Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Below you will find more information about Systemic Lupus Erythematosus from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Systemic Lupus Erythematosus comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus) is a chronic autoimmune disease that can be fatal, though with recent medical advances, fatalities are becoming increasingly less. As with other autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks the body's cells and tissue, causing inflammation and tissue damage.

Diagnosis

Since patients with SLE can have a wide variety of symptoms and different combinations of organ involvement, no single test ensures the diagnosis of systemic lupus.

Treatment

As lupus erythematosus is a chronic disease with no known cure, treatment is limited to dealing with the symptoms; essentially this involves preventing flares and reducing their severity and duration when they occur

Symptoms and Signs

SLE's symptoms vary so widely it often mimics or is mistaken for other illnesses. Diagnosis can be elusive, with patients sometimes suffering unexplained symptoms and untreated SLE for years on end. Common initial and chronic complaints are fever, malaise, fatigue, joint pains, and myalgias.

Causes

The precise reason for the abnormal autoimmunity that causes lupus is unknown. Inherited genes, viruses, ultraviolet light, and drugs may all be involved.

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