Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is more common in women than men.
It is found that the ratio of SLE in women to men is nine to one. Although systemic lupus erythematosus is a rare disease, it is recognized globally.
The effect of systemic lupus erythematosus on the body involves various systems [Lupus symptoms].
The manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus on various body systems:
The manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus can develop in the form of waves called flares or flare-ups.
These flares develop differently in various body systems, including membranes, muscles and bones, skin, lungs, digestive system, kidneys, nervous system and blood.
Membranes that surround the internal organs such as heart, lungs, and organs of abdomen get inflamed. The inflammation of serous membrane in SLE is known as serositis.
This condition in SLE patients can affect pericardium, the membrane of the heart. It also leads to the development of pleurisy, the swelling of the membrane of the lungs.
Muscles and bones
Joint pain is very common in patients with SLE. The pain can last for a longer period or can come and go periodically. Systemic lupus erythematosus can affect almost all joints in the body, but mostly it affects the joints of the wrists, hands, and knees. Once affected, both sides of the same joint will be affected.
The SLE patients with this condition can come across muscle pain and swollen muscle tissue. In advanced stages, the condition can develop into osteonecrosis where the bone tissues of affected areas can die.
SLE also affects the skin where skin rashes can develop on almost any area of the body. The most common areas are the cheeks and the area across the nose. The rash in these areas is known as the butterfly rash, which will be red and itchy. People with SLE are sensitive to sun rays. Exposing to the sun for a little while can develop into a skin rash.
Systemic lupus erythematosus in some patients lead to the development of pleuritis, an inflammation of pleural cavity that surrounds the lungs. With this, the sufferer experiences pain in the chest while breathing.
A long standing inflammation of this condition can develop into shrinking lung syndrome, the scarring of lungs. Pneumonia, an inflammation of lungs, can also develop in patients with SLE [Preventing lung disease].
SLE patients mostly come across problems with the stomach and intestines where loss of appetite, pain in the abdomen, nausea and vomiting are common manifestations.
People with SLE usually develop nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys) where kidneys lose their capability to eliminate toxins from the body. Some patients can experience swelling in the ankles while others find no pain at all. The most common sign of kidney inflammation is unusual urine.
Headaches and abnormal blood vessels in the head are the problems with the effect of SLE on nervous system. Organic brain syndrome also develops where problems with memory and concentration, agitation and hallucinations occurs.
Blood and blood vessels
The effect of SLE on blood can develop into leucopenia (low white blood cells count), anemia (low red blood cells count), and/or thrombocytopenia (low platelets count). With this, SLE patients are at risk for developing blood clots. Vasculitis (an inflammation of blood vessels) also develops where it affects the circulation of blood.
The flare-ups of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) can be managed easily with several lupus treatment options. So, consult your doctor and find the right treatment option to manage your flare-ups.