Lupus Disease Is Lupus Contagious

Scleroderma is characterized by the toughening of the affected area, most commonly in the skin or in the organs which could lead to limitation of the organ’s function. This is quite rare as it only affects 14 out of every 1 million people worldwide. Scleroderma affects women more than it affects men and could develop somewhere between the ages of 30 to 50. It is also inherent in the Native American Choctaw tribe and in African-American women. Scleroderma is rarely found in children.

While cases of scleroderma that would only affect the skin would most likely not be fatal but could cripple the patient, the severe form of it which is called systemic scleroderma or is characterized by having scleroderma affect various parts of the body can be lethal and has been proven so in many cases. After the skin which is the most common case which would account for 95% to 100% of all cases, it is followed by gastro-intestinal involvement in scleroderma which would account for 70% to 90%

How Is The Digestive System Involved In Scleroderma?

Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease. Being that, it mainly interferes with the immune system and having them attack the body instead of protecting it. Scleroderma can affect all organs of the digestive system, either just one organ or the entire system at the same time. It start with the esophagus; if scleroderma is present in the esophagus, then peristalsis is more difficult as the food track is tighter making it less able to push food down.

Gastro-intestinal involvement in scleroderma usually starts off with the esophagus and gradually makes its way down lower into the large intestine. If it makes its way past the stomach, then the patient will start having problems with digesting food. This is because the stomach now lacks blood vessels because it has been limited by scleroderma. Worst case scenario of this is that everything from the esophagus to the rectum would be affected. Unfortunately, this is very possible.

How Is This Treated?

As of today, there is no known cause for scleroderma and because of that, diagnosis is mainly based on symptoms. Doctors can start off by giving a patient medication to help ease him or her of the symptoms. These medications are given in attempt to lessen acid production but if that does not do anything, then procedures that are specific to the affected area are done to relieve a patient of discomforting symptoms.

Medications however are only given to relieve a patient from the effects brought about by scleroderma and not to entirely remove scleroderma from a patient. The cause of scleroderma is unknown and with that, there is no known medicine. Treatment for scleroderma is patient-specific even when it comes to gastro-intestinal involvement. This however can be managed effectively with the help of medical procedures.

How Is This Diagnosed?

If medications do not work or if a patient would develop side effects, then that is where one should have medical procedures. If the esophagus is affected, some medical procedures that can help would be endoscopy, barium swallow and esophageal manometry.

If the stomach is affected, then the patient could also have barium swallow which is similar the one referring to esophageal involvement and a gastric emptying study of which a person eats small amounts of material followed by taking x-rays of their stomach.


Systemic Lupus Disease Symptoms

Definition

Scleroderma comes mainly in two forms, the localized form of which would only affect a single area and another from which would affect internal organs known as systemic sclerosis. The localized form is also known as a€œmorpheaa€ and although it could disable a patient, it would not be fatal most of the time. Systematic sclerosis however, since it interferes with the internal organs and their functions would be fatal most of the time. Common cases of death from systemic sclerosis are renal and lung related cases.

Scleroderma occurs when your antibodies would attack your tissues instead of protecting them that in turn would lead to the development of scar tissue on the affected areas or thicken it. Women are four times more likely to develop this disease than men are and it usually develops within 30 to 40 years of age. This disease is inherent in the Native American Choctaw race and African-American women and rarely occurs to North Asians. It also rarely occurs in children.

What Can Cause Systemic Sclerosis?

It is known that scleroderma is an autoimmune disease however, only part of the pathogenesis is understood and because of that, medical experts have developed various theories that would refer to the causes of scleroderma. One theory would say that scleroderma is largely environmental and is brought about by unwanted factors in the environment such as bacteria and viruses while another would say that it is genetic and with that, heredity plays a big role.

Some of the substances which are suspected to cause scleroderma are insecticides, epoxy resin, appetite suppressants, silicone implants, drugs and some amino acid compounds. One medical expert also said that the fetal matter left after pregnancy that is still running in the bloodstream can also cause systemic scleroderma. These theories however are not yet proven.

What Can Happen To A Systemic Sclerosis Patient?

A patient with systemic sclerosis can have limited functions in various organs at the same time, most of the time being with the heart, kidneys and lungs. With that, a patient will also show the illness through some visible factors that can be seen especially in the face, neck, fingers, elbows, knees and toenails. If not managed effectively, systemic sclerosis can spread onto other organs or could develop into another disease other than scleroderma.

When it comes to systemic sclerosis, renal and lung related problems are usually the common causes for mortalities. Pulmonary hypertension, which is one of the most common causes of deaths in systemic sclerosis accounts for about 12% of all deaths.

How Can Systemic Sclerosis Be Treated?

Since the cause of scleroderma is not yet known, there is also no known medication for scleroderma instead, the approach for treating systemic sclerosis is patient specific and would depend on which organs are affected by it. Treatment is also focused for limiting the damages done by scleroderma and for alleviating symptoms rather than completely remove scleroderma from a patient.

