thing we need to know about lupus is—most paramount—what lupus is. Basically, lupus is a classic autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune system, the one we rely on to fight off colds and viruses, suddenly turns against us, uncontrollably, and destroys our otherwise normal and healthy organs and tissues. Our immune system secretes antibodies, warriors against bacteria and foreign threats. In lupus, our system becomes confused as to which is which—which tissue is healthy, and which tissue has a threatening agent.
lupus is systemic. Systemic is when its manifestations are widespread across the different organs of the body, as most autoimmune diseases are. It can affect your skin, face, scalp, gastrointestinal tracts, renal and circulatory systems, muscles and joints, and brain and mental functions! However, not all people exhibit the same symptoms.
its epidemiology states that women are more affected than men, especially within the age range of fifteen to forty five, child bearing age. Races of higher risk include African Americans, Hispanics, and Caribbeans. Also, it is estimated that five million people worldwide have lupus.
lupus has different terms. Another name for lupus is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), as this term better describes the all-encompassing damages of lupus to the body. Under SLE, there are various names to remember owing to the different organ affectations mentioned above. There’s the central nervous system or the CNS lupus for damages such as cognitive impairment, increased risk for stroke, movement disorders, and seizures. There’s renal lupus nephritis, lupus’ severest symptom, that damages the kidneys. There’s also Jaccoud’s for symmetric, small joint involvement, Felty’s for blood-related involvement; and drug-induced lupus.
The fifth is a follow-up to the drug-induced lupus erstwhile stated. Lupus can be caused by drugs. The side effects of certain drugs mimic lupus symptoms such as pain in the joints, arthritis, rashes, fever, and fatigue. Drugs associated with lupus are: Procainamide to combat irregular heartbeat; Hydralazine for dilating arteries; Isoniazid, an antibiotic; methyldopa, an antidepressant; and chlorpromazine, an anti-psychotic.
lupus is a journey of relapse and exacerbation. Flare ups of symptoms can be mild or severe, one can only manifest coin shaped rashes on the scalp, face, or jaw, and then the next thing you know, you are experiencing large joint arthritis! Pregnancy is also a factor for flare ups.