What is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)? Do you know Systemic lupus erythematosus symptoms and precautions? Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease. The defense is directed against cells of the body. SLE makes antibodies against connective tissue cells. Almost all organs can be affected. Usually, it concerns the skin and joints. People with Systemic lupus erythematosus often have a red butterfly-shaped discoloration on the face. The disease is more common in women, the first complaints usually develop between 20 and 40 years.
Symptoms Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
The disease can cause many different symptoms. Often there is a butterfly-shaped redness on the face. Complaints that may occur are fatigue, joint pain, fever, weight loss, shortness of breath and cough, and hypersensitivity to sunlight.
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How does Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) arise
SLE is an autoimmune disease. Multiple organs can be affected. The body makes antibodies against its own cells. It is not known why the own immune system focuses on its own body cells. Factors that can play a role are a hereditary predisposition, some medicines, hormones, and ultraviolet light.
Is it serious what can you expect?
The diagnosis of Systemic lupus erythematosus is made on the basis of 11 disease criteria. When a patient meets 4 of these criteria, a diagnosis of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is made. Meeting fewer criteria does not mean that the diagnosis can be ruled out with certainty. The following tests are often required: physical examination, blood tests (for inflammatory cells, liver and kidney function, LE antibodies), urine examination (kidney function), chest X-rays, and possibly a skin biopsy. In a skin biopsy, the tissue is taken from the diseased skin and examined under a microscope.
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic condition. The complaints no longer disappear. The severity of the complaints can vary greatly over time. Early diagnostics and improved treatment methods have greatly improved the prognosis.
There is no causal cure for SLE. Treatment aims to limit the symptoms and other consequences of the autoimmune response. Many complaints can be suppressed with rules of life and medicines. It is important to recognize and prevent negative factors. Protection against the sun is important for skin complaints.
Different types of medicines can be used. Painkillers help with joint pains and stiffness (e.g. paracetamol or NSAIDs). For more severe joint complaints and inflammation, agents that suppress the immune system (eg methotrexate and prednisone) are used.
When to go to the doctor?
The complaints with Systemic lupus erythematosus can be very different. In general, it is advisable to consult your doctor in case of complaints of an indeterminate nature. The general practitioner can perform further diagnostics. If SLE is suspected, he will refer you to the rheumatologist for further diagnosis and treatment.
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What can you do about it yourself?
Much is still unclear about the development of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. There is nothing you can do to prevent Systemic lupus erythematosus. There are, however, factors that have a favorable effect on the course and severity of the complaints. You can influence a number of these factors yourself. (see: General advice and precautions).
General advice and precautions
A healthy lifestyle helps to reduce complaints, including:
- Get plenty of sleep
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption and do not smoke
- care for exercise exercise is important for the smooth holding of the joints, prevents osteoporosis and has a beneficial effect on the heart and lungs. Sports, in which the joints are evenly loaded, are preferred (walking, cycling, swimming). The tax must be tailored to the complaints. When the complaints increase after or during sports, the intensity must be reduced. A physiotherapist can guide you in this. Preventing overload is important
- Nutrition A healthy, varied diet and a healthy body weight have a beneficial effect
- Avoid excessive exposure to direct sunlight.
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