Lupus - what kind of disease? Causes, symptoms, treatment of lupus
Lupus is a disease of an autoimmune type,in which the defenses of the body begin to attack their own cells. The pathological process is usually accompanied by inflammation and tissue damage. As a result, lupus provokes the appearance of other, often more serious ailments.
Red Lupus: What is this disease?
Photos of many pathologies inspire fear.These include lupus. This is the popular name of the disease, which completely sounds like systemic red (erythematous) lupus. It refers to the pathologies of the autoimmune system. They are characterized by a long absence of symptoms, so timely diagnosis is often difficult. To get the final verdict in some patients take years.
Often, lupus is confused with rheumatoid arthritis andother ailments of a similar nature. The main characteristic of this disease is inflammation that occurs simultaneously in several parts of the body. Representatives of the fair sex are more susceptible to the development of this pathology. As a rule, the disease is diagnosed in women aged 20-40 years, but men are no exception.
In 1828, symptoms andsigns of lupus. After 45 years, the dermatologist Kaposhi made another discovery. He noticed that with this disease the symptoms are manifested not only on the skin, but also affect the work of internal organs.
Scientists continued to study patients with a diagnosis"lupus erythematosus". What is this disease, it became known in 1890. Researchers have suggested that the asymptomatic course of this ailment and confirmed it with concrete examples. If there are no pronounced changes on the skin, the pathology can "eat up" the internal organs, thereby affecting important systems.
In 1948, there was another importantstudy of the disease. The doctors began to more closely check the blood tests of the infected. As a result, so-called LE cells, that is, elements of lupus erythematosus, were found. Such an analysis is actively used in medical practice today, which allows early identification of patients.
In 1954 the most important discovery was made,which helped explain the causes of autoimmune disorders. In the blood of the infected, foreign proteins were detected that acted against healthy cells. The antibody assay helped to develop supersensitive tests that allow the diagnosis of lupus erythematosus in a timely manner.
It is not possible to call unambiguous reasons for the development of this disease. However, the prerequisites for the development of pathology are known precisely.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease. It is accompanied by the release of specific proteins that affect the body's own cells and tissues. This variant of the immune response is called autoimmunization. This type of functioning of the protective system is due to certain anomalies at the genetic level. This means that lupus erythematosus has a hereditary predisposition. This fact is also confirmed by numerous family cases of the disease.
In the origin of the disease, a roleis given to various infections. Their etiology is not particularly important, since the main point is the "stress" of immunity and the subsequent development of antibodies. At virus infections destructive disturbances in the field of introduction of the causative agent (for example, mucous membranes) are observed. As a result, an immune response is produced and the most favorable conditions for the formation of autoantibodies are created.
Other factors provoking the disease include the following:
- prolonged exposure to the sun;
- abortion and childbirth;
- psycho-emotional overload, stress;
- violation of the hormonal background;
- taking certain groups of drugs.
Together, these factors affect the development of a disease such as lupus. The reasons described above, cause the course of the disease and its manifestation in various forms.
Symptoms of the disease in all patients are manifesteddifferently. Many complain of fatigue. Sometimes there is a slight increase in temperature and weight loss. Such symptoms are often accompanied by the following conditions:
- Discomfort in muscles and joints. The majority of patients have joint and muscle pains, which intensify in the morning. Sometimes, lupus erythematosus is accompanied by a slight edema in the lesions. Very rarely doctors diagnose arthritis or other violations of joint mobility.
- Defeat of the skin, hair, mouth. Irritation in the cheek region is a typical symptom of the disease. A red rash may appear in places where ultraviolet rays often fall. The disease also affects the blood vessels, disrupting their work. In especially serious cases, patients have focal alopecia.
- Blood and lymphatic system. Lupus is often accompanied by some forms of anemia. Atypical complication is the formation of thrombi and swelling of the lymph nodes.
- Heart, lungs and kidneys. Lupus is usually accompanied by inflammation of the superficial tissues of the lungs and the main muscle of the body. The result is pain and discomfort in the chest. Inflammatory process in the kidneys is characterized by the appearance of protein and blood secretions, which go with urine.
- Brain and CNS. In most cases, lupus erythematosus is accompanied by depression and a constantly haunting feeling of emotional discomfort.
The manifestation of symptoms of this disease canvary. In some infected individuals, there is only one characteristic listed above, others have a whole set. Initially, lupus is written off for other diseases, because almost all of them are accompanied by fatigue and general malaise. As a rule, in its current there are periods of exacerbations and remissions. Reasons for this rotation have not yet been identified.
Classification of the disease
In the generalized form of the disease, three types of flow are distinguished. Next, consider each in more detail.
Sharp version is different sudden start. Often, patients can accurately identify the time when the development of lupus erythematosus began. What kind of illness do they usually find out after visiting a doctor. Among the main symptoms can be noted the appearance of rashes on the skin, the development of polyarthritis, fever. Multiple organ damage entails a sharp deterioration in the condition, which in some cases lasts up to two years. Timely treatment with medications helps to achieve a stable remission.
For a subacute wave-like current,gradual development of the pathological process. Initially it involves joints and skin. The remaining organs are attached every time a relapse occurs. Systemic lupus develops very slowly, so it has a multi-syndrome clinical picture.
The chronic variant of the disease is manifested by one orseveral symptoms. Against the backdrop of excellent health in patients there are skin rashes and arthritis. The pathological process is very slowly developing, gradually capturing all new systems of organs.
