Lupus is a disease caused due to autoimmunity, i.e. the immune system attacks organs in the body. If left untreated or in severe cases, this causes organ damage and failure that leads to life-threatening conditions. This condition is more common in women between the age of 15 and 45. When you look at the historical data, people die young from lupus primarily due to kidney failure. Nowadays, with careful treatment, 80 to 90% of people can expect to have a normal lifespan. Read on to know more about how lupus affects different organs.
As already said, lupus is an autoimmune condition, and this causes some amount of inflammation. Sometimes, it causes a flare-up that can worsen lupus symptoms. This results in skin rash, joint pain, and issues for organs like kidneys. Medication and lifestyle changes are common ways to manage flare-ups and prevent organ damage. Due to these reasons, it is important to work closely with your physician to effectively manage the symptoms of lupus.
Kidneys are the organs that are most affected by lupus, especially due to long-term inflammation. This causes scarring of the kidneys which leads to a loss in its function. The main reason for this is flare-up and managing it with the right medications prevents kidney damage.
With proper treatment and management of lupus flareups, kidney damages can be prevented. However, people suffering from this autoimmune condition still have a greater risk of developing heart disease. This is because lupus causes inflammation of the heart which increases the chances of heart attack and other diseases related to arteries. Also, the inflammation of the pericardium, i.e. lining around the heart leads to chest pain; this is called pericarditis.
Lupus can also cause the inflammation of the lining around the lungs; this condition is called pleuritis. This results in chest pain, especially when inhaling. If the inflammation spreads to the lungs, it causes scarring. This decreases the amount of oxygen absorbed into the bloodstream.
People suffering from lupus have greater chances of developing blood clots or anemia. Some people with this autoimmune condition also suffer from antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS), which increases the risk of miscarriages and blood clots. Also, you must know that blood clots can develop anywhere in the body like the legs, brain, or lungs.
The inflammation due to lupus can also occur in the brain, and this causes issues like memory loss, poor concentration, headaches, meningitis, seizures, coma, etc. Apart from this, some patients also suffer from anxiety, irritability, and depression.
We hope that the aforementioned details clarified your doubts on how lupus symptoms affect different organs.