Lupus is an auto-immune disease where the body's defense mechanisms becomes overactive and attacks regular, healthier cells. This results in symptoms such as inflammation, and harm to joints, skin, renal system, blood, the heart, and respiratory system.
Under regular function, the defense mechanisms creates necessary protein called antibodies in order to protect and fight against antigens such as airborne viruses and bacteria. Lupus creates the defense mechanisms unable to distinguish between antigens and healthier cells. This leads the defense mechanisms to direct antibodies against the healthier cells - not just antigens - causing inflammation, pain, and injury.
(* An antigen is a substance capable of causing a specific defense response.
Several different kinds of lupus have been determined, but the kind that we consult basically as lupus is known as wide spread lupus erythematosus or SLE.
Other kinds consist of discoid (cutaneous), drug-induced, and neonatal
Patients with discoid lupus have a edition of the illness that is restricted to the epidermis. It is recognized by a allergy that seems to be on the face, throat, and head, and it does not impact internal organs. Less than 10% of patients with discoid lupus improvement into the wide spread way of the illness, but there is no way to estimate or avoid the direction of the illness.
SLE is more serious than discoid lupus because it can impact any of your body parts or body techniques. Some people may existing swelling or other issues with only skin and joint parts, while other SLE patients will see joint parts, respiratory system, renal system, blood vessels, and/or the center impacted. This type of lupus is also often recognized by times of width (when the illness is active) and times of remission (when the illness is dormant).
Drug-induced lupus is caused by a reaction with certain prescription drugs and causes symptoms very similar to SLE. The drugs most commonly associated with this form of lupus are a hypertension medication called hydralazine and a heart arrhythmia medication called procainamide, but there are some 400 other drugs that can also cause the condition. Drug-induced lupus is known to subside after the patient stops taking the triggering medication.
A rare condition, neonatal lupus occurs when a mother passes autoantibodies to a fetus. The unborn and newborn child can have skin rashes and other complications with the heart and blood. Usually a rash appears but eventually fades within the first six months of the child's life.
What causes lupus?
Although physicians are do not know exactly what causes lupus and other auto-immune illnesses, most believe that lupus outcomes from both inherited and ecological stimulating elements.
Since lupus is known to occur within families, doctors believe that it is possible to inherit a genetic predisposition to lupus. There are no known genes, however, that directly cause the illness. It is probable that having an inherited predisposition for lupus makes the disease more likely only after coming into contact with some environmental trigger.
The higher number of lupus cases in females than in males may indicate that the disease can be triggered by certain hormones. Physicians believe that hormones such as estrogen regulate the progression of the disease because symptoms tend to flare before menstrual periods and/or during pregnancy.
Certain environmental factors have been known to cause lupus symptoms. These include:
· Extreme stress
· Exposure to ultraviolet light, usually from sunlight
· Some medications and antibiotics, especially those in the sulfa and penicillin groups
· Some infections, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), parvovirus (such as fifth disease), hepatitis C infections, and the Epstein-Barr virus (in children)
· Chemical exposure to compounds such as trichloroethylene in well water and dust