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  • Systemic lupus erythematosus symptoms

    Systemic lupus erythematosus is an inflammatory disease that is based on the formation of antibodies to the organs and tissues of your body.

    • SLE is an autoimmune disease, the exact mechanisms of its occurrence remain unclear.

    • hereditary predisposition;

    • hormonal changes in the body;

    • viruses, toxins according to some theory;

    • Seizures can be caused by ultraviolet radiation( for example, when in the sun), infection, childbirth, abortion or stress.

    • Many medications, including hydralazine( pressure reduction), procainamide( a drug that is commonly used for cardiac arrhythmia) and chlorpromazine( sedative), as well as certain foods, such as alfalfa sprouts, can cause a temporary lupus-like illness;the disease disappears when a person ceases to take medicine or use products.

    Diagnosis of the disease involves the detection in the blood test of inflammatory changes, as well as specific lupus cells. And also the presence of a specific rash and face reddening in the form of a butterfly. Characteristic are and lesions of internal organs.

    • Medical history and physical examination. Long-term follow-up may be necessary for the final diagnosis, which requires at least four of the signs of SLE.

    • Blood test for the presence of autoimmune antibodies, anemia and a decrease in the number of white blood cells and platelets.

    • The urine is checked for excess protein and red blood cells.

    • Kidney biopsy may be performed. The doctor injects the needle into the kidney through the back( under local anesthesia) to remove a small tissue sample for analysis under a microscope.

    • Lumbar puncture( spinal puncture).

    • Computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging.

    • Fever.

    • Fatigue.

    • General poor health.

    • Loss of appetite and weight.

    • Abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.

    • Headache.

    • Pain and swelling of the joints.

    • A red rash( in the form of a butterfly) on both cheeks and the back of the nose, as well as a rash in other parts of the body.

    • Increased skin sensitivity to the sun.

    • Small, painless sores on the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth.

    • Blurred or poor vision.

    • Unusual bruising or bleeding;jaundice;dark urine;severe or irregular heartbeat.

    • Enlarged lymph nodes.

    • Increased abdominal, swelling, tissue around the eyes and ankles;weight gain;dyspnea;a reduced amount of urine output.

    • Cough and chest pain. Tingling or pain in the muscles, stiffness, spasms, cramps, numbness, or temporary paralysis.

    • Emotional depression, anxiety, confusion, personality changes or psychosis.

    The manifestations of the disease are manifold, for convenience they can be divided into the following groups:

    • skin lesion: round foci with red edges and a light center, reddening of the skin on the nose and cheekbones in the form of a butterfly. Photosensitivity, that is, increased sensitivity to light;

    • joint and mouse damage: pain and weakness;

    • damage to mucous membranes in the form of inflammation and erosion;

    • damage to the internal organs: heart, kidneys, lungs;

    • headache;

    • increased irritability, depression.

    Treatment of the disease is based on the hormones glucocorticoids. If they are ineffective, they switch to more serious drugs - cytostatics and immunosuppressants. It is necessary to adhere to a diet with a high content of calcium.

    Some doctors consider effective plasmapheresis, that is, blood purification.

    • For moderate symptoms, treatment may not be required.

    • To reduce fever and alleviate mild pain, take aspirin or other nonprescription pain medications.

    • To reduce pain in joints, use warm compresses. It is necessary to rest a lot. People with SLE often need more than 10 hours of sleep at night, and, possibly, more during the attacks of the disease.

    • Orally administered corticosteroids such as prednisone can be prescribed to treat the symptoms of lupus.

    • Immunosuppressants, including high doses of corticosteroids, as well as chemotherapeutic drugs, can be prescribed to monitor the course of the disease.

    • Hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug, can be prescribed to reduce skin rashes, as well as pain and swelling due to arthritis.

    • An anticoagulant drug warfarin may be prescribed to prevent the formation of blood clots and reduce the possibility of a heart attack and stroke.

    • A doctor can replace some medicines if there is a suspicion that.they cause attacks of SLE.

    • Use sunscreen containing para-aminobenzoic acid with a sun protection factor of 15 or higher. Avoid exposure to sunlight between 10.00 and 14.00, if possible.

    • A doctor can recommend a low-salt diet. Additives with calcium and vitamin D may be required by some patients.

    • Dialysis may be necessary for kidney failure. In this procedure, the apparatus performs the functions of the kidneys, removing unnecessary substances and excess fluid when the kidneys do not work.

    • In case of renal failure, kidney transplantation is possible as an alternative to dialysis.

    • Consult your doctor if you experience SLE symptoms.

    • Make an appointment with a doctor if symptoms become worse after diagnosis of SLE or new ones appear.

    The outlook is unfavorable.

    There is no specific prevention of systemic lupus erythematosus.