Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus) can also be called the disease with 1000 faces. It has a wide variety of symptoms and signs. It can affect almost any system. Basically, the most common symptoms can be listed as rashes on the skin, arthritis, changes in the blood picture, especially anemia, regression in the functions of vital organs such as kidney, liver, heart, lung, neurological findings and psychiatric disorders. It is a disease that can be fatal and changes the quality of life if left untreated. It is in the group of chronic diseases. Symptoms take a long time to develop and be treated.
It is the emergence of clinical symptoms when the immune system (immune system), which is the defense system of our body, is activated without an external stimulus and starts an inflammatory reaction by attacking the body cells that it normally tolerates. The main pathology is the formation of protein compounds called immune complex by the combination of body proteins and these produced antibodies, where the production of antibodies, which we call the liquid part of the immune system, is more intense, and this precipitates in the organs and initiates the inflammatory response. It is involved in many molecules, proteins, etc. at the micro level. The underlying genetic predisposition is modified by the effect of hormones and the disease begins with the trigger of environmental factors. For this reason, some have the disease in the childhood age group and some in the middle age.
Impact on health
The incidence of SLE is between 40-50 per 100,000 people. The disease is more common in women. The disease is more severe in the black race.
Prodromal findings such as weakness, fatigue, anorexia, fever, weight loss, hair loss, red rashes on the cheeks and nasal dorsum triggered by the sun, aphthous ulcerated wounds in the mouth and nose, symmetrical arthritis in the hand joints, kidney involvement, arrhythmia, shortness of breath, epilepsy, Numbness, weakness, etc. can come to the diagnosis stage with the appearance of a wide variety of findings. Sometimes there may be very atypical findings. For this reason, it is very important that the diagnosis of lupus and the planning of its treatment are managed by physicians who have been trained in this subject and have specialized in internal medicine and rheumatology. Since the disease involves many systems, a multidisciplinary approach and follow-up and evaluation by more than one physician may be required.
In the laboratory, the ANA test is the basic test, but ENA, anti DS DNA, RF, CCP, C3, C4, sedim crp hemogram biochemistry etc. are the tests used in reaching the diagnosis and in the differential diagnosis.
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), primarily steroids, are used in the treatment.