Lupus Condition Can Be Treated
What is Lupus?

Lupus is a chronic systemic autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the body's cells and tissue, resulting in inflammation and tissue damage. The condition can affect any part of the body most often the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys, and nervous system. The course of the disease is unpredictable, with periods of illness (called flares) alternating with remissions. The disease occurs nine times more often in women than in men, especially in women in child-bearing years, and is more common in those also of non-European descent.

Systemic lupus is the most common form of lupus and affects different organs. Some of the more seriouscomplications involving major organ systems include: kidneys, lungs, nervous system and brain. Cutaneous Lupus refers to the skin and includes many types of rashes over the cheeks and across the bridge of the nose. Other rashes may appear on the face, neck, scalp (areas of the skin that are exposed to sunlight), mouth, nose or vagina. At the same time, it can produce hair loss and changes in the color of the skin. Another kind of lupus is the Drug-induced Lupus that is caused by certain prescription drugs. Neonatal lupus is a rare condition that affects infants of women who have lupus and is caused by antibodies from the mother acting upon the infant in the womb.


Common initial and chronic complaints include fever, discomfort, joint pains, muscle pain, fatigue, and temporary loss of cognitive abilities. Some may exhibit dermatological manifestations and lesions on the skin with thick and red patches as well as mouth, nasal and vaginal ulcers. Musculoskeletal symptoms include joint pain, with the small joints of the hand and wrist usually affected, although all joints are at risk. Anemia may develop in some patients due to low platelet and white blood cell counts. Inflammation in parts of the heart, lungs and kidneys can occur. Severe damage to the epithelial cells of the blood-brain barrier produce neuropsychiatric conditions as headaches, cognitive dysfunctions, mood disorders, cerebrovascular diseases, seizures, anxiety disorders, and psychosis. The main symptoms include:

1) Pleuritis (inflammation of the membrane around the lungs) or pericarditis (inflammation of the membrane around the heart)
2) Oral ulcers
3) Arthritis
4) Photosensitivity (exposure to ultraviolet light causes rash)
5) Blood-hemolytic anemia (low red blood cell count) or leukopenia (white blood cell count)
6) Renal disorder
7) Antinuclear antibody test positive
8) Neurologic disorder: Seizures or psychosis
9) Malar rash (rash on cheeks)
10) Discoid rash


The exact mechanisms for the development of this condition are still unclear, since the pathogenesis is a multifactor event. There is no one specific cause for this condition; however a number of genetic susceptibilities and environmental factors can trigger the disease. The first mechanism may arise genetically; research indicates that may be a genetic link. Multiple genes appear to influence a person's chance of developing the condition when triggered by environmental factors. The environmental factors may include: medications (antidepressants or antibiotics), stress, sunlight, hormones or infections.

Western Medicine Treatment

Because lupus can cause damage to any part of the body, different specialists may be necessary to treat the condition, such as a cardiologist, who specializes in heart problems, dermatologist, who specializes in diseases that affect the skin, neurologist, who specializes in problems that affect the brain and nervous system, or a primatologist, who specializes in high-risk pregnancies.

This condition is treatable through addressing its symptoms with medications such as anti-malarial drugs,corticosteroids and immunosuppressants. The treatment involves preventing flares and reducing their severity and duration of the symptoms. In more severe cases, medications that modulate the immune system (corticosteroids and immunosuppressants) may be used to control the disease and prevent recurrence of symptoms. Since a large percentage of people with the disease suffer from varying amounts of chronic pain, stronger prescription analgesics may be used if other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications do not provide effective relief. Intravenous immunoglobulins may be used to reduce antibody production and promote the clearance of immune complexes from the body. Renal transplants are the treatment of choice for end-stage renal disease, which is one of the complications of lupus nephritis. Avoiding sunlight is another factor to reduce the onset of the disease, as sunlight is known to exacerbate the disease.

Adopted from