You look at men and women with inflamed skin with patches all over and you wonder what it could be. It is perhaps lupus.
Lupus refers to an autoimmune disease in which the immune system of the body becomes hyperactive and influences the normal, healthy tissues of the body. When a person suffers from lupus, he/she experiences certain signs of the disease include swelling, inflammation and damage to the lungs, skin, joins, heart and blood.
In a healthy person, the immune system makes proteins that are referred to as antibodies. The proteins are made so that one can protect and fight against several antigens like bacteria and viruses. Lupus makes it difficult for the immune system to differentiate between healthy tissue and antigens, leading the immune system to direct the antibodies against healthy tissues causing tissue damage, swelling and pain.
There are different types of lupus that have been identified by the medical world, but the type of lupus that is most commonly referred to is known as systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE. Other types of lupus include discoid, neonatal and drug-induced.
Discoid lupus: patients with this type of lupus have the disease that is limited to just the skin. It is characteristic of rashes that appear on the face, scalp and neck. It does not affect any of the internal organs. Only 10 per cent of the total patients affected by discoid lupus progress into the disease’s systemic form. Statistics, however, is no call for one to predict the direction of the disease.
SLE: this type of disease can affect any of the different organs of the body or its systems. In some people, this type of disease limits itself to the skin and the joints. However, there are other SLE patients who experience the symptoms of the disease in their lungs, joints, kidneys, heart and blood. Patients with this type of disease of often go through periods of flare when their disease is active and periods of remission when the disease is dormant.
Drug-induced lupus: this type of lupus is caused by certain prescription drugs and brings about symptoms that are very similar to SLE. Medication for hypertension and heart arrhythmia is the most commonly associated drugs with this disease. There are, however, many other drugs that can lead to this medical condition. This form of lupus is likely to subside when the patient stops taking the medicine that is triggering the condition.
It has been found that lupus is most commonly a female’s disease than a male’s and it is therefore, necessary that a woman take precautions in advance and be more wary of her lifestyle.
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