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Systemic lupus erythematosus

Systemic lupus erythematosus: Introduction

Lupus is an ongoing or chronic disease that can have a widespread effect on the body, including the skin, joints, muscles and other organs. Lupus, also called systemic lupus erythematosus, can be a mild disease or the progression of it can result in serious, even fatal complications to vital organs.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease. In an autoimmune disease, the body's immune system mistakes healthy tissues and organs as foreign and potentially dangerous invaders into the body and attacks them. This results in inflammation that eventually can damage and destroy the affected tissues and organs.

There are three types of lupus. These include systemic lupus, which results in inflammation in multiple organs and body systems. Discord lupus erythematosus only affects the skin. Drug-induced lupus occurs as a side effect of some drugs, such as beta blockers, which are commonly used to treated heart disease and hypertension.

The onset of lupus often occurs in young adulthood through middle age and affects about ten times as many women as men. People at a higher risk of developing lupus include people of Hispanic or Black descent and those who have a child, sibling or parent with the disease. People who take beta blockers are also at risk.

The way that lupus affects people differs widely from person to person, but it generally occurs as periodic attacks of symptoms. These flare-ups are followed by a period of time in which symptoms improve. The symptoms of lupus can be mild, moderate, or severe. Complications of lupus can be serious, even life-threatening. For more details on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of lupus.

Making a diagnosis can be difficult because lupus mimics many other diseases, and there is no specific test to diagnose lupus. A diagnosis is based on the complete compilation and evaluation of the patient's history, symptoms, exam, and medical tests. A diagnosis begins with taking a thorough medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination. Medical tests are ordered to rule-out other diseases and can reveal indications of lupus and its complications, such as kidney damage, liver damage, problems with the clotting of blood, heart damage, and lung damage.

Testing may include a wide variety of blood tests, including a complete blood test (CBC), and an erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), which measures the level of inflammation in the body. Liver function is tested with blood liver function tests. Other blood tests include those that pinpoint specific autoantibodies, which are found in the body with lupus and other autoimmune diseases.

Various imaging tests, such as X-ray, CT, MRI, and nuclear scanning may also be performed to help assess potential damage to organs and body systems. In addition, an EKG may be done to help identify heart damage, and a urinalysis can help reveal kidney problems.

It is possible that a diagnosis of lupus can be missed or delayed because early symptoms can be mild or vague and associated with other conditions, such as aging, influenza, arthritis or stress. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of lupus.

Treatment for lupus varies depending on the severity of symptoms, the presence of complications, a person's age and medical history and other factors. Lupus cannot be cured, and severe cases can be fatal. However, treatment can help the majority of people live a normal lifespan. Treatment can include a combination of medications, lifestyle changes, diet and avoiding exposure to the sun. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of lupus....more »

Systemic lupus erythematosus: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of lupus may be delayed or missed because some cases are mild and have minimal symptoms and long periods between flare-ups of symptoms. In addition, many symptoms of lupus, such as fever, painful, swollen joints, rashes from sun exposure, hair loss and mouth lesions, can be attributed to a wide variety of other conditions or diseases. These include canker ...more misdiagnosis »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Systemic lupus erythematosus

Home medical tests possibly related to Systemic lupus erythematosus:

Systemic lupus erythematosus: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Systemic lupus erythematosus, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

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Systemic lupus erythematosus Treatments

There is no cure for lupus. However, it is a myth that lupus is commonly a fatal disease. With early recognition, regular medical care, and good patient compliance with a treatment plan, it is possible for most people with lupus to live a normal lifespan.

The most successful treatment plans employ a multipronged approach that includes medications, lifestyle changes, diet and avoiding ...Systemic lupus erythematosus Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Systemic lupus erythematosus may include:

Review further information on Systemic lupus erythematosus Treatments.

