Lupus Disease Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Lupus disease is called autoimmune diseases with many types, symptoms, and treatment. Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease caused by immune or immune systems that attack cells, tissues, and organs. Lupus can attack in various parts of body and organs such as skin, joints, blood cells, kidneys, lungs, heart, brain, and spinal cord. In normal condition, the immune system will protect the body from infection. On the other hand, lupus does the opposite. It triggers the autoimmune system to attack healthy tissue instead. The cause of the lupus is still unknown but it is believed that the cause of lupus is a combination of external and internal factors such as genetics, and a random encounter with a virus while you are out in the open area.

Lupus Disease Causes Symptoms and Treatment
Lupus Disease

Lupus Types

There are four types of lupus and each type can be identified by the unique skin rashes it forms.
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). SLE is the most commonly reported form of lupus. It is affecting systematically in different organs around the body such as veins, lungs, or digestive system.
  • Drug-Induced Lupus. This type of lupus is caused by drugs used to treat a particular disease. Drug-induced lupus is only temporary and symptoms go away after six months.
  • Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus (CLE). CLE is a form of lupus that only affects the skin.
  • Neonatal Lupus Erythematosus. This type of lupus is a rare condition affects unborn infants, even if the mother may not have lupus herself.

Lupus Causes

Most researchers agree that lupus is caused by a combination of genetics, lifestyle choices, and hormonal. The following are some factors that trigger lupus.

Genetics

There is a relationship between genetic factors and lupus because it is often found that the lupus patient’s family members are also patients with lupus.

Hormones

Nine out of ten people with lupus are women. Women produce more hormone estrogen than men that trigger lupus. Hormonal changes during puberty or high levels of estrogen during pregnancy can also lead to lupus.

Environment

Various kinds of environmental factors that lead to lupus include bacterial and virus infections, stress, sun exposure (ultraviolet), smoking, and some chemicals such as mercury and silica.

Lupus Symptoms

The symptom is various because it depends on which organs are affected by lupus. Although the symptoms of lupus vary, there are three main symptoms that generally always appear.
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Rash on the skin
  • Pain in the joints
There are other symptoms that can appear beside the main symptoms above. Not all of these symptoms will be experienced by the patient. Here are the other symptoms that can be experienced by the lupus patients.
  • Thrush continuously
  • Low-grade fever
  • Hypertension
  • A migraine and headache
  • Hair loss
  • Dry eyes and sensitivity to light
  • Depression
  • Chest pain and shortness of breath
  • Memory loss
  • Anemia
  • The fingers of the hands and feet are white or blue if exposed to cold or because of stress (Raynaud's phenomenon)
  • Retention and accumulation of body fluids that lead to the swelling ankle

Lupus Treatment

Lupus cannot be cured, but there is a series of active phases and a calming phase of this disease. The goal of the treatment is to reduce the severity of the symptoms, prevent organ damage, and minimize the impact on the patient’s life. The type of medicine and dose administered to a lupus patient is not the same with other lupus patients depending on the symptoms and severity. The following are the medicines for lupus patients.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are used to reduce discomfort and inflammation in the joints, muscles, and other organs affected by lupus. However, the patient lupus should be aware of the effect such as stomach pains, headaches, ulcers, irregular heartbeat, hypertension, and deteriorating kidney function.

Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids reduce the inflammation quickly and effectively. This type of medication can be given if lupus attacks your heart, lungs, kidneys, brain or blood vessels.

Immunosuppressive Medications

It treats lupus by preventing the immune system cells from dividing. The most common drugs used in this type of treatment are azathioprine (Imuran), mycophenolate (Cellcept), and cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune, and Gengraf).

Anti-Malarial Drugs or Hydroxychloroquine

It is not only used to treat malaria but also effective to treat some of the main symptoms of lupus such as joint and muscle pain, fatigue, and rash on the skin.

Rituximab

If other medicines are not effective for lupus, the doctors will recommend rituximab. The rituximab works are by targeting and killing B cells, the cells producing antibodies that trigger SLE symptoms. The effects of this medicine include dizziness, vomiting, and flu-like symptoms, such as fever and chills.

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