Lupus disease: Causes, symptoms, drugs, and their complications

Lupus disease: Causes, symptoms, drugs, and their complications
You may have heard of lupus. Although it is familiar with its name, not many know what lupus is actually, what causes it, and how it is taken. Then, what is lupus? Is it curable?

What is lupus disease?

Lupus disease is a disorder of the immune system that occurs in the body. This disease is included in an autoimmune disease that causes the body's cells to be damaged and experiencing inflammation.

Simply put, lupus disease is a condition in which the body produces excessive antibodies. Under normal circumstances, antibodies function to protect the body from various foreign substances that can cause disease.

However, in people who are experiencing lupus (Odapus), the antibodies that it possesses are precisely attacking their own body cells. So, Odapus easily experiences infectious diseases and inflammation – the result of healthy cells being attacked by antibodies.

What are the types of lupus diseases?

There are several types of lupus diseases that exist, namely:

  • Caused Lupus erythematosus (SLE), is the most common type of lupus. This type of disease affects various tissues such as joints, skin, brain, lungs, kidneys, and blood vessels.
  • Discoid lupus erythematosus. Is a type of lupus that attacks skin tissues, causing rashes.
  • Neonatal lupus. is a disease of lupus that attacks newborn babies. This disease is experienced by babies who are born mothers who have antibody disorders.
  • Lupus due to medication, this disorder is usually only experienced in a short time. So some medicines may cause side effects that are similar to lupus. The patient's condition will improve if drug use is discontinued.
  • Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus. is lupus which makes the tissues of skin wound and burned when exposed to sunlight.


How often is lupus disease occurring?

Lupus disease includes rare diseases. Although it is not yet known a definite number, in Indonesia alone, people experiencing this disease there are about 12,700 inhabitants in the year 2012. The incidence of the disease then increased to 13,300 in 2013.

Most people who have lupus disease are women. It has been reported that as much as 90% of lupus disease occurs in women. The reason for this is not yet known for sure until now. However, a study published in Annals of the Rheumatic Disease states that it is related to a female-owned gene chromosome.

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In addition, most cases of lupus are detected in patients aged 15-45 years. However, it does not close the likelihood of this condition occurring in children and the elderly.

What are the symptoms and characteristics of lupus disease?

Lupus is a disease known as ' face 1000 disease '. This term arises from chronic diseases, causing symptoms and signs that are almost similar to other diseases. Thus, the disease tends to be difficult to detect early. Below are some of the symptoms and signs commonly experienced by Odapus, according to the American College of Rheumatology:
  • Joint pain
  • Swollen joints
  • The mouth or nose suffered a wound that never recovered for days and months.
  • In the urine, there is blood or even protein (proteinuria)
  • There are rash on various skin surfaces
  • Hair loss
  • Fever
  • Seizures
  • Chest pain and difficulty breathing due to inflammation of the lungs
If you experience at least 4 symptoms and signs, you should immediately consult a doctor.
Lupus disease: Causes, symptoms, drugs, and their complications

What are the causes of lupus disease?

Lupus is a chronic disease caused by disorders in the body, so it is certainly not a viral or bacterial main cause. In fact, experts do not know exactly what causes lupus. There are many factors that may cause this. However, some theories assert that lupus disease is caused by the interaction of genes, hormones, and the environment.

1. Genetic factors

Researchers from the John Hopkins Center, first attracted by the cause of lupus disease, from the relationship between the family genes and the sufferers. In fact, the existence of lupus sufferers in a family can increase the tendency of lupus disease in other family members. In addition, family members of lupus sufferers, when conducting medical tests, tend to be positive results.

Then, with the gene that triggers the development of a disease, it does not mean that the person can be directly exposed to or can inherit lupus disease. In other cases, researchers believe that the cause of lupus disease is related to poor environmental conditions. But unfortunately, they still can't determine which factor is most powerful causing a person to suffer from lupus.

2. Hormones

In fact, women 9 times more risky to be exposed to lupus than men. This phenomenon can be explained by the sex hormones produced by the female and male immune systems, where both are clearly different. The female body produces and uses more estrogen hormones, while the male body relies on hormones called androgens.

Estrogen is known as the "immuno-enhancing" hormone, which means that women have a stronger immune system than men, given the evolutionary needs for women to survive, give birth, and nurture their children. But consequently, when this immune system turns against the body, women will be easier to experience autoimmune diseases.

3. The Environment

In addition, some environmental factors have been attributed to the cause of lupus disease. Researchers have linked between lupus and various environmental toxins, such as cigarette smoke, silica sodium gels, and mercury. The herpes shingles virus (the virus that causes herpes shingles), and Cytomegalovirus is also known to be one of the causes of lupus.

What are the factors that increase the risk of lupus disease?

In addition to these three causal factors, there are some other things that may make a person more risky to be exposed to lupus. What are you?

  • Gender. It is known if women are more prone to lupus than men. It is related to the gene that is in the female body.
  • Race. Lupus disease is more susceptible to people who have Asian and African races.
  • Taking medicines. Some types of anti-seizure medications, blood pressure medications, to antibiotics, can trigger the emergence of lupus when they stop taking the drug.
  • Exposure to sunlight. Exposure to sunlight can cause wounds to the skin that can trigger lupus due to organs or cells in the body that are vulnerable.

How does the doctor Diagnose lupus disease?

Not only because it has 1000 faces, but also lupus is present in different conditions in each person. This makes lupus harder to detect.

Until now, there are no special examinations that can detect lupus disease. However, doctors will usually advise patients to perform several tests, such as urine tests, blood tests, and antibody tests.

To diagnose whether a person has lupus disease, the doctor will also usually see a family health history, perform general medical examinations, and encourage patients to undergo a skin and kidney biopsy.