Alternative Treatments for Systemic lupus erythematosus

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Systemic lupus erythematosus may include:

Stories from Users for Systemic lupus erythematosus

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Systemic lupus erythematosus: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Systemic lupus erythematosus may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

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Causes of Similar Symptoms to Systemic lupus erythematosus

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Systemic lupus erythematosus:

Misdiagnosis and Systemic lupus erythematosus

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Systemic lupus erythematosus: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

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Hospitals & Clinics: Systemic lupus erythematosus

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Systemic lupus erythematosus: Related Rare Diseases

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Systemic lupus erythematosus: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Article Excerpts about Systemic lupus erythematosus

Lupus (also called systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE) is a disorder of the immune system which normally functions to protect the body against invading infections and cancers. In lupus, the immune system is over-active and produces increased amounts of abnormal antibodies that attack the patient's own tissues. Lupus can affect many parts of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, lungs, heart, nervous system, and blood vessels. The signs and symptoms of lupus differ from person to person, and the disease can range from mild to life-threatening. (Source: excerpt from NINDS Neurological Sequelae Of Lupus Information Page: NINDS)

Lupus is a disorder of the immune system known as an autoimmune disease. In autoimmune diseases, the body harms its own healthy cells and tissues. This leads to inflammation and damage to various body tissues. Lupus can affect many parts of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and brain. (Source: excerpt from Handout on Health Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: NIAMS)

An inflammation of the connective tissues, SLE can afflict every organ system. It is up to nine times more common in women than men and strikes black women three times as often as white women. The condition is aggravated by sunlight. (Source: excerpt from Connective Tissue Diseases: NWHIC)

Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the body literally attacks itself, harming its own healthy cells and tissues. It can affect the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and brain, causing inflammation and damage to tissues. (Source: excerpt from Lupus Fact Sheet: NWHIC)

Lupus (also called systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE) is a disorder of the immune system which... (Source: excerpt from NINDS Neurological Sequelae Of Lupus Information Page: NINDS)

Lupus is a disorder of the immune system known as an autoimmune disease. In autoimmune diseases, the... (Source: excerpt from Handout on Health Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: NIAMS)

An inflammation of the connective tissues, SLE can afflict every organ system. It is up to nine times... (Source: excerpt from Connective Tissue Diseases: NWHIC)

Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the body literally attacks itself, harming its own healthy... (Source: excerpt from Lupus Fact Sheet: NWHIC)

Definitions of Systemic lupus erythematosus:

RAEB: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). an autoimmune connective tissue disease with variable features.
- (Source - Diseases Database)

An inflammatory disease of connective tissue with variable features including fever and weakness and fatigability and joint pains and skin lesions on the face or neck or arms
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)

Chronic, relapsing, inflammatory, and often febrile multisystemic disorder of connective tissue, characterized principally by involvement of the skin, joints, kidneys, and serosal membranes; it is of unknown etiology, but is thought to represent a failure of the regulatory mechanisms of the autoimmune system; the disease is marked by a wide range of system dysfunctions, an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and the formation of LE cells in the blood or bone marrow.
- (Source - CRISP)

SLE. A chronic, inflammatory, connective tissue disease that can affect the joints and many organs, including the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, and nervous system. It can cause many different symptoms; however, not everyone with SLE has all of the symptoms. Also called lupus.
- (Source - National Cancer Institute)

Detailed list of causes of Systemic lupus erythematosus

The list below shows some of the causes of Systemic lupus erythematosus mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Systemic lupus erythematosus?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Systemic lupus erythematosus. Of the 14 causes of Systemic lupus erythematosus that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 0 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 3 causes are "common" diseases
  • 0 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 0 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 0 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 13 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Systemic lupus erythematosus:

The following list of conditions have 'Systemic lupus erythematosus' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Systemic lupus erythematosus:

The following list of medical conditions have Systemic lupus erythematosus or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

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What are the alternative names for Systemic lupus erythematosus:

Lupus erythematosus, SLE
- (Source - Diseases Database)

Classifications of Systemic lupus erythematosus:

Symptoms related to Systemic lupus erythematosus:

Autoimmine disease, Complement component 2 deficiency, Connective tissue diseases, Discoid (cutaneous) lupus, Drug-induced lupus erythematosus, Genetics, Immune thyroid disorders, Pregnancy (699 causes), Properdin deficiency, X-linked, Rheumatoid arthritis (17 causes)

Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

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Evidence Based Medicine Research for Systemic lupus erythematosus

Medical research papers related to Systemic lupus erythematosus include:

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Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Lupus:

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