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Lupus Essay

1322 words - 6 pages

Lupus Not many people have heard of the autoimmune disease Lupus, although it is more common than Leukemia, Multiple Sclerosis, and Muscular Dystrophy. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which can affect any system in the body. This disease makes the body attack its own cells and tissues. The immune system makes antibodies, which are supposed to protect the body, but instead they attack the body's own tissue. Lupus is a chronic disease, which means it is long lasting. It is neither contagious nor infectious (Rosenthal). There are three types of Lupus. The types include Systemic Lupus, Discoid Lupus, and drug induced lupus. Systemic Lupus attacks the skin, joints, ...view middle of the document...

It is suspected that people inherit something from their parents that may cause them to develop Lupus. It doesn't mean that they will definitely develop Lupus, but they are five to twelve percent more likely. Not knowing the cause of Lupus makes it harder to find a cure for it (Forshaw). Symptoms vary from each type. They actually vary from week to week, sometimes even day to day. Not all patients have the same symptoms. Some common symptoms include: rash on cheeks/nose, scaly, disk shaped scarring rash, itching/burning rash, mouth/nose ulcers, easy bruising, hair loss, joint pain/swelling, muscle aches/tenderness, fatigue, fever, headache, bleeding gums, cold hands in feet, pain in chest relieved by sitting up, short of breath, swollen legs, swollen ankles, weight gain/loss, vomiting, foaming urine, confusion, seizers, and memory problems. Lupus is not commonly fatal. The majority of people with Lupus will live a normal life. Ninety percent of the people will live a normal life span. If people do die from Lupus overwhelming infection and kidney failure causes it. It is possible that the patient gets another autoimmune disease from Lupus. The antibodies may develop against different organs, tissues or glands, which can cause a variety of diseases. The most common include Sjogren's syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, and Hashimoto's Thyoiditis (Forshaw). Lupus is very hard to diagnose. There is no single test that can say a person definitely has Lupus or not. Diagnosis of lupus is difficult and can take years because symptoms can mimic other disorders. Diagnosis begins with a complete medical history, a physical examination, blood tests, and other studies that may be necessitated by the patient's symptoms. It can be diagnosed and treated by different doctors such as rheumatologist, dermatologist, nephrologist, immunologist, or just by the patients' regular doctor. Blood tests can be done to help diagnose. Some blood tests include Full Blood Count, Creatinine and Electrolytes, Liver Function Tests, ESR, CRP, urine, Blood Clotting Tests, Immunological Tests. Since it is so hard to diagnose a physician of the American Rheumatism Association made a chart of eleven abnormalities, which occur if you have Lupus. You must have at least four at any time to be diagnosed with the disease: (Forshaw). Chart from: (Forshaw) 1 Malar rash Fixed red rash over the cheeks 2 Discoid rash Red patches of skin associated with scaling and plugging of the hair follicles 3 Photosensitivity Rash after exposure to sunlight 4 Mucosal ulcers Small sores that occur in mucosal lining of mouth and nose 5 Serositis Inflammation of the delicate tissues covering internal organs and abdominal pain 6 Arthritis -Very common in...

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