LUPUS

Description

  • An autoimmune disease
  • Body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs

Two kinds:

  • Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE)
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

Symptoms

  • Fatigue and fever
  • Joint pain, stiffness and swelling
  • Butterfly-shaped rash on the face
  • Extreme sun sensitivity
  • extreme weight loss
  • Poor circulation in fingers and toes
  • Bald patches and hair loss
  • Dry eyes
  • Headaches, confusion and memory loss
  • Chest pain

Causes

  • Results from a combination of genetics and environment
  • Potential triggers:
  • Sunlight
  • Certain Infections
  • Certain Medications
  • Tobacco smoke

Risk Factors

  • More common in women
  • Between the age of 15 and 45
  • More common in African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians
  • Family history of Lupus
  • Taking medicines that are associated with drug-induced lupus

Diagnostic Tests

  • Diagnosis is difficult because signs and symptoms vary considerably
  • Complete blood count
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
  • Kidney and liver assessment
  • Urinalysis
  • Antinuclear antibody (ANA) test
  • Chest X-ray
  • Echocardiogram
  • Biopsy

Treatment

  • Depends on the signs and symptoms
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID)
  • Antimalarial drugs
  • Corticosteroids
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Anticoagulants
  • Monoclonal antibodies

Medications

  • Belimumab (Benlysta)
  • Rituxan (Rituximab)
  • Naproxen sodium (Aleve)
  • Azathioprine (Imuran, Azasan)
  • Mycophenolate (CellCept)
  • Leflunomide (Arava)
  • Methotrexate (Trexall)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB)
  • Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)

Lifestyle Management

  • Have regular check ups
  • Be in constant touch with the doctor
  • Get adequate rest
  • Wear protective clothing and sunscreens during summer
  • Exercise regularly
  • Do not smoke
  • Eat a healthy diet