When the immune system attacks the body because it confuses it for something foreign, an autoimmune disease occurs and this disease is known as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic disease that can have phases of worsening symptoms that alternate with periods of mild symptoms. Some of the common signs of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus include severe fatigue, joint pain, headache, joint swelling, hair loss, anemia, blood-clotting problems and many more.
HOW IS SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS DIAGNOSED?
The health care provider will do a complete physical exam. Tests used to diagnose SLE may include:
• Antinuclear antibody (ANA)
• CBC with differential
• Chest x-ray
• Serum creatinine
• Antinuclear antibody (ANA) panel
• Complement components (C3 and C4)
• Coombs test - direct
• ESR and CRP
• Kidney function blood tests
• Liver function blood tests
• Rheumatoid factor
• Antiphospholipid antibodies and lupus anticoagulant test
• Kidney biopsy
HOW IS SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS TREATED?
There is no cure for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and the aim of the treatment is to ease the symptoms. The treatment of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus varies from medication to steroids, and disease modifying drugs.
DID YOU KNOW?
There are to many long-term complications associated with SLE, which if not treated would lead to behavioral changes, seizures, multiple organ failures and even death eventually.