Lupus disease is an autoimmune system disorder in which the healthy tissues and organs are attacked by the immune system. It is a chronic inflammatory disease, and the inflammation can affect different body systems including joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, heart, and lungs. It has been observed that this disease is more commonly seen in women. However, what causes it is not yet clear. There are 4 types of lupus, namely, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), discoid lupus erythematosus, drug-induced lupus erythematosus, and neonatal lupus.
SLE is said to be the most common and serious of all the different types. The causes of lupus are very difficult to diagnose. It is said that it can be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. According to doctors, a person may not inherit lupus itself. Rather, people inherit a predisposition to lupus, which develops when the person comes in contact with a trigger, such as a certain medication or virus.
When we look at the symptoms, it is important to note that they are not exactly alike in two different cases. The symptoms of lupus in women may develop suddenly or may build up over a period of time. In some cases, the indicants may be mild whereas in others they may be severe. Likewise, the signs and symptoms of this disease can also be temporary or permanent. The early symptoms in women depend upon the physiological system affected by the disease.
A few symptoms have been enlisted below:
- Swelling and aching joints accompanied by muscle pain. Joint stiffness is also observed in some people.
- Most patients complain of extreme fatigue.
- A lot of people with lupus suffer either from unexplained weight loss or weight gain.
- One of the most commonly observed symptoms is the butterfly rash, also known as malar rash. This rash is seen on the face and often covers the cheeks and bridge of the nose.
- Skin lesions, which appear or worsen when the skin is exposed to the sun, is another symptom. The skin may become very delicate, and the person may become prone to easy bruising.
- During cold temperatures or stressful periods, the fingers and toes either turn white or blue. This is also known as Raynaud's syndrome.
- People suffering from lupus disease may also suffer from mouth sores.
- Alopecia or hair loss is also an indicator of lupus.
- Affected people may also often be short of breath. It can also be accompanied by chest pain.
- Dry eyes are also a key indicator.
- Anxiety and depression are also signs of lupus. The person may not necessarily suffer from both.
- Memory loss is another important symptom.
There is no cure for lupus itself. The goal of the treatment is to relieve the symptoms and thereby protect the organs by decreasing the inflammation and autoimmune activity in the body. People who have mild symptoms may not need any treatment or may need only some intermittent courses of anti-inflammatory medicines. These medicines help in reducing inflammation and muscle and joint pain. The line of treatment in severe cases will require a combination of different medications to suppress the autoimmune reactions of the body.
When any of the above-mentioned symptoms are seen, it is better to get the condition checked by a health care professional so that the disease does not progress. At the same time, the symptoms may vary from one person to another. Hence, a health care professional will be able to better diagnose the problem.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.