Systemic Lupus Essay

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Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a fairly common disease identified as episodes of inflammation and damage to joints, tendons, and various organs. The most effected organs are the heart, lungs, brain, kidneys, blood vessels, and skin. Lupus affects each individual differently and the effects could be mild to severe depending on the individual. SLE is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the healthy cells and tissues in the body (Ohio State, 2009). The main cause of lupus is unknown, but there are believed to be many factors that could contribute to lupus. Lupus is believed to be genetic for many individuals (Ohio State, 2009). If a mother has SLE, her daughter has a 1:40 chance of developing lupus, whereas,…show more content…
Fever, joint pain, and a rash of a woman in the childbearing age are the most common symptoms of lupus. This combination of symptoms usually signifies lupus (Leber, 2009). SLE requires many tests to diagnose correctly; many other diseases are ruled out before coming to the conclusion of lupus. A diagnosis for lupus may include a complete medical history check, reported symptoms, and various tests. These tests may include blood tests, urine tests, x-rays, ESR3, C-reactive protein4, and complement tests to measure proteins in the blood. Each test may show different results, so many tests are repeated to make sure of an accurate diagnosis. If the individual being evaluated for lupus has four of the eleven criteria they will almost certainly be diagnosed with lupus (Ohio State, 2009). Lupus treatment and research is developing slowly, but there is no cure for the disease. Treatment varies with each individual based on the severity of the disease, the organs most affected, the age of the individual, and the individual’s tolerance to medications and procedures. In cases where the disease is mild, the individual many not need treatment at all times, but this may change with the progression of the disease (Ohio State, 2009). The life expectancy of SLE patients in the 1950s was four years for fifty percent of lupus patients. Today, lupus patients have a fifteen year survival
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