Medical Encyclopedia

Systemic lupus erythematosus

What is systemic lupus erythematosus?

Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic inflammatory disease of the connective tissue and blood vessels that affects the skin and various internal organs. This autoimmune disease causes dysfunction of the immune system, making the body defenseless in front of the most common diseases. If a person has a moderate form of disease called discoid lupus erythematosus, it affects only the skin. In certain places there are pockets of skin inflammation, which in the healing scars.

Symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus

  • Changes in the skin.
  • Joint pain.
  • Muscle aches and pains.
  • An increase in temperature.
  • Change of blood.
  • Kidney damage.
  • Enlarged liver and spleen.

Causes of systemic lupus erythematosus

This disease is caused by the interaction of several factors: heredity, environment and violation of immunoregulation. Male sex hormones inhibit the immune system, and female sex hormones stimulate her so often suffer from lupus are women. It is assumed that the occurrence of the disease is influenced by certain viral diseases, sun exposure, certain medications and stress.

Treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus

Systemic lupus erythematosus

With moderate systemic lupus erythematosus doctors prescribe weak steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, for example aspirin. In some cases, the patient should receive glucocorticoids. The condition of patients with renal disease and the eye is getting better.

In severe disease physicians have resorted to treatment with cytostatics. In recent years, for the treatment of rapidly progressive form of systemic lupus erythematosus is used plasmapheresis - a method based on the removal of plasma from the blood (without removal of blood cells) and plasma replacement fluids that replace blood. This removes the antibodies, immune complexes, inflammatory mediators, lipids, cholesterol, endotoxins. As a result, blood viscosity is reduced, its fluidity is improved, sensitivity to the drugs taken increases.

Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus should avoid stress, exposure to direct sunlight. These factors can worsen the condition.

When the skin lesions of unknown origin, you should seek medical advice.

If you suspect a systemic lupus erythematosus doctor will perform a wide variety of studies from which the main is a blood test, most often the disease is diagnosed by the presence of antibodies in human blood that are normally absent in healthy people.

Course of the disease

In 90% of all patients the first symptom of systemic lupus erythematosus are severe joint pain. Most patients are predominantly women 20-40 years. In 80-90% of cases of fever, skin lesions occur, characterized by the appearance of erythema in the form of a butterfly, may increase sensitivity to light. There are various forms of lupus erythematosus: light (manifesting a small number of symptoms) and severe (under which affects various organs and systems, such as the lungs and heart.

Mild and severe forms of lupus erythematosus

The disease is relatively often affects the kidneys, the degree of damage varies - up to kidney failure. The causes of abdominal pain are inflammation of blood vessels and gastrointestinal smooth muscle spasm. Characteristic changes in the blood - decrease in blood erythrocytes and leukocytes. During systemic lupus erythematosus is usually chronic with periodic exacerbations. Mild forms are not progressive and do not require treatment. It is known that people suffer mild forms of the disease more frequently than previously expected.

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