Disease pathophysiology: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. It can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs. There are many kinds of lupus. The most common type is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which affects many internal organs in the body. SLE most often harms the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys, and nervous system. The course of the disease is unpredictable, with periods of illness (called flares) alternating with remissions. General symptoms associated with lupus include low-grade fever, loss of appetite, nausea, muscle aches, joint pains, fatigue. Treatment: Treatment of Systemic lupus erythematosus includes anti-inflammatory medications for joint pain and stiffness, steroid creams for rashes, corticosteroids of varying doses to minimize the immune response, antimalarial drugs for skin and joint problems.
There is no permanent cure for SLE. The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms and protect organs by decreasing inflammation and/or the level of autoimmune activity in the body. The precise treatment is decided on an individual basis. Many people with mild symptoms may need no treatment or only intermittent courses of anti-inflammatory medications. Those with more serious illness involving damage to internal organ(s) may require high doses of corticosteroids in combination with other medications that suppress the body's immune system. People with SLE need more rest during periods of active disease. Researchers have reported that poor sleep quality was a significant factor in developing fatigue in people with SLE. These reports emphasize the importance for people and physicians to address sleep quality and the effect of underlying depression, lack of exercise, and self-care coping strategies on overall health.
During these periods, carefully prescribed exercise is still important to maintain muscle tone and range of motion in the joints. Major Research: Research is geared towards finding a possible cause, a cure, and more effective treatments for people with lupus. A study called BLISS-76 tested the drug, belimumab, and a fully human monoclonal anti-BAFF (or anti-BLyS) antibody. BAFF stimulates and extends the life of B lymphocytes, which produce antibodies against foreign and self-cells. It was approved by the FDA in March 2011. Statistcs: Lupus is a disease of the immune system, which affects more than 17,000 Australians. Symptoms can be vague and vary from person to person, and consequently diagnosis can be difficult. However, once diagnosed, a combination of prescribed treatment and lifestyle adjustments enables most people with lupus to enjoy an almost normal life.