Pleurisy, also called pleuritis, is an inflammation of the pleura. Pleurisy can be generated by a variety of infectious and non-infectious causes. Pleurisy is caused by swelling and irritation of the membrane that surrounds the lungs. Certain autoimmune diseases (such as systemic lupus erythematosus) can irritate the pleura. It is usually a symptom of another illness. It is also called Pleuritic Chest Pain. Pleurisy can develop from many things, including bacterial or viral infections of the lungs (such as pneumonia), TB, lupus, chest injury or trauma, a blood clot in the lung, or cancer. Sometimes a cause cannot be found. The effects of pleurisy can often be felt long after the condition has gone away.The hallmark of pleurisy is severe chest pain that starts suddenly.

The pain is often strong or stabbing when you take a deep breath. It usually subsides or disappears between breaths. It’s usually felt on one side of the stomach area or lower chest. Deep breathing and coughing often make it worse. Pleurisy causes fluid to collect inside the lung area. Breathing may be rapid and shallow because deep breathing induces pain; the muscles on the painful side move less than those on the other side. When an accumulation of fluids (pleural effusion) is associated with pleurisy, the pain usually disappears because the fluid serves as a lubricant. Treatment depends on what is causing the pleurisy. Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory form of arthritis that causes joint pain and damage. It affecting more than two million people in the United States. Rheumatoid arthritis attacks the lining of your joints (synovium) causing swelling that can result in aching and throbbing and eventually deformity. Sometimes rheumatoid arthritis symptoms make even the simplest activities – such as opening a jar or taking a walk – difficult to manage. Rheumatoid arthritis is two to three times more common in women than in men and generally occurs between the ages of 40 and 60. But rheumatoid arthritis can also affect young children and older adults. It is commonly polyarticular; that is, it affects many joints.

About seventy-five percent of those affected are women, and 1-3% of women may develop rheumatoid arthritis is their lifetime. The disease most often begins between the fourth and sixth decades of life; however, RA can develop at any age. RA usually affects joints on both sides of the body equally. Wrists, fingers, knees, feet, and ankles are the most commonly affected.Rheumatoid arthritis is two to three times more common in women than in men and generally occurs between the ages of 40 and 60. But rheumatoid arthritis can also affect young children and older adults. Inflammation, soft tissue swelling, and the involvement of multiple joints are common signs and symptoms that distinguish rheumatoid and other inflammatory arthritis from non-inflammatory arthritis such as osteoarthritis.

Treatments include medicine, lifestyle changes and surgery. These can slow or stop joint damage and reduce pain and swelling. To quickly reduce joint inflammation and symptoms, first-line treatment usually consists of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin and others), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), celecoxib (Celebrex) and many others.


2 thoughts on “Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Nursing Diagnosis

  1. Act4Love

    Should I get tested for Lupus?
    Hi, I’m 16 years old. I’ve been suffering from bumps and redness on my face (cheeks, mostly), and it’s been something which I cannot get rid of. I thought it was just acne. My mom, however, is currently studying to be a nurse, and in her textbook she stumbled upon a picture of the butterfly rash often associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (known as Lupus/SLE). I didn’t think much of it, until my mom and I researched the symptoms.
    These are the symptoms I’m currently experiencing:
    *Rash?
    *Extreme fatigue
    *Depression
    *Joint pain (mostly in my knees and ankles)
    *Migraine-like headaches almost every day for the past month
    *Difficulty concentrating
    *Psychosis
    *Inflamation of organs-last year I was diagnosed with gastreoenteritis.
    *Also, about a week and a half ago my back (around the kidney area) started hurting
    *I thought it was my period, but I have dried up blood that comes out everytime I wipe after urinating.
    *I have virtually no appetite.
    *My vision has been blurred the past few days.
    *The “flares” started about 2 weeks after the fatigue.

    What do you think about it?
    Thank you in advance.

    P.S- The symptoms listed started before I found out about the disease…less chance of psychosomatic diagnosis 🙂

    1. FirstStar

      Yes, you should probably get tested!

      Lupus is an Autoimmune disease, which is caused by both genetic and environmental factors, so, if you have a family history of auto immune diseases (Such as Crohns Disease, Scleroderma, Rheumatoid Arthritis ect…) You are at an increased risk, also if you are female and between 15 to 45.

      It takes awhile to diagnose Lupus, but your doctor will (most likely) refer you to an Internal Medicine Doctor, or may order the test themselves (Blood test! Urine test!) And depending on what the doctor thinks, the blood test will include an ANA (Antinuclear Antibody) test (Very important test!!! if this comes out positive, it could mean Lupus, or another auto-immune disorder!!!)

      Some other blood tests may also include tests for Hep. C, and Hep D, along with a Creatinine test, Bilrubin and Albumin test (Too much to type- Google it!) and ALT test (To see how epic your liver is doing!)

      So YES. Get tested; because like I said, it takes awhile to diagnose because the symptoms mimic so many other diseases; it could take months.

      Good Luck! 🙂

      I’m 17 and had Lupus symptoms too; test results come back in January (Next month!) Hope 4 the best!

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