Lupus in children and pregnant women
Unfortunately, among small patientsthere is lupus. Photos of children, which are presented in the materials of this article, reflect the general clinical picture. It practically does not differ from the symptoms in adult patients. To a greater extent, children of primary school age and adolescents are prone to the disease.
Lupus, whose photo in most casesinspire fear, is considered a woman's disease. That is why it is not uncommon for her to appear during pregnancy. Conception of the baby can provoke a debut of an illness or its aggravation. On the other hand, a decrease in the activity of immunity sometimes leads to an improvement in the woman's condition, and the risk of developing complications decreases. Thanks to the achievements of modern medicine, women in the position now are not offered an artificial interruption. The future mummy is surrounded by attention of gynecologists and rheumatologists. These specialists jointly choose the most effective tactics of the patient's management. Such increased control allows 50% of women to safely reach the logical conclusion of pregnancy and become a mother. Approximately a quarter of patients develop complications in the form of multiple bleeding and fetal death.
Medical examination of the patient
When the symptoms of an illness appearthe doctor. The specialist at the reception should tell you what is most often accompanied by signs of lupus erythematosus, what kind of illness it is. Photos of patients from medical reference books are clear evidence of the seriousness of the ailment.
A special role in the diagnosis iscomprehensive survey. It includes immunological, clinical, laboratory and histological data. Initially, the physician conducts a physical examination, through which you can determine the nature of the rashes on the skin and changes on the mucous membranes. Strongly expressed external symptoms already at this stage make it possible to suspect a disease of lupus erythematosus. Photo is enough to make a final diagnosis.
Immunological survey methods are usedto clarify the systemic nature of the disease (study of healthy and affected areas, changes in blood composition). With Wasserman's reaction, a false positive result can be observed. If you suspect a lupus, an additional blood test is performed. In the biological material of patients, antinuclear antibodies and elements with double-stranded DNA are usually found.
Without fail, all patients are assignedadditional examination of the abdominal organs to assess the spread of the disease. It implies a general / biochemical blood test, radiography, ultrasound, ECG.
Is there an effective treatment?
Lupus is an incurable disease. On the other hand, if the therapy is started in time, you can achieve the greatest success and alleviate the symptoms. The treatment program is developed on an individual basis. Patients with mild lupus erythematosus often do not require special therapy.
Subacute and acute articular forms of the disease are treatednonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Voltaren, Brufen). When involved in the pathological process of skin integuments prescribe drug preparations of quinoline series ("Delagil", "Chloroquine"). However, such treatment is used in exceptional cases, because these drugs can give side effects in the form of dermatitis and dyspeptic disorders.
The main drugs in the fight against lupus stillare glucocorticoids ("Prednisolone"). They are prescribed regardless of the form of the disease, the clinical picture and the activity of the pathological process. Young women and adolescents often refuse hormones, fearing to gain excess weight. Lupus is a fairly serious disease, in which there should not be such a choice. Without the use of glucocorticoids, life expectancy is reduced, and its quality noticeably decreases. If for a long time the use of hormones does not give a positive dynamics, go to the treatment with cytotoxic immunosuppressants.
In addition to taking medications, patients with this diagnosis need a special diet and symptomatic therapy (vitamins, antibacterial and antiulcer drugs).
How to live with lupus?
If you have found this disease, do notmeans that you can put a cross on yourself. Many people live with the diagnosis of "lupus erythematosus". Photos of these patients clearly demonstrate that it is absolutely necessary to fight the disease. You will probably have to change the habitual way of life a little. Doctors recommend rest as necessary. It is better to lie down several times a day than to work on wear and tear.
Learn the main symptoms that indicate a transitionailment in the stage of exacerbation. Usually it is preceded by severe stresses, prolonged exposure to the sun, a cold. If you avoid these provoking factors, life can become much easier.
Do not forget about regular physicalloads, but also to overwork the body should not. As the main sport, you can choose pilates or yoga. On the other hand, it is necessary to abandon all bad habits. Smoking and drinking alcohol do not add to health. Such people are more often ill, overload the heart and kidneys. Do not risk your own life because of the momentary pleasure.
Accept your diagnosis, if necessaryconsult a doctor. The specialist should tell you how the lupus develops, what kind of disease it is. Photos of patients living with such a disease can motivate you to continue actively fighting it.
Particular attention should be paid to the diet. It is recommended to abandon all harmful products, because they negatively affect the work of the basic systems of internal organs. Caffeine and its products are also banned. This substance causes the heart to beat more often, does not allow to rest, overloading thereby the central nervous system. The diet should consist of low-fat meat, fish in large quantities, as well as vegetables and fresh fruits. Do not forget about dairy products. They contain a sick amount of calcium and vitamin D, which helps prevent osteoporosis.
Prophylaxis of ailment
Now you know what symptoms are accompanied by lupus, what kind of illness it is. Photos of the symptoms of this ailment are also presented in the materials of this article. Is it possible to prevent its development?
According to experts, quality methodsprevention of this disease has not yet been developed. However, it is possible to prevent the occurrence of relapses and maintain the condition of patients in persistent remission. First of all, it is necessary to regularly undergo a checkup with a rheumatologist, to take prescribed medications at the recommended dosage. If side effects occur, you should contact your doctor again. It is extremely important to observe the regime of work and rest, to sleep at least eight hours a day. Compliance with a balanced diet is another step towards preventing relapse.
When a diagnosis of "lupus erythematosus" is made, the causesThe doctor should explain the appearance of the disease. The patient should remember that this pathology is "afraid" of surgical interventions, hypothermia and does not accept the "chocolate tan". Lupus patients should be forgotten for life about rest in southern latitudes.