There are many different immune system illnesses and Lupus is a medical condition that falls into this category. Currently incurable, Lupus can affect any part of the body and is mainly suffered by females. It is thought to be genetic in origin.
As this condition can produce many different symptoms, it is sometimes undiagnosed by doctors and during this time a number of major organs can suffer irreversible damage. The principle organs that are damaged are the kidneys and skin but the heart, lungs and brain can also be affected.
Symptoms to look out for:
- Joint and muscle pain
- Extreme tiredness that will not subside even when totally rested.
- Possible hair loss
- Mouth ulcers.
The two major symptoms, Joint and muscle pain and extreme tiredness are invariably present however, after these people with lupus can have very varied symptoms and this can mean the illness affects them in different ways. It can be life-threatening for a few and yet mild for others. Recurrent miscarriage can also be a complication of lupus.
Lupus is said to share a number of similar symptoms with leukaemia, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis.
Why women are the principle sufferers of Lupus
The main trigger of lupus is hormonal activity and change, and lupus can often trigger after childbirth, at the menopause or during puberty and usually between the ages of 15 and 55.
Medication for Lupus
Lupus is generally treated using anti-malarials (such as hydroxychloroquine) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Steroids such as prednisolone have been vital in the improvement in lupus care and in some cases are lifesaving. Immunosuppressants are widely used in more severe cases. The most commonly used are azathioprine, methotrexate and cyclophosphamide.
The above information has been sourced from LUPUS UK who are the national charity helping people with the presently incurable immune system illness lupus. They currently support approximately 6,000 members through their regional groups and advise many others on the symptoms prior to diagnosis. For more information please visit their website: