Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect many different parts of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, brain, and other organs. SLE occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own healthy tissue, causing inflammation and damage.
Some common symptoms of SLE include:
- Joint pain and swelling
- Rash, especially a butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose
- Hair loss
- Mouth sores
- Photosensitivity (sensitivity to light)
- Swelling in the legs, ankles, or feet
- Chest pain when breathing deeply
- Shortness of breath
Diagnosis of SLE is based on a combination of clinical symptoms and laboratory tests, such as blood tests, to detect the presence of specific antibodies in the blood.
Treatment for SLE typically involves medications to control inflammation and reduce the risk of damage to the affected organs. This may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, and immunosuppressive drugs. Additionally, lifestyle changes, such as avoiding sunlight, practicing stress management techniques, and eating a healthy diet, can help reduce symptoms and prevent flares.
It is important to work closely with a doctor to determine the best course of treatment for SLE, as each person’s experience with the disease is unique. With proper treatment and management, many people with SLE are able to lead healthy and active lives.