An autoimmune disease causes the body’s own immune system to erroneously consider healthy cells as foreign agents. The immune system thus mistakenly launches its ‘body protecting’ functions against these healthy cells, causing long-term chronic inflammation and several other health complications. What is SLE? SLE, an abbreviation for Systematic Lupus Erythematosus, is an autoimmune disease which has widespread affects on the whole body including the kidneys, brain, joints, skin and other organs. The exact causes of Systematic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) are still unknown. Research however, has managed to uncover that SLE can be triggered by a hypersensitivity reaction to certain prescribed medications. SLE has been reported to set in after the patient has taken the medicine for at least 3 to 6 months. The medicines with the highest incidence of causing SLE include hydralazine,isoniazid, procainamide, capoten, anti-seizure medication, Chlorpromazine, Etanercept, Infliximab, Methyldopa, Minocycline, Penicillamine, Quinidine, Sulfasalazine.
Systematic Lupus Erythematosus sufferers exhibit common symptoms, as well as certain SLE symptoms dictated by the part of the body that is most affected by this ravaging autoimmune disease. There are several SLE symptoms that can help doctors diagnose this disease early on, and prescribe suitable medication to control the effects of SLE. Common SLE symptoms include the following:
Other SLE symptoms that may vary from patient to patient depending on the region of the body most hard-hit by the disease are as follows:
Doctors diagnose SLE when at least 4 symptoms of the disease are present. They will also confirm their diagnosis by recommending one of the following tests:
As for treatment, unfortunately there is no known cure yet for SLE. Treatment efforts center on controlling SLE symptoms. This is carried out in the following ways: prescribed medication, wearing protective clothing, applying sunscreen, frequent tests to detect bone thinning, ensuring that all immunizations are administered in time, and investing in preventive heart care. Lupus sufferers are also encouraged to join support groups to prevent depression.