Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue. Any part of the body can be affected by lupus as it has an array of clinical presentation causing inflammation and affecting the skin, joints, brain, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels and other internal organs. Lupus has different variations of safety. It can be diagnosed as mild or life threatening, and is not contagious. Many scientists theories state that lupus may be caused by factors inside and outside of the body, including hormones, genetics, and the environment. 90% of people suffering from lupus are women, as well as people in between the ages of 15-45.
How does Lupus Affect the Immune System? Edit
Lupus makes the immune system unable to differentiate between substances capable of inducing a specific immune response. The immune system is unable to identify what is an antigen and what is healthy tissue. This causes extreme inflammation throughout parts of the body.
Signs and Symptoms Edit
Some signs and symptoms of lupus include:
- Pain or swelling in joints
- Skin rashes
- Chest pain upon deep breathing
- Unusual hair loss
- Pale or purple fingers or toes from cold or stress (Raynaud's phenomenon)
- Welling in a leg or around the eyes
- Swollen glands
A doctor who is determining diagnosing a patient with lupus will look for signs of inflammation which include, pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function at a particular place in the body. Though this is looked for, lupus is know as a "great imitator" because its signs and symptoms mimic and replicate many different illnesses. Because of this, diagnosis can become very challenging and difficult. When a doctor looks for specific things, he/she will evaluate, ones current symptoms, your laboratory test results, medical history, and the medical history of your family and extended family. Many lab tests are used regularly in the diagnosis but more a multitude of reasons, the laboratory test alone cannot give a definite yes, or no diagnosis.
 After lupus is diagnosed the treatment you receive, is based on the patients age, gender, health, symptoms, and overall lifestyle. They are essentially fit for the individuals needs and may change overtime. In the development of the treatment plan, the doctor will aim to prevent flares, treat flares when they occur, and reduce organ damage and other problems. Some lupus treatments may include drugs subject to, reduce swelling and pain, prevent or reduce flares, help the immune system, reduce or prevent damage to joints, and balance the hormones. A list of medication that does so are NSAIDs, antimalarials, corticosteroids, immunosuppressives, BLyS-specific inhibitors, hormonal therapies, and intravenous immunoglobulin. No research for specific treatments.
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