Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
This is an autoimmune disease and it affects the body in many ways. It is chronic in nature and you can manage the symptoms with proper treatment. It is one of the most common types of lupus and it usually causes anaemia and general weakness in the body coupled with joint pain and headaches. It is generally known to affect women than men as the estrogen hormone triggers this condition in many cases. As the symptoms of this condition are not specific to lupus, it is not an easy task to diagnose this condition. Once it is clear, doctors will begin proper treatment and you need to be watchful about the symptoms for a long time as this condition is chronic and there is no cure to this condition. You can, however, manage the symptoms by taking suitable medication. In rare cases, it can cause severe complications and this usually happens when you are suffering from this condition for a very long duration.
Symptoms of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
- Some of the common symptoms of this condition include severe fatigue along with pain in the joints. It can also cause swelling of the joints and this will be very painful. You need to consider these symptoms seriously and get suitable treatment at the right time to avoid further complications.
- It can also cause a headache as the immune system works harder than required to counter the allergic reaction in the body. This can affect the normal breathing and the supply of oxygen to the brain will be reduced leading to severe headaches.
- It is also common for people suffering from this condition to experience rashes on the nose and cheeks. This condition is also generally termed as butterfly rashes and it is easily visible on the face.
- It can also cause significant hair loss due to the overworking of the immune system and this can also become permanent hair loss when suitable treatment is not provided in a timely manner.
- Some people also experience issues with clotting of blood due to this condition. It can also cause anaemia and you will feel general weakness.
- Apart from that, there can be many other symptoms depending on which organ is affected by this condition. When it affects the heart region, symptoms like chest pain and other things are very common.
- When it starts affecting the skin, it can create rashes or another sort of inflammation as an allergic reaction. In the same manner, when the digestive tract gets affected due to this condition, it can cause diarrhoea and other related symptoms in the body.
Causes of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
- The exact cause of this condition is not yet established and some factors are considered to trigger this condition in many individuals.
- Even though it is not a genetic disorder, it is likely to affect people having a family history of autoimmune disorders. If anyone in your family is suffering from this condition, you need to be careful about the symptoms and get suitable treatment.
- You will be surprised to know that exposure to UV light can also trigger such a condition in many people and some sensitive people develop this even after exposure for a few minutes. You should avoid getting outside during the peak sunlight period and stay away from trouble when you are allergic to such conditions.
- Similarly, taking certain medication can trigger this condition when it causes any side effects. If you notice such symptoms, you can talk to your doctor to get an alternate prescription to treat your problem.
- Exposure to certain viruses can also cause this condition and you have to treat such issues at the earliest to avoid further complications in future.
- When you are physically stressed too much, the immune system will work hard to bring it back to normal condition and this can sometimes cause this condition. In the same way, even emotional stress can mess up with the hormonal activity in the body and affect the immune system leading to this condition.
- Even trauma can induce such conditions in many individuals even though this will usually be a temporary reaction in most cases.
- Women are more likely to get affected with this condition and the estrogen hormone is known to trigger this condition. If you notice such symptoms during the monthly cycle, you need to take suitable medication to treat the issue. This condition is also common during pregnancy and the symptoms will usually last for a short duration in this case.
Diagnosis of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
- The first step in diagnosis begins with a physical examination of the symptoms and this will give the doctors some idea about the overall nature of the problem. In this situation, the symptoms like sun rashes along with ulcers will give a clear indication of the problem. Some people may also experience hair loss and even show signs of hair loss and improper heartbeat.
- After this is done, further blood tests will be suggested as this will provide some clarity about the working of the antibodies in the body. When the immune system overreacts to certain situations, it can create more antibodies and this will be clearly understood after getting the results of blood tests.
- The kidneys will not be able to remove all the unnecessary proteins from the body in this case and you can get to know such abnormalities in the Urine test. This will also show the clear overworking of the immune system and doctors will begin suitable treatment based on the results of this test.
- Along with that, an X-ray of the chest region will also help to notice any inflammation in this area. This will also give a clear indication of any improper functioning of the lungs and heart and doctors can prescribe suitable medication to treat the condition.
