Lupus erythematosus is a name given to a collection of autoimmune diseases in which the human immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks healthy tissues.[1] Symptoms of these diseases can affect many different body systems, including joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, heart, and lungs. The most common and severe form is systemic lupus erythematosus. Under normal function, the immune system makes proteins called antibodies in order to protect and fight against antigens such as virus and bacteria. Symptoms can vary and can change over time, including:

  • Butterfly rash on the face
  • Appetite loss
  • Hair loss
  • Fever
  • Photosensitivity
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • Pleuritis
  • Pericarditis
  • Severe fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Joint swelling
  • Headaches
  • Anemia
  • Blood-clotting problems
  • Fingers turning white or blue and tingling when cold, which is known as Raynaud’s phenomenon

Other symptoms depend on the part of the body the disease is attacking, such as the digestive tract, the heart, or the skin. The exact cause of SLE is unknown, but several factors have been linked with the disease. Such as the following:

Genetics. The disease isn’t linked to a certain gene, but people with lupus often have family members with other autoimmune conditions.

Environmental triggers can include:

  • Ultraviolet rays
  • Smoking
  • Certain medications
  • Viruses
  • Physical or emotional stress
  • Trauma
  • UV rays from fluorescent light bulbs
  • Exposure to silica dust
  • Sulfa drugs,. diuretics
  • Sun-sensitizing tetracycline drugs sucp as penicillin or other antibiotic drugs
  • Infections
  • Cold or a viral illness
  • Exhaustion
  • Injury
  • Emotional stress, such as divorce, illness, death in the family or other life complications
  • Stress to the body such as surgery, physical harm, pregnancy or giving birth

Sex and hormones
SLE affects women more than men. they may experience more severe symptoms during pregnancy and with menstrual periods. So medical professionals believe that the female hormone estrogen may play a role in causing SLE but not confirmed..

Biomarkers are another significant area of lupus research. Researchers have identified the following as potential biomarkers:

  • Anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies and complement C3a – both found in blood tests – as biomarkers for flares
  • Proteins in the urine of people with renal disease caused by lupus
  • C-reactive protein (CRP) made by the liver,
  • According to Cleveland Clinic, specific medications used to treat lupus include:
    • Steroid creams that can be directly applied to rashes
    • Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)
    • Cyclophosphamide
    • Azathioprine
    • Methotrexate (Rheumatrex)
    • Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) and mycophenolate mofetil
    • Belimumab and Rituximab)
    Do not try any of these medication without talking to your doctor.
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