Treatment is usually done by medications that would vary depending on the case and on which organs are affected. Alternative medications are also given to people who cannot be helped or would develop side effects from the medications that were first taken. For some cases especially for those having problems with organ function, they would have to undergo therapy that would attempt to restore normal organ activity


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Rash Face

Understanding Lupus and Staying Healthy

Author: Steven A Johnson

The disease Lupus is classified as an autoimmune disease, and it can affect different parts of the body. In most people it affects the skin, joints, heart, lungs, blood, kidneys and brain. In the case of a normal healthy body, the immune system produces proteins that are called antibodies. These antibodies serve to protect the body against infection, viruses, bacteria, and other foreign matter. The term for these foreign materials is antigens.

What happens when the body is affected with an autoimmune disorder like lupus is that the immune system becomes confused and cannot tell the difference between foreign material and its own cells and tissues. The immune system then begins to make antibodies and directs them against itself; these antibodies are called auto-antibodies. The auto-antibodies affect the body by causing inflammation, pain and damage in different parts of the body.

The primary feature of Lupus is usually considered to be inflammation. The term inflammation in Latin means “set on fire,” and is identified by pain, heat, redness, swelling and loss of function. This can occur on the inside or on the outside of the body, or in some cases or both.

There are considered to be four main types of lupus: discoid, systemic, drug-induced and neonatal lupus.

Discoid type lupus always affects the skin. It is characterized by a rash that appears on the face, neck, and scalp. Discoid lupus can be diagnosed by taking a biopsy of the rash and performing tests. The biopsy will show certain anomalies that are not present in skin without the rash. Discoid lupus usually will not involve problem with the body’s internal organs. In roughly 10 percent of people diagnosed with this disease, discoid lupus can evolve into a more severe problem, and can affect almost any organ or system of the body. It is impossible to predict or prevent this from happening. Unfortunately treatment of discoid lupus will not stop it from progressing to this stage. It is likely that individuals who experience this problem, probably had systemic lupus all along, and the discoid rash was the main symptom.

Systemic lupus is found to be more severe than the previously mentioned discoid lupus, because it affects almost any organ or organ system of the body. It differs from person to person; for some people only the skin and joints may be involved. For other people, the joints, lungs, kidneys, blood, or other organs and/or tissues could be affected. The problem with diagnosing systemic lupus is that, usually no two persons affected with systemic lupus will display identical symptoms. One of the most identifiable symptoms of systemic lupus is that the individual may experience periods in which few (or any) symptoms are evident which is called remission. Other times individuals will experience “flares” which is when the disease becomes more active.

Drug-induced lupus can occur after the use of certain prescribed medications. One of the tricky things about this form of lupus is that the symptoms are similar to those of systemic lupus. The two medications that are most connected with drug-induced lupus are hydralazine and procainamide. Drug induced lupus is generally more common in men because they are given these drugs more often. However, it should be noted that not everyone who takes these medications does or will develop this type of lupus. Roughly about 4 percent of the people who take these medications will develop this type of lupus. Also the symptoms will generally fade when the drugs are discontinued.

Neonatal lupus is a rare and serious condition that is acquired from the passage of maternal auto-antibodies. This particular type of lupus can affect the skin, heart and blood of the fetus and newborn child. The symptoms are associated with a rash that will appear during the first few weeks of life. This rash may continue for roughly six months before fading completely. Neonatal lupus is not classified as systemic lupus.

While there is no cure for lupus, depending on the severity of your disease, it is possible to live a full and normal life. There are natural products available to help with pain and provide dietary support to ailing immune systems. One such product is Lupazol by Micronutra, Lupazol is a nutritional matrix designed to supplement what you don’t find in your daily diet.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/health-articles/understanding-lupus-and-staying-healthy-765936.html

About the Author

Steven Johnson is interested in maintaining a vital, active, and healthy lifestyle. For more information on daily health supplements, as well as other life-enhancing nutrients, please visit his website Alternative Health Supplements.


System Lupus Erythematosus

Stress Will Harm your Immune System

Author: Chuck Arnone

Many studies have shown a link between stress and illness. Stress seems to have become a constant factor in today’s fast-paced society which can weaken the immune system and accelerate the aging process.

We talk about the three most significant stressors, namely, unwanted aloneness, loss of control, and loss of hope.If you can address those three stressors, you can enhance the power of the immune system,which may have an effect on how it’s able to fight those cancer cells and lessen the effects of cold and flu symptoms.

What we are looking at is if you can enhance the power of the immune system by doing things that make you happy, you will be healthier. Immune cells spend much of their lives circulating in those blood vessels.Immune systems of optimistic people have been found to fare much better under stressful conditions than those with a negative attitude.Chemotherapy has an affect on many cells in your body.

There is no question that good nutrition is necessary for a healthy immune system and that means a healthy variety of proteins, carbohydrates, fat, minerals, vitamins, fluids, etc. Your nutrition choices as well as your emotions can have a big impact on your body’s ability to keep up your energy levels and immune system.

