One of the most common types of lupus is called Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), that affects many parts of the body. Other types of lupus are:
Cutaneous lupus: A rash or lesion appears on the skin on exposure to sunlight.
Drug-induced lupus: The lupus is similar to SLE except that it is caused by certain medications overreaction. Once the intake of the concerned medicine is stopped, the symptoms normally disappear.
Neonatal lupus: lupus occurs when an infant gets the symptoms of auto-antibodies from its mother who is diagnosed with SLE. This lupus affects the skin, liver, and blood with problems taking almost six months to resolve. However, lupus becomes more serious problem when there is congenital heart block.
Childhood Lupus - Mostly affects kidney and skin
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (“SLE”):
People generally use the term “lupus,” to refer to systemic lupus erythematosus, or 'SLE' as Systemic lupus is the most common type of lupus and affects many different organ systems in the body. Chronic inflammation, especially of the kidneys, joints, and skin is the primary symptom of SLE and also affects the cardiovascular and nervous systems.
The term 'cutaneous lupus erythematosus' refers to a type of lupus that is limited to the skin. This lupus can occur in people who do not have any symptoms of systemic lupus. It is found that more than five percent of the people with this type of lupus have chances of SLE later in life. There are three types of skin /Cutaneous lupus: subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus(SCLE), and tumid lupus, chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CCLE), also known as Discoid Lupus Erythematosus [DLE]). Doctors recommend a biopsy of the skin to diagnose skin lupus, and there are specific characteristic lesions and pattern for each type of lupus.
Drug-Induced Lupus Erythematosus
Drugs can cause lupus-like symptoms in people who don't have any SLE. However, the risks involved in this type of lupus is limited as the lupus subsides within a span of three months once the medication is stopped. Certain medications that induce this type of lupus include the a heart medication called procainamide, blood pressure medications hydralazine and methyldopa, minocycline (used to treat acne), and a drug used in cases of metal poisoning called D-penicillamine.
Neonatal Lupus Erythematosus
This form of lupus commonly affects the babies of women diagnosed with certain autoantibodies. The cases varies as about just one in 1000 perfectly healthy women possesses these autoantibodies, or it may occur in a birth -giving mother with neonatal lupus but who may not have lupus herself. The baby’s skin are affected by this type of lupus and the lupus in itself subsides on its own, even without treatment. However there are cases of babies with congenital heart block that is treated by pacemaker implantation, and normally, these children lead healthy lives. Major heart damage can cause rare deaths in utero.
Most of the common symptoms of lupus are extreme fatigue, malar rash, joint swelling and unexplained fevers.
More than ninety percent of lupus patients associate fatigue as one of the main symptoms. There are many factors that cause severe fatigue of lupus that includes vitamin D deficiency, disease activity, sleep disturbances, anxiety disorders, and lack of physical activity.Though scientists have different views on whether there is a relationship between fatigue and the disease lupus itself or the treatments that are used to control lupus.
Fatigue is definitely one of the top factors that significantly impact patients’ quality of life, that includes less physical activity at home and at work. Scientists at the Lupus Research Centre are working on how to better analyze fatigue objectively.
Some people with lupus experience color change or a red “malar” rash may appear on the nose and across the cheeks in the shape of a butterfly. The rash can be painful or itchy and can take days to weeks to disappear. When the skin is exposed to the sun, the rashes occur on the face and ears, upper arms, shoulders, chest, & hands.
People with lupus mostly are photosensitive or are sensitive to sunlight. These skin rashes often first develop on the skin and then eventually worsen after being exposed to the sun. Scientists believe the appearance rash in the form of the butterfly shape is a sign of an oncoming disease flare.
Joint Pain and Swelling
Data from the Lupus Research Centre show that more than 90 percent of people with this disorder to have arthritis or an inflammation, swelling of the joint lining. Stiffness and aching, mostly in the hands and wrists are the common symptoms of arthritis. These arthritis symptoms move from one joint of the body to another. People wake up with pain and stiffness in the morning and tend to be worse with passing days. People often experience arthralgia, when joint pains without swelling or tenderness.
People with lupus also experience unexplained fevers with temperature over 100°F (37.8°C). Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often recommended by the Physicians in this case.
Lupus affects pregnant women but with mild-to-moderate lupus, women can have healthy babies without any complications. Lupus in pregnancy is still considered a high risk. Mild to moderate flare during or after their pregnancy is experienced by women before or after pregnancy. High blood pressure, diabetes, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), and kidney complications are some of the likely complications that may develop if one takes corticosteroids. It is important to seek pregnancy counseling as early as possible and seek the doctor to monitor during pregnancy with lupus conditions.
For some lupus patients, inflammation of the heart or myocarditis and endocarditis or inflammation of the membrane that surrounds it, also known as pericarditis, lead to chest pain or other symptoms. The heart valves are damaged in endocarditis which results in the thickening of the valve surface can thicken. This growth can further cause heart murmurs.
Kidneys are an important part of our body that helps in waste removal but when the kidneys become inflamed (nephritis), their functioning to get rid of waste products and other toxins from the body is affected. Dark urine and swelling around their eyes, legs, ankles, or fingers are some of the symptoms seen in lupus patients. Doctors recommend an abnormal urine or blood test to find out the kidney disease in the body and an intensive drug treatment is recommended to prevent any damage to the kidneys.
Lupus patients are at an increased risk for insulin resistance and diabetes. Doctors recommend corticosteroids as a common treatment for inflammation related to lupus but they can block the production of insulin in the body.Some lupus patient with diabetes also develops complicated peripheral nerves, known as neuropathy, which may cause numbness or weakness and kidney failure.
Lupus can develop complications in the lungs with a chest cavity lining inflammation, a condition called pleuritis. Chest pain and breathing difficulty are some of the symptoms of pleuritis. Patients with lupus are also prone to pneumonia.
Spinal Cord Inflammation
The disorders of autoimmune causes spinal cord inflammation, also known as myelitis. People experience pain in your lower back and may even shoot down your legs or arms or around your chest or abdomen. The symptoms of pain vary depending on the affected spinal cord parts. Some even experience burning, tingling, coldness, or a weakness in their arms or legs and sensations of numbness. Bowel or bladder control problems are also reported by people with lupus.
Blood Vessel Inflammation
Tissue and organ inflammation are the other complications of the lupus disorder.can affect The blood circulation is distorted by Inflamed blood vessels (vasculitis). There are also chances of atherosclerosis, a condition of the arteries hardening in people with lupus condition.
One of the autoimmune disorder that is associated with lupus is Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS). In APS, the antibodies that protect the body against infections mistakenly attack phospholipids that in turn damage cells, including blood cells. Blood clots start to form in the body’s arteries and veins due to this damage which further blocks blood flow and damages different organs of the body.
The disorder can mostly cause serious damage to the brain or central nervous system in some lupus patients. Vision problems, depression, Headaches, dizziness, memory disturbances, seizures, stroke, or changes in behavior are common symptoms of the lupus disorder.
Read more about the resaerch findings in the treatment and diagnosis of Lupus :Interesting research facts about the autoimmune disease -Lupus