Lupus is a disease in which our immune system attacks the tissues in our own body. The immune system is made up of white blood cells that defend our body against foreign invaders. Normally, when foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria get into our body. Some of our white blood cells identified them as foreign—because they contain substances called antigens.
This recognition causes some of our white blood cells to make chemical markers called antibodies. These antibodies attached to the antigens, marking the foreign invaders as targets for our immune system to destroy them.
In an auto-immune disease such as lupus. Our white blood cells mistakenly make antibodies to mark some of our own body cells and circulating chemicals for destruction. When the antibodies attach to our normal cells. Our white blood cells begin to attack them as if they were foreign antigens.
Overtime, this autoimmune response causes inflammation in the parts of our body wherever this attack is happening. Inflammation makes the blood vessels in the affected area expand and leak fluid causing redness and swelling.
The symptoms of lupus happen as your immune system begins to attack different areas of your body;
- You may develop a butterfly-shape skin rash on your cheeks and nose.
- Small sores or ulcer may form inside your nose or mouth.
- You may develop arthritis in which or joints become inflamed and swollen.
- When your fingers are cold, they may turn a blue or white color. This is called Raynaud's phenomenon.
- You may have pain during deep breathing caused by pleurisy. In which a condition in which the outer lining of your lungs is inflamed.
- The white blood cells may create antibodies that attach to bits of your DNA from worn-out cells. The attached pair called an immune complex can lodge in your kidneys and cause inflammation. This disorder is called lupus nephritis.
- Flare-ups on any of your symptoms even those not related to your skin. May be caused by an unusual reaction to sunlight called photosensitivity.
Other common symptoms of lupus include;
- Extreme fatigue
- A reduced number of red blood cells in your blood called anemia.
- Swelling love your legs feet hands or skin around your eyes.
- Muscle pain and weakness
- Hair loss
Lupus is sometimes called great imitator. Because its many symptoms are found in other health problems. There is no cure for lupus. However, you may prevent or reduce flare ups by avoiding direct sunlight and wearing sunscreen outside. The sunscreen should have a Sun Protection Factor of 55 or greater.
Sunscreen that can block both Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B radiation.
To treat the symptoms, doctor may recommend a combination of drugs to reduce inflammation such as;
- Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- Anti-malarial drugs
Doctors may also recommend drugs that suppress or prevent your immune system from attacking the tissues in your body such as corticosteroids.
Hopefully, the next years expert can find certain ways to cure lupus. Do you have any messages for lupus patient? Then, you can leave that on the comment box below.