Lupus is a challenging disease for doctors. It is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation throughout your body in various type. Autoimmune disease occurs when your immune system is responsible for inflammation and the breakdown of its own cells. (that is, the body hurts itself).
Basically, the body’s immune system is responsible for destroying microbes and cells that may turn into cancer.
Autoimmune diseases are characterized by the mistake of the immune system in attacking the healthy tissues of the body.
The inflammation caused by Lupus severely affects different tissues and organs of the body., including the following:
This disease can be severe and potentially life-threatening. This disorder can cause permanent damage to body parts.
However, many people with Lupus experience a mild version of it. Although currently, there is no known cure for Lupus; treatments are used to control the disease and reduce its severity.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the most known and common type of Lupus. Systemic lupus erythematosus gets its name from the fact that it typically affects several different systems in your body, including:
This type of Lupus can vary from mild to severe. This disease causes symptoms that may worsen over time and then improve.
Times when your symptoms get worse are called flares, while periods, when they improve or go away, are called remissions.
This type of Lupus usually occurs on the skin. It may lead to rashes and permanent lesions with ulcers. There are several types of cutaneous Lupus, including:
While acute cutaneous Lupus is often associated with systemic lupus disease, subacute and chronic Lupus usually occurs only on the skin.
This disorder is very rare and occurs in babies whose mothers have specific autoimmune antibodies. These autoimmune antibodies are transferred from mother to fetus across the placenta.
Not all mothers with these antibodies have symptoms of Lupus! In fact, about 25 percent of mothers who give birth to a baby with Lupus have no symptoms of Lupus. However, it is estimated that 50% of these mothers will show symptoms within three years.
Symptoms of this disease may include the following:
While some babies may have heart defects, most have symptoms that go away after a few months.
However, antibodies (SSA/B) can cross the placenta and cause heart problems.
Mothers with these antibodies should be closely followed during pregnancy by specialists, including rheumatologists and obstetricians.
The use of certain prescription drugs can lead to drug-induced Lupus (DIL). This disorder may also be known as drug-induced lupus erythematosus (DILE).
Drug-induced Lupus can be caused by long-term use of certain prescription drugs.
There are many medications that can cause drug-induced Lupus. Some examples are:
• Antimicrobials: such as terbinafine (antifungal) and pyrazinamide (tuberculosis drug)
• Anticonvulsants: such as phenytoin (Dilantin) and valproate
• Arrhythmia drugs, such as quinidine and procainamide
• High blood pressure medications: such as timolol (Thymoptic, Istlol) and hydroxyzine
While drug-induced Lupus mimics the symptoms of systemic Lupus, in most cases, the disease does not usually affect the major organs.
However, it can cause pericarditis and pleurisy. Drug-induced Lupus usually disappears within a few weeks of stopping the consumption of that drug.
Lupus occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy body tissues. Lupus appears to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
People who have a hereditary background of lupus disease may get this disease in contact with environmental causes of Lupus. However, in many cases, the cause of the disease is unknown.
Some of the potential triggers for causing the disease include:
Lupus disease can be caused by certain types of anticonvulsant drugs, blood pressure drugs, and antibiotics.
People whose lupus disease is caused by drug use usually stop taking that type of drug, and their lupus symptoms also disappear.
About three-quarters of lupus patients have kidney problems. This problem has no obvious symptoms. Some people notice swelling of their feet or ankles. Some people notice kidney problems when blood or abnormal protein appears in a urine test.
Swelling around the heart is seen in patients with Lupus. This problem causes pain in the left side of the chest. Some people suffer from blood clots and heart valve diseases.
The lung tissue becomes swollen and causes difficulty breathing or chest pain.
Sometimes, Lupus causes chest pain that is not related to the heart or lungs. This pain occurs as a result of swelling of the chest muscles or rib joints.
Lupus usually does not cause digestive problems. However, some people experience heartburn, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, and swelling of the pancreas or liver. These symptoms are caused by Lupus or its treatment drugs.
Lupus and its treatment drugs cause anemia. There are few red blood cells in the blood, and they are destroyed quickly. Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath.
Headache is a common problem in these patients. Memory problems are less common. Some patients with Lupus have strokes and seizures.
Patients may become depressed and angry.
Lupus is not a contagious disease. Contagious means the transmission of a disease from one person to another. Examples of contagious diseases include things like the flu and the common cold.
What exactly causes Lupus is quite complex. Rather than “getting lupus from someone else,” Lupus is believed to be caused by a combination of factors. Including things like:
Therefore, although some people with a family history of Lupus are more at risk of contracting it, they do not catch the disease from another person. In fact, you may have a family history of Lupus and never get it!
Lupus is a disease caused by a mistake of the immune system, which you must have full knowledge about beforehand. By knowing its types and its causes, prevention can be seriously followed.
But you should know that if you are also suffering from lupus disease or people from your family are involved in this disease, they should be under strict care Because Lupus has no known cure, and only special care can prevent the progression of this disease.
Dr. Majid Zohrabi started treating his patients in Dubai in 2022 and continues his activities in private medical centers in the UAE.