Systemic Lupus Erythematosus ( SLE) is an auto immune disease that attacks the body’s own defense mechanism- the immune system. It forces the immune system to attack its own body tissues because it becomes confused whether they belong to the host body or are a foreign bacteria or virus. SLE results in an acute and chronic inflammation of various tissues in our body accompanied with bleeding from that area.
As the immune systems fights any sorts of foreign antigen by producing antibodies, people suffering from SLE produce abnormal antibodies that relinquish the determining factor whether the targeted tissues are good or bad. These antibodies are known as auto antibodies.
Systematic lupus is more common in women than in men between the age of around 20- 45 years. The causes of SLE are not extremely clear but it is proposed that it might occur due to some genetic traits, viruses or ultraviolet radiations affecting our body mechanisms.
The symptoms of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus range from simple rashes to more serious chronic diseases.
- Rashes on the cheek and the bridge over the nose. These appear red and are dubbed as ‘butterfly rashes’.
- The joints become swollen and painful. This happens mainly because the joints start losing their lubricating fluid known as synovial fluid.
- Patients’ experience severe fatigue and lethargy.
- They start losing hair very fast. It is also accompanied by graying of hair in certain cases.
- Anemia and blood clotting are among the more severe effects.
- Affected patients also feel headache sometimes.
- Another symptom called the Reynaud’s syndrome is also evident at times. It is characterized sickly bluish white fingers with a tingling sensation on contact with a cold object.
It is important to note that there is no permanent treatment for SLE. All that can be done is treat the symptoms respectively, protect organs from inflammation and try to subdue the immune system.
The Treatment Procedures Include:
- Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. This help in reducing joint pains, muscle fatigue and the inflammations that occur frequently when diagnosed with SLE.
- Corticosteroids are used when the symptoms have worsened a lot as it works better than NSAIDs with a strong dosage. They are particularly effective when the internal organs are affected.
- Hydroxychloroquine is used when the symptoms are skin related with muscle fatigues setting in at regular intervals.
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