Monday, May 9, 2011

World Lupus Day 2011

Lupus is an autoimmune disorder.  An autoimmune disorder is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. Normally, the immune system helps protect the body from harmful substances. But in patients with an autoimmune disease, the immune system cannot tell the difference between harmful substances and healthy ones.  The  cause of autoimmune diseases is not fully known.  It affects women 9 times more than men, occurs between the ages of 10 to 50, and African Americans and Asians are affected more than other races.

The most noticeable sign of lupus is a "butterfly" rash across the cheeks and bridge of the nose, and almost all have joint pain and swelling.

Other symptoms include:

Chest pain when taking a deep breath
Fever with no other cause
General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling (malaise)
Hair loss
Mouth sores
Sensitivity to sunlight


Tests done to diagnose Lupus include:
Complete blood count
Chest x-ray
antibody testing


There is no cure for Lupus, the treatment is mainly to treat the symptoms.  Drugs such as Nsaids and corticosteroids help with the pain and swelling, and corticosteroid cream is used for the rash. 


The outcome for people with SLE has improved in recent years. The 10-year survival rate for lupus patients is greater than 85%.

To learn more about lupus visit this website.

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