In one small study, researchers found that moderate exercise (three or more times a week) increased the immune cell counts of women undergoing breast cancer treatment back to normal levels, and also improved the women’s mood and ability to handle their feelings comfortably. A healthy immune system regulates our body’s healing process and protects it against infections and diseases. Premature aging and fatigue are just part of the problem with stress and your immune system. Sleep time is when your body and immune system do most of its repairs and rejuvenation. Tea is a wonder drink as it has the ability to strenghten your immune system and fight off germs.

The field of study that examines the link between stress and the immune system is known as psychoneuroimmunology. Several studies in this area indicate that physical and emotional stress can have either good or bad effects on the immune system’s response. Autoimmune diseases are a result from this attack; the more commonly occurring examples include systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), Grave’s disease of the thyroid, and rheumatoid arthritis. Autoimmune diseases are very sensitive to any kind of stress and symptoms worsen during that time. It is also interesting to note that many autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and Grave’s disease, occur more commonly in women than in men. A positive attitude, connecting to other human beings, and minimizing stress all have a lot to do with immune system health, as well.

Part of the solution to living longer and being healthy is to protect your immune system. A healthy system regulates our body’s healing process and protects it against infections and diseases. Stress influences our health so profoundly because of the way it affects our nervous and immune systems. Because of the connection between stress and health, stress management should be a cornerstone of your healthy lifestyle. Think about your state of health for a moment. And also the health of those you know. How we learn to deal with stress makes a huge difference in how healthy we are. Studies have shown that how a person deals with stress affects your health.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/health-articles/stress-will-harm-your-immune-system-296958.html

About the Author

Chuck Arnone’s research into the immune system and it’s affect on your health can be very informative.


Lupus Symptoms In Women

Symptoms Of Lupus

Author: Marcia Mcwhite

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that manifests when the body’s immune system starts to attack its own tissues and organs. The inflammation that results from lupus can affect several areas throughout the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, heart and lungs.

Lupus is far more often observed in women than in men but no clear connection for this observation has been discerned. There are four types of lupus in existence these are: systemic lupus erythematosus, discoid lupus erythematosus, drug-induced lupus erythematosus and neonatal lupus. Of the types mentioned, systemic lupus erythematosus is by far the most prevalent and serious form of lupus.

The prognosis for people with this disease was very poor in the past however improvements in the  diagnosis and treatment methods implemented for lupus has significantly enhanced the likelihood of surviving with the condition. Once the disease is treated most people with the disease can lead regular lives.

Because it is an autoimmune disease, it not only attacks foreign substances that may enter the body, such as bacteria and viruses, but also triggers the immune system to attack healthy tissue. As said before this brings about inflammation and consequential injury  to different sections of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels and brain.

It is not yet known what causes the disease, like other autoimmune diseases it is a mystery. It is theorized that it is the result of a combination of factors, most notably, the patient’s genes and the environment. Some experts also believe that a person may inherit a predisposition to lupus, but not the actual disease itself. Instead, people with this probable inherited predisposition for the disease may only develop the condition when they make some form of contact with something in the environment that may induce lupus, including some types of medication or a virus.  

The disease does not always develop in the same way for all individuals who are plagued by the disease . Signs and symptoms may materialize suddenly or develop over time. They may be mild or severe, and may be transient with fluctuating periods of the associated symptoms or permanent. Most people affected by lupus have a mild form of the disease characterized by episodes  which are deemed flares when signs and symptoms are worsened for a short period, then improve or even disappear entirely for some time.
The signs and symptoms of lupus that an individual will experience will greatly depend on the areas of the body that are affected by the condition. However the more regular signs and symptoms may include any of the following:  

a€¢    Anxiety  
a€¢    Depression  
a€¢    Memory loss  
a€¢    Fatigue  
a€¢    Fever  
a€¢    Weight loss or gain  
a€¢    Fingers and toes that turn white or blue during exposure to cold or during stressful periods. This is called Raynaud’s phenomenon.  
a€¢    Joint pain, stiffness and swelling  
a€¢    Butterfly-shaped rash or malar rash on the face that covers sections of the cheeks and the bridge of the nose  
a€¢    Skin lesions that appear and are actually worsened by sun exposure  
a€¢    Mouth sores  
a€¢    Hair loss (alopecia)  
a€¢    Shortness of breath  
a€¢    Chest pain  
a€¢    Dry eyes  
a€¢    Easy bruising  

Once an individual develops an unexplained rash, ongoing fever, persistent aching or fatigue, he or she should consult a doctor to rule out the possibility that it could be lupus.

Once a person has been diagnosed with lupus, he or she should have regular consultations with a doctor so that the condition can be treated and monitored effectively. Also any new symptoms should be looked on immediately.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/advertising-articles/symptoms-of-lupus-1859737.html

About the Author

Please visit these links for more information on the symptoms of Lupus: http://www.symptomsoflupus.net and http://www.symptomsoflupus.org.