Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease caused by the immune system or immune system that attacks cells, tissues, and the body’s own organs.
Such diseases are called autoimmune diseases. Lupus can attack various parts and organs of the body such as skin, joints, blood cells, kidneys, lungs, heart, brain, and spinal cord.
Under normal conditions, the immune system will protect the body from infection.
But in patients with lupus, the immune system attacks its own body.
The cause of lupus in a person is still unknown.
Symptoms of Lupus
The type of lupus that is the main discussion in this article is systemic lupus erythematosus (systemic lupus erythematosus / SLE).
These symptoms are very diverse, because it depends on which organs are affected by lupus.
Although the symptoms of SLE vary, there are three main symptoms that generally always appear, namely:
These are the most common symptoms of SLE that sufferers often complain about. Extreme fatigue is very disturbing and inhibits activity.
Many sufferers claim that these symptoms are the biggest negative impact of SLE in their lives.
Doing simple daily routines, such as household chores or office routines, can make SLE sufferers very tired.
Extreme feeling of fatigue still appears even after the patient has enough rest.
- Skin rashes.
What is characteristic of SLE is a rash that spreads to the nose and cheeks.
This symptom is known as a butterfly rash because of its shape resembling a butterfly wing.
- Pain in joints.
Another major symptom of SLE is pain.
These symptoms generally appear in the joints of the patient’s hands and feet which usually worsen in the morning.
Pain may also be able to move quickly from one joint to another joint.
Causes of Lupus
Some factors that are thought to trigger SLE in someone include:
It is suspected that there is a relationship between the influence of genetic factors and lupus because it is often found that family members of patients who are also sufferers of lupus.
Nine out of ten people with lupus are women. Women produce more estrogen than men.
Estrogen is known as a hormone that strengthens the immune system (immunoenhancing), which means that women have a stronger immune system than men.
Various types of environmental factors that are thought to trigger lupus include bacterial and viral infections (one of which is Epstein Barr virus), stress, ultraviolet exposure, smoking, and some chemicals such as mercury and silica.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Joint or muscle pain is one of the main symptoms of SLE.
Doctors will prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce these symptoms such as ibuprofen and diclofenac.
Corticosteroids can reduce inflammation quickly and effectively.
Doctors generally recommend long-term consumption of this drug.
The aim is to prevent the occurrence of severe symptoms of attacks, prevent active disease, and prevent the emergence of more serious complications.
The way this drug works is to suppress the immune system.
There are several types of immunosuppressants that are usually given by doctors, namely azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil, cyclophosphamide, and methotrexate.