Health Mondays: What is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus(SLE)?


Health Mondays: What is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus(SLE)?

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is the most common type of lupus.

SLE is an autoimmune condition(a condition in which the body's immune system accidentally fights it's normal tissues). 

It may later progress from tissues to organs.

Symptoms of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus(SLE)

This condition shares alot of symptoms with various inflammatory diseases however majority of people with it presents with unique clustered rashes at the cheeks and the nasal bridge forming a butterfly shape.

The symptoms' onset may be rapid or slow/marked or mild/short-lived or permanent.

Symptoms presentation will be determined by the systems affected; they are as follows: butterfly-shaped group of rashes at the cheeks and the nasal bridge,fever, fatigue, joints pain/stiffness, shortness of breath/chest pain, headache/confusion,sun sensitivity rashes, hair loss, fingers turning white or blue and tingling on cold exposure(Raynaud's phenomenon).

Risk factors of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus(SLE)

Gender(females are more predisposed), Age(15 - 45 years aged are more susceptible), genetics(people with a positive family history of SLE are more predisposed), Race(it's more common among Africa-Americans/Hispanics/Asian-Americans), overwhelming physical/emotional stress, extreme Ultra violet light exposure, certain viral infections and certain anti-hypertensive/anti-seizure drugs.

Diagnosis of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus(SLE)

There is no definite diagnostic screening modality.Diagnosis is normally made by taking the patient's history with an evaluation of his/her signs and symptoms.

Some antibody tests and imaging however may be done for the purposes of ruling out other possible inflammatory conditions/supporting the diagnosis made.

Treatment of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus(SLE)

This will be determined by the state of the patient and the disease level of progression. 

The treatment may include anti-inflammatory/analgesic agents, steroid based creams for the skin and corticosteroids agents to reduce immune response.

Complications of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus(SLE)

This may include- heart failure, respiratory failure, stroke and kidney failure.

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