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Medical Summary on Lupus, Research Paper Example

Pages: 2

Words: 634

Research Paper

Symptoms

By definition, lupus is a chronic inflammatory disorder that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks itself via tissues and organs, such as body joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, the brain, the heart, and the lungs. Although lupus cases tend to be different, the symptoms associated with the disorder are similar and usually develop either slowly or quickly and can be temporary or permanent. These include fatigue and fever, joint pain, stiffness and swelling; a butterfly-shaped rash on the face that extends from the cheeks and up to the bridge of the nose; skin lesions; fingers and toes that turn white or blue if exposed to cold; shortness of breath; chest pain; dry eyes; and headaches, confusion, and memory loss (“Disease and Conditions: Lupus”).

Affected Body Systems

Some of the body systems that are affected by lupus includes the joints of the body which causes arthritis or osteoarthritis, characterized by joint swelling and inflammation; lung and heart inflammation or pleurisy, being the “inflammation of the parietal pleura of the lungs,” and pericarditis or “inflammation of the pericardium (pericardial sac) of the heart;” kidney problems like hematuria or the “abnormal presence of blood in the urine,” and pyuria or the “presence of white blood cells in the urine;” neurological problems or those associated with the human nervous system, such as stroke or cerebrovascular occlusion; and the circulatory system, especially the blood via a low blood cell count or anemia; positive antinuclear antibodies or those found in the blood serum of patients with lupus; and other antibodies that are not usually present in a healthy person (Glanze 847, 858, 550, 256, 45, 48).

Pathology

According to C. Silva and D.A. Isenberg, the pathology of lupus or medically known as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus mostly affects women during their childbearing years and has been linked to genetics, hormonal disturbances, and the environment. As is the case with many other autoimmune-based diseases, lupus is pathologically linked to “the presence of susceptibility genes in a predisposed individual can be triggered by an initial stimulus” (which as of 2015 is still unknown) that then leads to a “critical threshold and the development of clinical features,” being the above-described symptoms and characteristics (“Aetiology and Pathology of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus”). Silva and Isenberg also point out that some recent medical studies have shown that lupus is related to what are known as histocompatibility complex genes that regulate apoptosis or  a form of cell death, cytokines or cell development, andimmunoglobulin production (“Aetiology and Pathology of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus”).

Causes & Treatment

As previously noted, the exact cause for lupus is presently unknown but many researchers believe that it is based on some type of genetic predisposition and heredity. There are a number of treatment options that have been shown to be effective against lupus. First of all, over-the-counter NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) like Aleve, Advil, Motrin IB, others can be used to treat pain, swelling and fever (“Disease and Condition: Lupus”). Some lupus sufferers have responded well to medications used to treat malaria, such as hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), while others respond well to corticosteroids like prednisone (“Disease and Condition: Lupus”). Still others have responded well to drugs that suppress the immune system like azathioprine (Imuran, Azasan), mycophenolate (CellCept), leflunomide (Arava) and methotrexate (Trexall) (“Disease and Condition: Lupus”). However, all of these treatment options have side effects and do hold the potential to create other diseases not related to lupus, such as liver damage, decreased fertility and certain types of cancer (“Disease and Condition: Lupus”).

Works Cited

Silva, C., and D.A. Isenberg. “Aetiology and Pathology of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.” 2015. Web. Accessed 3 March 2015. < http://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/learning/learning-article/aetiology-and-pathology-of-systemic-lupus-erythematosus/10974280.article.

“Disease and Condition: Lupus.” 2015. Web. Accessed 3 March 2015. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lupus/basics/symptoms/con-20019676.

Glanze, Walter D., ed. Mosby’s Medical, Nursing, and Allied Health Dictionary. St. Louis, MO: C.V. Mosby Company, 2005.

“Systemic Lupus Erythematosis (Lupus).” 2013. Web. Accessed 3 March 2015. < https://www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/diseases_and_conditions/lupus.asp.

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