Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex autoimmune disorder that can affect various organs and systems of the body, including the skin, joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, brain, and blood cells. SLE is often referred to as “the great imitator” because its symptoms are similar to those of other diseases, making diagnosis difficult. Keep on reading to understand in detail.
Symptoms Of SLE
The symptoms of SLE can range from mild to severe and can come and go. Some common symptoms include:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling
- Skin rashes, specifically a butterfly-shaped rash on the face
- Photosensitivity (sensitivity to light)
- Anemia (low red blood cell count)
- Hair loss
- Mouth or nose sores
- Chest pain
- Depression and mood swings
Causes Of SLE
The exact cause of SLE is unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some of the factors that may increase the risk of developing SLE include:
- Family history of lupus
- Being a woman
- Being African-American, Hispanic or Asian
- Exposure to ultraviolet light (from the sun or artificial sources)
- Infections (such as Epstein-Barr virus)
- Certain medications (such as blood pressure medications and drugs used to treat malaria)
How To Prevent Lupus
Although there is no known way to prevent SLE, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of developing the disease or to help manage the symptoms:
Avoiding exposure to ultraviolet light: Wear protective clothing and use a strong sunscreen when spending time outdoors.
Managing stress: Stress can trigger symptoms in people with SLE, so it’s important to find healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercise, meditation, and therapy.
Eating a healthy diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help support overall health and reduce inflammation.
Avoiding certain medications: Some medications can trigger symptoms in people with SLE, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about any medications you’re taking.
Getting regular medical check-ups: Regular check-ups with a doctor can help monitor for symptoms and any changes in health.
Treatment For SLE
Treatment for SLE typically involves a combination of medications and lifestyle changes. Physical therapy and exercise can help improve joint mobility and decrease pain, while support from family and friends can provide emotional and practical support.
If you are experiencing symptoms of SLE, it’s important to speak with your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. With proper care and management, people with SLE can lead fulfilling and productive lives.