Signs And Symptoms Of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)


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Signs And Symptoms Of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

Lupus is an autoimmune disease. It is a condition that the medical profession find very difficult to diagnose. There is no single test that will diagnose lupus.

Signs and symptoms that closely mimic other medical conditions complicate the issue. Many tests are conducted to help rule out other conditions that have similar symptoms.

What Is The Cause Of Lupus

Our immune system is designed to identify and attack foreign bodies, such as bacteria and viruses, to keep us healthy. For reasons not fully understood, our immune cells can reprogram and attack our own cells and tissues, causing autoimmune disease.

What triggers the autoimmune system to cause lupus is not known. Scientists believe that either environmental factors or genetics, or more likely a combination of both, are generally responsible.

This combination of genetic predisposition and an external triggering event seem common to all expressions of autoimmune disease.

Potential triggers include sunlight, infection, and medication. It has been found that some blood pressure and anti-seizure medication, as well as antibiotics have also been triggers.

No two cases are exactly alike. The symptoms may appear suddenly, or in some cases, develop slowly. Symptoms can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The disease is characterized by periods where the symptoms are very active, termed ‘flares’ and times of minimal or no symptoms, called ‘remission’.

Who does Lupus Affect

Although lupus can affect all ages, the usual onset of the disease is between the ages of 15 and 45. Nine out of ten sufferers are women.

Negro women are more likely than other races to suffer with the condition. It can be mild, or life threatening, depending on how seriously the body has been affected.

Signs And Symptoms Of Lupus

There are a large number of symptoms of lupus. They vary greatly from person to person. It is considered very unlikely that one person will experience all of the possible symptoms.

The development of an unexplained low grade fever is a sign of inflammation in the body. This is a classic symptom of lupus. Lupus is a disease that causes tissues in the body to become chronically inflamed.

Joint and muscle pain is common for many lupus sufferers. Itching, nausea, and swelling of the legs may indicate associated kidney damage.

Most people with the disease can expect to live a normal or near normal life span. However this depends on how severe the disease is, and if vital organs have been affected.

Complications Of Lupus

Complications to the kidneys caused by the disease can become serious. Kidney failure is one of the leading causes of death among people with lupus. When lupus impacts the blood and blood vessels, it may lead to anemia, increased risk of bleeding and blood clotting.

The disease can cause an increased risk of developing an inflammation of the chest cavity lining. This can lead to pleurisy, which makes breathing painful. Bleeding into the lungs and pneumonia are also possible.

The risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks increase greatly if inflammation of heart muscle, arteries or heart membrane has been weakened by the onset of this disease.




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