What are the treatments for lupus disease?

To date, lupus disease is a disease that has not been found any cure. So people who have lupus disease cannot be healed in total. However, the patient will still receive treatment. The treatment is aimed at:
  • Preventing symptoms caused by lupus
  • Reduces the symptoms of lupus
  • Reduce organ damage and other problems
  • Reduces swelling and pain
  • Soothing the immune system
  • Reduce or prevent joint damage
  • Avoiding complications

Usually, the treatment is done by providing patients with medications to relieve symptoms or other health disorders. Medications are given such as:
Lupus disease: Causes, symptoms, drugs, and their complications

1. nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

These drugs include painkillers commonly administered to Odapus to cope with the pain, fever, and swollen joints that he experienced. Examples of this type of drug NSAIDs are naproxen, ibuprofen, and Motrin. Most medications NSAIDs do not require a doctor's prescription, but some medications that have strong dosages and side effects should use the prescription.

2. Antimalarials drugs

The drug is actually used to prevent and overcome malaria. However, in this case, the malaria drug is needed by Odapus to address the symptoms of joint pain, skin rash, inflammation of the heart membrane, and fever – which is also common in malaria patients.

Even various studies have shown that lupus patients given malaria medications have a life expectancy that is more than the drug. The types of malaria medications are administered i.e., Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), Chloroquine (Aralen), Quinacrine (Atabrine).

3. Corticosteroids

This type of medication is needed by lupus patients to prevent very susceptible inflammation occurring in the body. However, corticosteroid drugs have long-term side effects such as weight-raising, making bones loss more, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

4. immunosuppressants

Immunosuppressive drugs work to suppress the immune system. Naturally, this type of medication is needed by the Odapus whose immune system is too dominant. Some of the most commonly used medications are azathioprine (Imuran), Mycophenolate (CellCept), Leflunomide (Arava) and methotrexate.

Long-term use of immunosuppressive drugs can cause liver damage, lower fertility, and increase the risk of cancer. Meanwhile, short-term side effects that may occur are nausea, diarrhea, and fever.

Complications and health disorders that can arise from lupus disease

Lupus is a disease that disrupts the immune system, so many other bodily systems or tissues are experiencing interference. There are some complications that may occur in Odapus, namely:
  • Renal failure
  • Disorders of the blood, such as anemia
  • High blood pressure
  • Vasculitis, inflammation of the blood vessels
  • Memory disorders
  • Experiencing behavioral changes, such as frequent hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Lung problems, e.g. inflammation of the lung membranes and pneumonia
  • Easily attacked by various infectious diseases
  • Cancer

How to live life with lupus disease?

Although Lupus is a disease that is not curable, Odapus can still live peacefully and reduce the risk of interference that may arise. Here are some of the things that Odapus can do to prevent complications arise and can live in peace with lupus:

  1. Exercise regularly. Odapus is prone to disorders of the joints and bones. Staying in sport can help to maintain the health of bones and joints.
  2. Quit Smoking, habits will only make the disease worse, as it can increase the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and pneumonia.
  3. Adequate rest and avoid stress. Stress will only make the symptoms of lupus increasingly severe. Therefore, Odapus should take a lot of rest and avoid stress.
  4. Understand the body. Patients with lupus should know when lupus symptoms arise and what is triggering them. For example, the fatigue arises, so odapus should immediately rest enough and stop all activities first.
  5. Avoid exposure to sunlight. Sunlight can exacerbate the skin rash that occurs. If you are forced to go out during the day, you should use sunscreen to protect your skin.
Lupus disease: Causes, symptoms, drugs, and their complications

Food recommended and avoided for lupus disease patients

Food also affects the condition of lupus disease. There is a alleviate symptom, but some are exacerbating lupus symptoms. Therefore, Odapus should be smart to choose the right food. Then the food that is recommended and challenged when having lupus?

Good food for lupus sufferers

Foods that contain certain nutrients can be curable even the symptoms of lupus appear. Here are the types of food needed Odapus:

1. Foods with high antioxidants

Odapus is prone to inflammation so that foods containing high antioxidants must be on the food menu. Antioxidants can prevent and decrease the incidence of inflammation in the body. This substance can be found in fruits and vegetables.

2. Foods that Containing Omega-3

Foods such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel are examples of foods rich in omega-3. This kind of fat is needed odapus to prevent complications such as heart disease and stroke.

3. Food with calcium and vitamin D high

One of the common problems in people with lupus is bone impairment, such as brittle, and joint problems. To reduce the risk, Odapus requires calcium and vitamin D that can strengthen the bones and good for the joints. Both nutrients can be found in milk and dairy, vegetables that are dark green, as well as nuts such as soybeans and almonds.

Food to be avoided by lupus sufferers

Meanwhile, there are foods that actually exacerbate symptoms even increase the risk of complications in odapus. What foods are challenged if they are exposed to lupus?

1. Foods with high saturated fats and trans fats

Saturated fats and trans fats will only make the symptoms of lupus worse, as it increases the chances of other chronic diseases, such as strokes. Therefore, avoid foods that contain these substances, such as fried, fast food, fats in meats, chicken skin, and innards.

2. Foods that contain too much sodium

Foods that are high in sodium such as packaged food as well as salty foods, should also be avoided by Odapus. Sodium also makes odapus increasingly susceptible to experiencing heart disease, even to heart failure.

3. Foods that contain onions

Onions are always used as the main kitchen seasoning that cannot be missed. However, if you are experiencing odapus then you have to avoid the foods that have onions in them. Because, according to research, onions have an impact on the immune system.

Onions are able to increase the number of white blood cells, where these cells are the primary cells of the immune system. The more white blood cells are then the stronger the immune system. Of course, this will backfire for people who experience lupus

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