Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease that surfaces as inflammation and damage to various parts of the body and its tissues. Lupus can affect the joints, skin, heart, lungs, blood vessels, brain and kidneys. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus affects the blood vessels and connective tissues of the skin. Since the body turns against itself, the tissues become inflamed and swollen. Most often, SLE manifests itself with a butterfly-rash and pain in the joints. This disease is more pronounced among persons of Afro-Caribbean and Asian origin. Women are more likely to be afflicted by Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.
A patient suffering from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus experiences painful swelling in the joints, skin rashes, extreme fatigue, fever and infections due to weakened immune system. Scaly sores on the face (discoid rash) and butterfly-shaped rash on the bridge of the nose (malar rash) are also noticed. SLE also leads to serositis - inflammation in the linings of the hear, lungs and abdomen. There may be weight loss, vomiting and diarrhea. SLE can also cause swollen glands and sensitivity to cold. While symptoms of SLE are often noticed in the years of 15 - 45, it can even occur earlier or later.
This disease tends to appear in periodic flare-ups. Often diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus takes time. Blood tests are conducted for checking for the presence of antinuclear antibodies (ANA). Chest x-rays and urine analysis are done. Inflammation levels are checked with sedimentation rate (ESR) or C-reactive protein (CRP). While there is no cure for systemic lupus erythematosus, corticosteroids and anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed to relieve pain and swelling. Immunosuppresants are also used in the treatment of SLE. Physiotherapy is used to give relief to the patient from pain in the joints.
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Diseases, Symptoms, Tests and Treatment arranged in alphabetical order:
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: November 15, 2019