The immune system normally fights off dangerous infections and bacteria to keep the body healthy. An autoimmune disease is likely to occur when the immune system attacks the body because it confuses it for something foreign. There are many autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
“The term lupus has been used to identify a number of immune diseases that have similar clinical presentations and laboratory features, but SLE is the most common type of lupus. Various aetiological factors have been identified like ultraviolet rays, certain medications, viruses, physical or emotional stress and trauma,” Chopra said.
Signs and symptoms to be looked for during clinical examination include sun sensitivity rashes, such as a malar or butterfly rash, mucous membrane ulcers, arthritis and signs of cardiac or lung involvement, such as murmurs, rubs, or irregular heartbeats.
“Treatment for SLE aims at control of the presenting symptoms. Anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids are useful in the management of pain and immune response of the patient. Screening for osteoporosis is advisable in patients who are taking corticosteroids for long duration,” Buche said.