Encyclopedia

Lupus

Description

Lupus, also called systemic lupus erythematosus or lupus, is an autoimmune disease. This means that the body’s defense system / immune system / affects healthy tissues instead of attacking pathogens such as viruses and bacteria, and this causes inflammation.

Although most affected people have only mild symptoms, the disease is chronic and lifelong, and the patient’s condition may worsen.

But most people can control the clinical manifestations of the disease to some extent and prevent serious organ damage. This is achieved through frequent check-ups and examinations, sufficient rest and exercise, as well as through taking medication.

What are the symptoms of Lupus?

Clinical manifestations depend on which organs are affected and how severely they are affected.

The most common symptoms are:

• Fatigue – the disease can cause a very mild feeling of fatigue or a feeling of very severe exhaustion. Even mild cases of the disease lead to difficulties for those affected to carry out their daily activities.

Joint and muscle pains – joints can become inflamed, red and, when touched, have a higher temperature than the surrounding skin. Those affected may experience morning stiffness.

Arthritis caused by lupus often develops on both sides of the body at the same time. It is most often felt in the wrists, small joints of the hands and in the elbows, knees and ankles.

Skin problems – skin rashes are often characteristic of the disease lupus and guide the doctor in establishing the diagnosis. Many of those affected develop a butterfly-shaped rash, with the butterfly’s “wings” over the cheeks and its “body” running across the bridge of the nose.

Other possible skin symptoms are: frequent skin sores or scaly red patches on the palms, hands, face and neck; mouth and lip ulcers and a scaly, red or purple raised rash on the face, neck, scalp, ears, chest and hands;

Sensitivity to light – exposure to ultraviolet light can worsen the rash and make it painful to the touch;
Weight changes – those affected lose weight , when the disease is in its active phase;
• Swelling of the lymph nodes – during an attack of the disease, the lymph nodes often swell;
Headache – usually associated with stress and tension , but it can also be associated with a lupus flare.

What are the causes?

The exact cause of lupus is not known. Scientists believe that some people are born with certain genes that affect the function of the immune system. These people are more prone to the disease. A number of factors can trigger a lupus flare, such as certain substances, tobacco smoke, and sunlight.

Lupus Treatment

Patient self-care is essential to controlling the disease. The affected person must get used to recognizing the body’s forced signs of the impending attack.

The most common such signs are: severe fatigue, joint pain, rash or fever. When you notice any of these signs, take measures to control the symptoms of this disease.

Coping with stress and fatigue

Stress can trigger an attack, so limit as much as possible the situations that stress you and make you worry.

• Perform as few stressful activities as possible during the day;
• Delegate your tasks to others if possible;
• And as far as possible limit commitments to other people to a minimum;
• Exercise regularly – a daily walk will help you quickly get rid of stress;

Follow the above recommendations and you can significantly reduce the risk of unpleasant consequences resulting from the disease lupus.

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