Lupus is an autoimmune disease. It is a condition that the medical profession finds very difficult to diagnose. There is no single test that will diagnose lupus. Signs and symptoms that closely mimic other medical conditions complicate the issue. Many tests are conducted to help rule out other conditions that have similar symptoms.
In this article, we will share with you some important information about the autoimmune disease lupus. First, you will learn about who is at risk of the autoimmune disease known as lupus. Next, we will help you better understand the causes of lupus. Then, we will wrap it up with some of the complications of this disease. Once you have finished reading, you will have the information you need to take the next steps in improving your overall health.
Individuals At Risk
Although lupus can affect all ages, the usual onset of the disease is between the ages of 15 and 45; nine out of ten patients are women, and Afro-American women are more likely than other races to get the condition. Lupus can be mild or life-threatening, depending on how seriously the body has been affected. There are a large number of symptoms of lupus. They vary greatly from person to person. It is considered very unlikely that one person will experience all of the possible symptoms.
The development of an unexplained low-grade fever is a sign of inflammation in the body; this is a classic symptom of lupus. Lupus is a disease that causes tissues in the body to become chronically inflamed. Joint and muscle pain are common for many lupus patients; itching, nausea, and swelling of the legs may indicate associated kidney damage. Most people with lupus can expect to live a normal or near-normal life span. However, this depends on how severe the disease is and if vital organs have been affected.
The Causes Of Lupus
Our immune system is designed to identify and attack foreign bodies, such as bacteria and viruses, to keep us healthy. For reasons not fully understood, our immune cells can reprogram and attack our cells and tissues, causing autoimmune disease. What triggers the autoimmune system to cause lupus is not known. Scientists believe that either environmental factors or genetics or, more likely, a combination of both are generally responsible.
This combination of genetic predisposition and an external triggering event seems common to all expressions of autoimmune disease. Potential triggers include sunlight, infection, and medication; it has been found that some blood pressure and anti-seizure medication and antibiotics have also been triggers. No two cases are exactly alike; the symptoms may appear suddenly or, in some cases, develop slowly. Symptoms can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The disease is characterized by periods where the symptoms are very active, termed “flares,” and times of minimal or no symptoms, called “remission.”
The Complications Of Lupus
Complications in the kidneys caused by the disease can become serious. Kidney failure is one of the leading causes of death among people with lupus. When lupus impacts the blood and blood vessels, it may lead to anemia, increased risk of bleeding, and blood clotting.
Lupus can cause an increased risk of developing inflammation of the chest cavity lining. This can lead to pleurisy, which makes breathing painful. Bleeding into the lungs and pneumonia are also possible. The risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks increases greatly if the inflammation of the heart muscle, arteries, or heart membrane has been weakened by the onset of this disease.
Lupus is an autoimmune condition that the medical profession finds very difficult to diagnose. Signs and symptoms that closely mimic other medical conditions complicate the issue, and doctors have yet to develop one test to determine the diagnosis of lupus. To help rule out other conditions that have similar symptoms, doctors administer many different tests. In this article, we shared with you some important information about the autoimmune disease lupus.
First, you learned about who is at risk for the autoimmune disease known as lupus. Next, we helped you better understand the causes of lupus. Then, we wrapped it up with some of the complications of this disease. Now that you have finished reading, you have the information you need to take the next steps in improving your overall health.