Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that can cause the body’s immune system to attack your own tissues and organs. Lupus can affect different parts of your body including joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain or heart. Signs and symptoms may be mild to severe or may be temporary to permanent. The symptoms include fatigue, fever, joint pain, stiffness in joints, butterfly shaped rash on the face, skin lesions, chest pain, dryness of eyes, headaches and shortness of breath.
HOW IS LUPUS DIAGNOSED?
Diagnostic tools for lupus include:
• Medical history
• Complete physical exam
• Laboratory tests including complete blood count (CBC), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), urinalysis, blood chemistries, complement levels, ANA and other autoantibody tests
• Skin biopsy
• Kidney biopsy.
HOW IS LUPUS TREATED?
Lupus is treated through medication, antimalarial drugs and immunosuppressant medication.
DID YOU KNOW?
This disease is more common among women and especially those of African-American, Hispanic or Asian descent.