published on: 25th august, 2021

Systemic lupus erythematosus, referred to as SLE or lupus, is a chronic (long-term) disease that causes systemic inflammation which affects multiple organs.

Our immune system defends us from infections and malignancies when we are healthy. In lupus, the immune system malfunctions and targets the patient's own tissues, a condition known as autoimmunity, or "loss of self-tolerance."

Lupus usually strikes young girls during their fertile years, however it can also strike during childhood .

Some ethnic groups, primarily blacks and Asians, are more susceptible to the disease, and their symptoms are more severe.

Around 20% of persons with lupus are diagnosed when they are youngsters or teenagers. Childhood-onset SLE, or cSLE, is a kind of lupus that begins in childhood. Lupus is uncommon in children under the age of five.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms that aren't specific to lupus are common in people with the disease.

Fever, exhaustion, weight loss, blood clots, and hair loss are some of the symptoms. Heartburn, stomach ache, and impaired circulation to the fingers and toes are all possible symptoms. Miscarriages can occur in pregnant women. Lupus can flare up during pregnancy, affecting the baby's development.

  • Rashes include: — malar rash, a butterfly-shaped rash on the cheeks; — discoid rash, a red rash with elevated round or oval spots; — rash on sun-exposed skin.
  • Mouth sores: ulcers in the mouth or nose that can persist anywhere from a few days to a month.
  • Arthritis:Tenderness and swelling in two or more joints for a few weeks
  • Lung or heart inflammation: Pleurisy (or pleurisy) is a swelling of the tissue lining the lungs or the heart.
  • Kidney problem: Urine that contains blood or protein, or tests that indicate impaired kidney function
  • Neurologic problem: Seizures, strokes, or psychosis are all possibilities (a mental health problem)
  • Abnormal blood tests such as: Anemia, low white blood cells, or low platelets are all examples of low blood cell counts. —positive antinuclear antibodies. - certain abnormal antibodies.

How to treat Lupus ?

The treatment aims to reduce the overactive immune system, resulting in remission and the prevention of lasting organ damage.

The types of medications required will depend on the symptoms.

There are side effects to every drug. With your doctor, go over the advantages and disadvantages of the medications you've been prescribed. Your doctor may be able to change your meds to reduce side effects while still controlling your lupus based on how well you respond to treatment.

Living with Lupus

It is important that lupus patients, to exercise and lower other risk factors for heart disease, such as smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, are key to preventing their disease.

The majority of people with lupus are able to lead normal lives. Lupus treatment has progressed, and those who have the condition are living longer.

Dr. Mahmood Al-Majmuei

Consultant - Rheumatology

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