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¢ Memory loss
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.