• Systemic lupus erythematosus (also called SLE or Lupus) is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system starts attacking healthy tissues.
  • It affects women more commonly than men.
  • Patients with Lupus present with multiple symptoms. Some of them may include fever, lethargy, joint pains, rash on the face, photosensitivity (itching or rashes with sun exposure),fatigue, oral ulcers, lung and kidney problems.
  • A variety of factors including stress, hormones, viruses, genetics and sunlight may be implicated in the development of lupus.
  • Your Rheumatologist will ask you questions about your symptoms, examine you and order investigations to arrive at a diagnosis.
  • Your Rheumatologist will discuss the best available treatment options and expected outcomes with you. Treatment options may include tablets, injectable medications, joint injections, fish oil capsules, exercises, sun protection with sunscreens and others.
  • With the right treatment, Lupus can be controlled in most cases. However, it may cause life threatening illness if it affects the kidneys, brain or other major organs.
  • Patients with Lupus may experience an increase in the intensity of their symptoms or new symptoms (flares) triggered by stress, infections, pregnancy or sun exposure.
  • Women in the child bearing age who have Lupus should plan their pregnancy in consultation with their Rheumatologists and Obstetrician as the outcome of the pregnancy is more favorable if the Lupus is under control.
  • Lupus is a life-long disease which needs regular treatment. Since it can cause life-threatening illness, it is essential to monitor your disease regularly through your Rheumatologists, be compliant with your treatment and control your disease adequately.
  • Learning strategies to cope with your pain, balancing your activities and rest periods and eating a healthy balanced diet are also essential. Feel free to discuss your difficulties with your Rheumatologist and seek help when needed.

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