Novikov Maxim

Physician-therapist, somnologist

Novikov Maxim

Experience 13 year

Doctor of the highest category. Member of the European Respiratory Society and the Russian Respiratory Society

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a disease of inflammatory genesis associated with the production of autoimmune antibodies and immune complexes to the tissues of one's own body. At risk are patients aged 20 to 40 years. According to statistics, the disease is more often detected in women. The prevalence of the disease is no more than 2-3 cases per 1000 people.

General information about the disease

Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic disease characterized by pronounced skin manifestations. The exact etiology of the inflammatory process has not been established, the connection with disorders of autoimmune processes has been proven. Against their background, the body's cells produce antibodies to their own tissues. If the patient has lupus erythematosus, diagnosis is provided by the joint efforts of a dermatologist and a rheumatologist. The diagnosis is confirmed after receiving the results of laboratory tests and evaluating the main clinical signs.

Symptoms of lupus erythematosus:

  • swelling of the joints, accompanied by pain syndrome;
  • increase in body temperature;
  • increased fatigue or chronic fatigue;
  • rashes on the face of a red hue, skin color change;
  • pain in the chest space on a deep breath;
  • active hair loss, receding hairline formation;
  • blue hands and feet under the influence of cold and stress;
  • puffiness around the eyes;
  • hypersensitivity of the skin to ultraviolet radiation;
  • enlargement of the lymph nodes.

The main signs of lupus are dermatological. A person has a rash on the cheeks and bridge of the nose, the body is covered with extensive red spots, the fragility of nails increases. In advanced cases, trophic ulcers are formed. Mucous membranes suffer, ulcers appear on the red border of the lips, erosions form in the oral cavity.

The disease is classified according to the stages of the course:

  • acute form. It is characterized by a malignant course with continuously worsening symptoms. The disease is resistant to medication. This type is typical for children;
  • subacute form. There are periodic exacerbations, but the symptoms are moderate. Complications in the form of organ damage appear a year later;
  • chronic form. It is characterized by a long-term manifestation of one or more symptoms.

During the inflammatory process, there are three main stages. The first one is minimal. It is characterized by mild pain syndrome, periodic increases in body temperature, weakness. Skin signs are slightly isolated. At a moderate stage, there is a lesion of the face and body, vessels, joints are involved in the process, damage to internal organs is not excluded. At a pronounced stage, complications appear in the work of internal organs. Damage to the brain, circulatory system and musculoskeletal system is not excluded.

The causes of lupus have not been clarified. Lymphocytotoxic antibodies, which are characteristic of persistent viral infection, are detected in patients and their relatives. Virus-like inclusions are present in the endothelium of tissues of damaged organs. The disease spreads among women aged 20-40 years, but there are cases of its detection in older people, adolescents and children. Among men, SLE is less common, the frequency reaches 10% of cases, of the total number of cases. Stress is isolated as a provocateur factor. The development of SLE by the type of allergic reaction that occurs after long-term use of medications is not excluded.

There are no specific preventive recommendations. They come down to the general rules:

  • to exclude the impact of stress;
  • avoid prolonged contact with direct sunlight;
  • eat right;
  • to treat infectious and inflammatory diseases;
  • do physical education;
  • refuse to take oral contraceptives with an increased proportion of estrogen.

The prognosis for patients with systemic lupus erythematosus is unfavorable. Irreversible changes occur in the body, affecting all organs, and multiple organ failure develops. After the symptoms of lupus disease manifest, the patient can live for more than 20 years thanks to the latest advances in medicine.

Treatment Information

It is completely impossible to cure systemic lupus erythematosus. The main task is to minimize further aggravation of the clinical picture, reduce the impact of adverse factors on organs and improve the quality of life of the patient.

At the stage of initial treatment, the victim undergoes diagnostics, during which the nature of the course of pathology is established. The examination necessarily includes a laboratory examination:

  • a clinical blood test;
  • analysis for antinuclear antibodies (ANA);
  • Wasserman reaction;
  • LE-cell test.

If the patient has lupus, treatment is provided by a rheumatologist and a dermatologist. According to the indications, the patient may need to consult specialists in other areas (in case of complications and for their prevention). The therapy regimen is set individually, medications are prescribed: glucocorticoids, cytostatics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In severe cases, the use of extracorporeal therapies is indicated.

Answers to common questions

How to cure lupus forever?

Unfortunately, it is impossible to remove the problem forever. Medical and extracorporeal treatment is aimed at improving the patient's quality of life and prolonging it. Methods that guarantee absolute recovery are a deception, cases of complete recovery are not known in medical practice.

What does lupus look like?

Externally, the disease has common signs with various dermatological pathologies, there are similarities with psoriasis and dermatitis. But, it is impossible to confuse these pathologies. Lupus is a really dangerous systemic disorder that can lead to irreversible consequences.

How does the disease manifest itself?

The main symptom of SLE is a butterfly–shaped rash that appears on the skin. Further, the condition worsens, the patient constantly feels fatigue, pain, his joints swell, skin color changes, swelling forms. As the disease progresses, complications develop, progressing due to malfunction of internal organs.

Is it possible to die of lupus?

Systemic disease leads to serious consequences. The disease affects the entire body, the organs change their structure and cannot ensure the fulfillment of the functions assigned to them in full. With poor-quality drug exposure, the patient rapidly develops complications from the liver, kidneys and other systems that can lead to death.

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