What is Lupus

Sick of Lupus

Helping to spread Lupus Awareness

Lupus is a chronic illness that affects approximately 50,000 people in the UK alone.

 

 

There are 4 known types of Lupus:

 

 

Systematic Lupus (SLE)

 

Lupus is an autoimmune disorder. A person who does not have Lupus is able to fight infections and viruses due to antibodies produced by their immune system.

 

With SLE, the body is unable to distinguish between its own 'good cells' and the virus or infection. This results in the immune system making 'auto-antibodies' (auto meaning self) and so the body literally begains attacking itself.

 

This type of Lupus can affect almost any organ in the body as the central nervous system.

 

 

Discoid Lupus

 

This type of Lupus sees the disorder limited to the skin. Sufferers will experience rashes to the face, neck and hands in particular. Sometimes discoid lupus can develop into SLE.

 

A distinctive rash across the nose and cheeks is known as the 'butterfly rash' and is an obvious sign of Lupus.

 

 

Drug Induced Lupus

 

This form of Lupus develops after the use of certain medication. The top three medications prone to causing Lupus being:

 

Pronestyl (procainamide) which is used to treat irregularities of the heart.

 

INH (isoniazid) which is used to treat tuberculosis.

 

Apresoline (hydralazine) which is used to treat high blood pressure.

 

A very small percentage of patients will develope this disorder and symptoms will often disappear once the medication has stopped.

 

 

Neonatal Lupus

 

The rare condition that occurs when auto-antibodies are passed from mother to child. The disorder can affect both the unborn and newborn baby.

 

 

Diagnosing Lupus

 

Lupus is extremely difficult to diagnose. There is no simple test to easily confirm whether a patient has lupus or not. In addition the wide ranging symptoms can often delay diagnosis as they mimic many other disorders.

 

A GP will refer patients to a Rheumatologist where symptoms will be analysed and explored in order to confirm the diagnosis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Lupus Symptoms:

 

Joint/muscle aches and pains

 

UV sensitivity

 

Extreme fatigue

 

A rash across the cheeks and nose

 

Flu-like symptoms

 

Unusal changes in weight

 

Chest or abdominal pain

 

Hair loss

 

Anaemia

 

Raynauds (poor circulation)

 

Mouth and nose ulcers