- It can also be due to various autoimmune diseases and you need to discuss your medical history in a detailed manner with the doctors to aid them in the diagnostic process. Remember that a series of tests may be required before they identify the exact problem in this situation.
Prevention of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
- You can take suitable precautionary measures to avoid this condition in the future. Remember that you need to be watchful about the symptoms and analyze what is causing them in your body. If it happens after you eat some food or after you are exposed to some environment, make sure to avoid them in the future.
- Remember that exposure to UV light can also trigger this condition in many individuals and you should note the changes in your body after you are exposed to sunlight. If you notice any rashes or other inflammation on the skin surface, you need to be careful next time and use suitable protection to avoid UV rays. You can use some creams and lotions that will protect your exposed skin from UV radiation.
- In the same manner, you can also avoid stress to a large extent and this will help you to prevent this condition in future. It is also important to engage in a limited physical activity as overloading your body can also trigger the immune system and it can overreact in some situations.
- Also, make sure that you eat a healthy and nutritious diet as this will keep your immune system functioning in proper order. You should also note that having certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the body can lead to problems with bones and joints and this can get inflammation easily at a later stage. On the other hand, when you exercise and eat a healthy diet, you will be able to avoid such complications.
Treatment for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
- There is no specific way to treat this condition and only the symptoms have to be managed by choosing some medication. In this situation, it is important to know about the affected region in the body so that proper treatment can be given to providing some relief.
- When it comes to treating joint pain and other related issues due to this condition, some anti-inflammatory medication may be used as this will reduce the inflammation in the body.
- In the same manner, inflammation on the skin surface can also produce rashes and use steroids as medication or cream will provide suitable relief in this situation.
- It is also possible to slow down the immune system on a temporary basis by using some medication. However, this cannot be continued for a long duration and you need to choose this treatment only as a temporary solution.
- It is also noticed that using drugs that are used to treat malaria can give effective results in this situation.
- Apart from that, you should also make suitable changes to your diet and lifestyle as this can have a significant impact on your overall health condition. It is necessary to reduce stress and eat a healthy diet to keep your immune system in proper order.
Complications of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
- The complications of this condition are many as this can affect various organs of the body in no time and cause severe damage when proper treatment is not provided at the right time.
- When it normally causes blood clots along with inflammation of the blood vessels in the body, it can lead to complications like vasculitis in many individuals.
- In extreme cases, it can even lead to a heart attack as it can cause inflammation of the heart region due to the autoimmune disorder.
- It is also known to impact the memory functioning of the brain and this can affect the overall ability of the person to handle various tasks in everyday life.
- It can also cause certain behavioural changes all of a sudden without any other health conditions. This should be noticed carefully as the person suffering may not be able to distinguish this as a symptom and other people in the family should identify such symptoms.
- When it affects the lining of the lungs region, it can lead to inflammation in that area and this causes shortness of breath and other complications in the long run.
- It can put a lot of pressure on the kidney as the body reacts aggressively to normal substances and produces antibodies in large quantities. In this situation, the overall functioning ability of the kidney can get reduced to a large extent and it can even lead to inflammation of this region or complete failure of the organ in extreme cases.
- You should be very careful about this condition during pregnancy as this can lead to various complications and even affect the newborn baby. In extreme stages, it can even cause miscarriage or other complications during delivery.
Myths about Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Myth #1: This condition can be cured:
There is no cure for this condition and you should only manage the symptoms in the long run. Whenever you notice any symptoms, you need to treat them and there is no way of completely avoiding them in the future.
Myth #2: It cannot be caused by stress:
Most people do not realize the importance of leading a stress-free life and take it for granted. However, you need to understand that emotional, as well as physical stress, can trigger such conditions in the body and you will have to suffer a lot for a long duration. It is a good idea to relax once in a while to reduce the stress levels in the body.
You should understand that this is a chronic condition and there is no way to treat this permanently. However, the symptoms can be easily managed and you need to reduce the overactive immune system during this phase. It can be easily controlled with proper medication and you should try to avoid things that can trigger them in your body. If you notice that any medication is causing this condition, you can speak to your doctor to get some alternative medicine to treat the underlying issues.