Lupus

What is Lupus?

Systemic lupus erythematosus , often abbreviated as SLE or lupus, is a systemic autoimmune disease (or autoimmune connective tissue disease) in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. When the immune system is functioning normally, it makes proteins called antibodies that protect against pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. Lupus is characterized by the presence of antibodies against a person's own proteins; these are most commonly anti-nuclear antibodies, which are found in nearly all cases. These antibodies lead to inflammation. Although the underlying cause of autoimmune diseases is unknown, most believe that lupus results from both genetic and environmental stimuli.

There are many kinds of lupus. The most common type is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which affects many internal organs in the body. SLE most often harms the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys, and nervous system. The course of the disease is unpredictable, with periods of illness (called flares) alternating with remissions. The disease occurs nine times more often in women than in men, especially in women in child-bearing years ages 15 to 35, and is also more common in those of non-European descent.

While there is no cure for SLE, it is treated with immunosuppression, mainly with cyclophosphamide, corticosteroids and other immunosuppressants. The goal of these treatments is to keep symptoms under control. SLE can be fatal. The leading cause of death is from cardiovascular disease due to accelerated atherosclerosis. Survival for people with SLE in the United States, Canada, and Europe has risen to approximately 95% at five years, 90% at 10 years, and 78% at 20 years, and now approaches that of matched controls without lupus.

Childhood systemic lupus erythematosus generally presents between the ages of 3 and 15, with girls outnumbering boys 4:1, and typical skin manifestations being butterfly eruption on the face and photosensitivity. Lupus is Latin for wolf. In the 18th century, when lupus was just starting to be recognized as a disease, it was thought that it was caused by a wolf's bite. This may have been because of the distinctive rash characteristic of lupus. (Once full-blown, the round, disk-shaped rashes heal from the inside out, leaving a bite-like imprint.)

Questions and answers on "Lupus"

my boyfriend was kicked in the nuts two years ago and we been together for three years and we use no protection and i have not become pregnant yet...

doctor1 MD

Hi welcome to healthcaremagic.
I have gone through your question.
I would advise to do ultrasound color doppler scan of scrotum to rule out any...

Read Full Thread   Ask a Doctor Now

I'm 15 years old and I need to find a good doctor. One day my face start turning white, so I went to doctor and they said I have Lupus. I'm getting...

doctor1 MD

Hello

As per your description, it doesn't look like lupus face. Lupus rahes hardly ever discharge clear water. Consult some good rheumatologist or...

Read Full Thread   Ask a Doctor Now

Recent questions on  Lupus

doctor1 MD

Hi mam,myself sweta patil ,married 3 ys back,age 30 yrs ,wt 50kg ,I have gone through 3 abortions & my fetus growth is upto 7 weeks after that...

doctor1 MD

Yes I m having bad pain in my right ankle. I have lupus and have been on prednisone for 30 years and have bad bad bones I also broke my hip in 2003...

doctor1 MD

I have read that the drug Dyazide can increase the symptons of patients with lupus. I have lupus and have been taking this drug for 15 years. At...

doctor1 MD

Hi, I have lupus and a muscle form of athritus....on Tuesday I had a table dropped down my ankle....yep it hurt ;o) I went to hospital and had an...

doctor1 MD

I HAVE 8 OUT OF 9 OF THE SYMPTOMS OF LUPOS. I HAVENT NOTICED FEVER BUT I AM EXTREMLY HOT NATURED. WHAT SHOULD I DO? XXXXX 69 YRS OLD

doctor1 MD

Hello My Family has a history of kidney problems, my mother had accute nephritis and her mother had chronit nephritis - I have been getting sicker...

doctor1 MD

I have been having severe deep pains in my arms,elbows down to my fingers and also deep pain in my upper thighs to the top of my feet, it's now...

Ask Question
Doctor Image
MD

Hi, I am Dr. Andrew Rynne (Family Physician). I will be guiding you through the process. Please write your question below.

Related Drugs/Medications
Related Procedures
Related Medical Topics