Systemic lupus erythematosus
Disseminated lupus erythematosus; SLE; Lupus; Lupus erythematosus; Discoid lupus
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a long-term autoimmune disorder that may affect the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs.
Causes, risk factors & incidence.
SLE Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease. This means the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue in error. This can lead to long-term (chronic) inflammation.
The underlying causes of autoimmune diseases are not fully known.
SLE is very much more common in women than it is in men. It can occur at any age. SLE appears most frequently in people between the ages of 10 & 50. Afro Americans and Asians are affected more often than those people from the other races.
Systemic lupus erythematosus can also be caused by certain types of medications. There areover 35 medications to cause SLE but the three that report the highest number of cases are Procainamide, Hydralazine, and Isoniazid.
Symptoms do vary from one individual to another and can be intermittant. Nearly everyone with SLE experiences joint pain and swelling. Some people develop arthritis. The commonly affected joints are the fingers, hands, wrists, and knees.
Other common symptoms include;
Chest pain when taking a deep breath
Fever with no other cause
General malaise discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling.
Sensitivity to sunlight
Skin rash — a “butterfly” rash over the cheeks and bridge of the nose affects about half of people with SLE. The rash gets worse
in sunlight. The rash may also be widespread.
Enlarged lymph nodes
Other symptoms depend on what part of the body is affected:
Brain and nervous system: headaches, numbness, tingling, seizures, vision problems, personality changes
Lung: coughing up blood and difficulty breathing
Digestive tract: abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting
Heart: abnormal heart rhythms.
Skin: patchy skin color, fingers that change color when cold (Raynaud’s phenomenon)
In spite of this sometimes patients only have symptoms involving the skin. Often referred to as “Discoid lupus”.
Video on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).