Personal Impact of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Today, there are 1.5 million people estimated in America affected by Lupus. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease with unknown etiology that affects skin, joints, kidneys, lungs, nervous system, serous membrane, and multiple organs of the body. SLE markedly defined by the autoantibody production of antinuclear antibodies, which attacks healthy tissue and causes chronic inflammation over time. SLE varies with periods of remissions in chronic and acute relapses. Statistically, women who range in the ages of 15 to 44 are more affected by SLE than men (Lupus Foundation of America, 2012). The person may experience the effects of SLE by manifestations during hematologic, renal, or central nervous system with pain, inflammation, or fever. The most common complaint is fibromyalgia, when a person experiences fatigue and diminished exercise tolerance. Precipitating factors include exposure to Ultraviolet Light may cause exacerbations or even induce the first signs of lupus. Infections, stress, surgery, weight loss, and sometimes pregnancy will also be evident in Lupus exacerbations. “Arthritis affects over 90% of persons with SLE and tends to be symmetrical and migratory” (Schur & Gladman, 2009, p. 3). Raynaud phenomenon, as seen in the digits of extremities, also can be viewed in these cases. Persons with SLE are more likely to experience gastrointestinal issues like gastritis from medication treatment with glucocorticosteroids, peptic ulcers secondary with the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Pulmonary issues like pleurisy, pleural effusion, pneumonitis, interstitial lung disease, pulmonary hypertension, and alveolar hemorrhage occurs with SLE. Pericarditis is relatively common with increased risk for coronary artery disease. Symptoms of SLE listed are “chest pain when taking a deep breath, fatigue, fever with no other cause, general discomfort, uneasiness” (PubMed...
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