Lupus Essay

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Lupus is an autoimmune disease that attacks women between the ages of 15 and 40. It occurs less often in men than in women. The people affected by lupus vary depending on the country or region. In the US alone, the prevalence rate is highest among Asians of Hawaii, blacks of Caribbean origin, and Native Americans of the Sioux, Arapahoe, and Crow tribes. Lupus is a disease that affects the immune system. We can think of the immune system as an army within the body with hundreds of defenders (known as antibodies). They defend the body from attack by germs and viruses. In lupus, however, the immune system becomes overactive and creates antibodies that attack healthy tissues in the body, such as: the skin, kidneys, lungs, heart and brain.…show more content…
These include genetic defects, hormonal factors, medications, some infections, exposure to ultraviolet B light, and chemical exposure. Some of the infections that are suspected triggers are the Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, parvovirus, and hepatitis C. Some known chemical exposures include trichloroethylene found in well water and silica dust. The most common symptoms are fatigue, rashes, or joint pain. Other symptoms that might develop are skin problems, sensitivity to light, neuropsychiatric problems, fever, changes in weight, hair loss, and/or swollen glands. Some specific skin problems are skin rashes, i.e., the facial butterfly rash. Raynaud’s phenomenon is often common, affecting the fingers, toes, ears, or tip of the nose. About 90% of lupus patients have fatigue in various degrees. Symptoms depend on what body organs are affected and how seriously they are affected. This disease can cause problems in nearly any system of the body, including the: •     Heart •     Kidney •     Lung •     Digestive system •     Blood cells and related organs •     Blood's clotting factors (antiphospholipid antibody syndrome) In a few cases these problems are severe and may be life-threatening. In order to diagnose a person with lupus, a doctor must look at the

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