Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, or
Lupus, is an autoimmune disease in which the body mistakenly attacks
normal organs and tissues. It is most common in women of child-bearing
age (14 to 45 years old), but can also be seen in men and children.
The symptoms of lupus differ from one person to another. Some people
only have a few symptoms, while others have many. The more typical
symptoms are fatigue, hair loss, mouth/nose sores, rash on the face, and
painful/swollen joints. These symptoms, along with certain blood tests,
are used to make a diagnosis. Sometimes the diagnosis cannot be made
right away and several visits are required.
Once the diagnosis of lupus is made, the patient should be monitored
regularly by a rheumatologist, even if they are feeling well. This is a
life-long disease. While there is no cure for lupus, we have a host of
effective treatments to help prevent disease complications.
Additionally, new treatments have been developed and lupus remains an
active area of research.
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