The goals of treatment are to
- Prevent flares
- Treat flares when they occur
- Reduce organ damage and other problems
Article Reference: What is Lupus
Related: Health handout: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
Related: Living with Lupus
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