Lupus disease is a problematic condition that affects the body’s immune system. This disorder affects as many as 1.5 million American people and out of these individuals almost 90% are women. In a healthy person the immune system functions by creating immunity cells along with antibodies which are special substances that are designed to fight infections and germs. However when a person is afflicted by this disease the immune system is affected and cannot differentiate between the normal or healthy cells and the germs that are responsible for causing infections.
In the lupus disease the affected immune system reacts by creating auto antibodies that destroy the normal cells in the body. There are three types or kinds of lupus. The first type is called systemic lupus erythematosus also known as SLE. Many people who are afflicted with this form develop the symptoms during their teens. This disease affects the joints, tendons and the skin. It can also affect other organs like the heart, kidneys, lungs and the brain.
The second form of lupus disease is known as discoid lupus and this form results in rash on areas such as the neck, ears, scalp and the face. This is a rare form of lupus and it doesn’t affect the other body parts. However the rash that is seen in this form of lupus can result in scarring. Finally drug induced lupus as the name suggests is caused because of reaction to some types of medicines. So some forms of anti seizure medicines along with acne medicines can result in this type of lupus. When the person discontinues these medicines the symptoms also go away.
Researchers and medical professionals have not been able to find out the exact causes for this lupus disease. However a combination of factors may be responsible for this disease. These include gender since more women tend to get lupus as compared to men. Estrogen may be one of the contributing factors in this disease as most of the women getting lupus belong to the childbearing age. Race and ethnicity may also be responsible for this illness. Genetics along with stress and infections can also contribute towards development of this illness.
Lupus disease is difficult to diagnose for the simple reason that the symptoms in this disease are varied among different people. In some people it may result in muscle aches along with swollen glands and loss of appetite. In some other people it may cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. To diagnose this some blood tests may be need to be done. Such tests will be interpreted by a rheumatologist who is trained to diagnose autoimmune diseases such as lupus.
While diagnosing lupus disease doctors ordinarily try to detect around 11 signs which include rash, photosensitivity, ulcers in areas like the mouth and nose, arthritis, kidney problems, problems with the immune system and neurologic problems among others. A positive ANA test detects some kinds of antibodies that determine that the person has lupus.
Lupus disease can be treated based on the severity of the condition. Ant malarial drugs and immunosuppressive drugs may be taken to deal with this condition. Along with the different treatment options it is important for people suffering from lupus to make changes in their lifestyle and pay particular attention to some habits that can stop the symptoms from being unmanageable. It is important for people suffering from lupus to eat well and also exercise regularly.