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Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease that has protein manifestations and follows a remitting and relapsing course. SLE is characterized by production of unusual antibodies in the blood. It can damage any part of the body from skin, to the joints, to the organs.
The exact cause of SLE is not known, but there are several factors associated with the disease:
No single test is diagnostic for SLE, but screenings can help doctor to arrive at an informed diagnosis
There is no permanent cure for SLE. The goal of the treatment is to ease the symptoms. The treatment varies depending on severity of symptoms and body parts affected. The treatment mainly includes:
The first signs and symptoms of lupus are as follows:
There are four different types of lupus:
People of African, Asian and Native American descent are more likely to develop lupus as compared to Caucasians. Although, it can occur in both men and women, most of people diagnosed with SLE are women.
Pregnancy is possible in most patients with lupus. However, complications are frequent; all patients must be considered high risk. In pregnancy or planned pregnancy, referral for specialty care is always appropriate. Patients with antiphospholipid antibody are at risk for pregnancy loss; patients with anti-Ro/SSA and anti-La/SSB antibodies are at risk for delivering a child with neonatal lupus.