diseases

SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS


Introduction
Also known as Disseminated lupus erythematosus; SLE; Lupus; Lupus erythematosus.Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disorder. It may affect the skin, joints, kidneys, and other organs.


Types of Lupus: Four types of lupus exist
. Systemic lupus erythematosus,
. Discoid lupus erythematosus,
. Drug-induced lupus erythematosus
. Neonatal lupus

Causes:
. SLE (lupus) is an autoimmune disease. Normally, the immune system helps to protect the body from harmful substances. But in patients with an autoimmune disease, the immune system is not able to differentiate between harmful substances and healthy ones. The result is an overactive immune response that attacks otherwise healthy cells and tissue. This leads to chronic inflammation.
. Drug induced Lupus erythematosus: SLE may also be caused by certain drugs.
. It may occur at any age, but appears most often in people between the ages of 10 and 50 years.
. African Americans and Asians are affected more often than people from other races.
. Genetics and your environment both are responsible for causing Lupus. People with an inherited predisposition for lupus may only develop the disease when they come into contact with something in the environment that can trigger lupus, such as a medication or a virus.
. SLE may be mild or severe enough to cause death.

Signs and Symptoms:
Signs and symptoms may come on suddenly or develop slowly. Signs and symptoms may be mild or severe; they may be temporary or permanent.


. Fatigue
. Arthritis and Arthralgia i.e. joint pain, stiffness and swelling are the most common complaints during the course of the illness.
. Cutaneous manifestations of SLE include a variety of lesions. Butterfly-shaped rash (malar rash) on the face that covers the cheeks and bridge of the nose. The skin rash in discoid lupus often is found on the face and scalp. It usually is red and may have raised borders.
. Fever
. Weight loss or gain
. Seizures or Psychosis
. Anxiety
. Depression
. Memory loss
. Skin lesions that appear or worsen with sun exposure
. Mouth sores
. Hair loss (alopecia)
. Raynaud's phenomenon. Fingers and toes that turn white or blue when exposed to cold or during stressful periods.
. Renal involvement may cause haematuria, protinuria and nephrotic syndrome.
. Shortness of breath
. Chest pain
. Dry eyes
. Easy bruising

Diagnosis:
Diagnosing lupus is difficult because signs and symptoms vary considerably from person to person. Doctors may not initially consider lupus until the signs and symptoms become more obvious.

If you have four of the 11 criteria at one time or individually over time, you probably have lupus. Your doctor may also consider the diagnosis of lupus even if you have fewer than four of these signs and symptoms.


. Face rash, which doctors call a malar rash, that is butterfly shaped and covers the bridge of the nose and spreads across the cheeks
. Sun-related rash, which appears after exposure to sunlight
. Mouth sores, which are usually painless
. Joint pain and swelling that occurs in two or more joints
. Kidney disease
. Seizures or psychosis
. Low blood counts, such as low red blood count, low platelet count (thrombocytopenia), or a low white cell count (leucopenia)
. Positive anti-nuclear antibody tests, which indicate that you may have an autoimmune disease
. Pleuritis/pericarditis: inflammation of the lining tissue around the lungs or heart,
. Renal abnormalities: abnormal amounts of urine protein or clumps of cellular elements called casts. . Dry eyes. Visual disturbances.

Laboratory tests:
. Complete blood count: Results may indicate whether you have anemia which commonly occurs in Lupus. A low white blood cell or platelet count may occur in lupus as well.
. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate. This blood test determines the rate at which red blood cells settle to the bottom of a tube in an hour. It may be elevated if you have lupus, another inflammatory condition or an infection.
. Kidney and liver assessment. Blood tests can assess how well your kidneys and liver are functioning. Lupus can affect these organs.
. Urinalysis may show an increased protein level or red blood cells in the urine, which may occur if lupus has affected your kidneys.
. Antinuclear antibody (ANA) test. A positive test for the presence of these antibodies produced by your immune system indicates a stimulated immune system, which is common in lupus and other autoimmune diseases. A positive ANA doesn't always mean that you have lupus, however. ANA levels can be elevated if you have an infection or if you're taking certain medications.

Tips to cope up with SLE: However, it is important to recognize that most patients with SLE lead full; active, healthy lives.SLE is not always a fatal disease as it was thought years ago. Periodic increases in disease activity (flares) can usually be managed by medications. Necessary precautions should be taken to prevent triggers.


. You should wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen when in the sun. Because fluorescent and halogen lights also can emit UV rays and thus aggravate lupus, you may need to wear sunscreen and protective clothing indoors or use plastic devices that block UV emissions from indoor lights.
. Balanced diet: Have a healthy diet with fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
. Quit smoking as it increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
. Adequate sleep is necessary so that you don't feel tired.
. Regular exercise, balanced diet and sleep will keep your mind at peace and prevent flare ups.Avoid the sun when it's most intense, and if you're having a flare, stay out of the sun entirely

Homeopathic treatment:
It includes giving the Constitutional homeopathic remedy which will help in improving the resistance of the person. There are also acute Homeopathic remedies which are prescribed depending upon the symptom totality which helps in relieving the acute symptoms.

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