What is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
Medical vision of Lupus.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease considered chronic, incurable and uncommon.
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When we talk about Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, it is an inflammatory disease in which antibodies produced by the autoimmune system attack healthy cells.
This disease affects the joints, blood, skin, and organs such as kidneys, lungs, and heart.
This disease produces auto-antibodies instead of producing antibodies to protect the body from infection, which causes serious damage to tissues and organs (brain, heart, kidneys).
It is classified within rheumatic diseases.
It is estimated that there are 5 million cases of lupus in the world.
75,000 in Spain.
1,500,000 in Mexico.
According to WHO data there are 5 million cases in the world of this disease that usually affects young women although it can appear at any age even babies.
Historically we go back to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the term Lupus was used which meant (Injury similar to the bite of a wolf) and 20 years later they were collected in books on skin diseases as "systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)"
It is a chronic disease of the most serious, since many organs and systems are involved, the total cure is not usual, there are very few cases in which the patient recovers completely, therefore there is a dependence on medications and medical control for life.
What causes systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
The causes that trigger Lupus are not understood, scientists believe that there is a genetic predisposition, environmental factors (such as sun exposure, infection by viruses, bacteria or some drugs) hormonal factors, emotional and physical stress.
Nor is it known how to prevent it, in general a healthy lifestyle, avoid excessive exposure to the sun, avoid alcohol, tobacco, substances harmful to health, know how to manage stress and emotions, can help avoid any disease or minimize its impact.
Most of the inflammatory lesions that occur in an SLE are by B lymphocytes, the antibody-producing cells and those responsible for inflammatory lesions in the disease.
- Lupus affects women 9 times more than men.
- 90% of patients are women of childbearing age.
- It is 3 times more common in black women than in white women, although they are sicker in the U.S. USA than in Africa.
- 65% of affected patients are in the 16-65 age range.
- 20 to 150 cases are detected out of every 100,000 people.
Symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
Any organ can be affected and evolves into outbreaks without specifying characteristics or regularity when the disease occurs, which is why it is usually difficult to distinguish lupus from other diseases.
Usually the symptoms of lupus begin with fever and general malaise, pain in the joints such as in fingers, wrists, hands or knees, skin problems such as redness on the face or other parts of the body, they may feel sensitivity to light.
SLE can affect the main organs of the body and the symptoms are very varied.
In the following video we see Carol's testimony as she lives the disease.
Lupus is diagnosed if the patient meets at least 4 symptoms:
- Headaches and migraine
- Joint pain affecting 90% of SLE sufferers (arthritis or arthralgia).
- Butterfly-shaped rashes on the cheeks or cheekbones, red spots on the face, neck, elbows, and some patients have sores on the palate, inside the cheeks, gums, or nose.
- Spots on the knuckles, redness in the nail area, purple spots on the skin.
- White or bluish fingers and toes in the cold in patients with Raynaud's syndrome.
- Pain when inhaling, from inflammation or fluid buildup in the lungs or shortness of breath (lupus pneumonia).
- Chest pain from pericarditis or coronary heart disease.
- Swollen lymph nodes and spleen.
- Disorders of the nervous system that can lead to headaches, personality changes, psychosis.
- Swelling of the legs as a result of a kidney condition.
- Blood conditions such as decreased red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
- Digestive disorders such as nausea, diarrhea or stomach discomfort.
- Risk of abortion.
- Proteinuria (This is when protein appears in the urine, clots or kidney cells), a sign that the kidneys are affected.
- Hair loss without scar.
- Anorexia and moderate asthenia.
- Painless ulcers in the mouth or nose.
- Positive result in antinuclear antibodies (ANA).
- Fluids around the lungs, heart, or other organs
When organs are affected
In patients with lupus there may be signs in which they indicate if there is any organ that is being directly affected, for example abdominal pain or difficulty breathing may be felt with discharge with remaining blood, blood stains may also appear in the urine.
If lupus affects the head or nervous system, excessive headaches, numb or tingling hands, sudden changes in mood appear.
Treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus
Diagnosed patients are treated by rheumatologists or immunologists, although depending on the symptoms that occur, the supervision of a dermatologist or neurologist may be necessary.
Faced with this autoimmune disease, medications such as:
- If the skin is affected it is treated with ointments, some patients require systemic immunopressants orally.
- For muscle or joint pains are treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Hormones, glucocorticosteroids, immunopressants to try to suppress attacks on the body itself when internal organs are affected.
- Infections are monitored during the outbreak.
- Treatment with cyclophosphamide for the treatment of lupus nephropathy.
- Use of ovarian protective drugs.
- Gastric protectors against the use of anti-inflammatories, calcium and vitamin D.
- Anti-osteoporosis drugs in those patients who are treated with steroids.
As the immune system is involved, medications to fight lupus are quite serious, it is a chronic disease whose patients need supportive therapy.
The patient needs to be treated for years and sometimes it becomes a lifelong treatment.
Recommendations to combat Lupus (SLE):
- Exposures to the sun are not recommended and especially in the hottest strip from 11 to 15, it is better to be protected with hats, glasses, sun protection and clothing that covers the arms and legs.
- It is better to do gentle exercise, walking or bike rides, exercise releases stress and keeps us active.
- Adapt a diet with natural products such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, avoid industrial precooks, soft drinks, pastries.
- Plan the pregnancy whenever there is no outbreak, and be controlled by doctors.
- Look for support groups and share your experience with the disease, sharing helps not to generate so much stress or anxiety.
Systemic lupus erythematosus according to Dr. Hamer.
According to Dr. Hamer's Germanic New Medicine, the biological meaning of Lupus there is a struggle to repair a conflict of basic devaluation that, depending on whether it is related to the conflict, will affect a specific organ or area.
Lupus Erythematosus appears when you live with discouragement, hatred or shame towards yourself, you feel a great deep emotional guilt, the devaluation is so great that they attack themselves, they focus more on the inability to find the solution than on seeking help, unable to forgive and love themselves as they are.
The person may feel that only bad things happen to him, that he does not deserve to live, he has suffered a lot.
There are three conflicts that are experienced when there is lupus:
It directly affects the bones and joints producing inflammation and pain.
Bones:They are our support, the skeleton keeps us upright, gives us movement and protection for the internal organs.
Conflict: the bones are affected by a conflict of very deep devaluation "I am not worth anything, I am nothing".
Joints: They are what unites the bones with each other or a bone and cartilage, thanks to them we can move and hold us together.
Conflict: The joints are affected in the face of changes in life orientation or the difficulties that arise, lack of flexibility to face different situations.
Uprooting, loneliness and abandonment:
It affects the kidneys by inflaming them and causing fluid retention, it is interpreted in general medicine as lupus nephritis.
Kidneys: They are organs responsible for filtering blood and eliminating urine.
Conflict: The kidneys are altered in the face of a conflict of devaluation, vital morality or conflict of territory, when there are problems of coexistence or difficult relationships.
In the case of Lupus that can trigger fluid retention or nephritic colic, there is a clear existential collapse conflict.
It affects the skin, when the conflict is in the healing phase inflammation appears, edemas in the body or face, are the rashes that are identified with lupus, if coupled with a conflict of uprooting can be virulent.
Skin: It is the layer that protects us, also has the function of nourishing the epidermis, supports the sweat glands through which the body drains of toxins, serves to regulate temperature and connects us to the world through its sensory function.
Conflict:If we have skin problems it is because there is a clear conflict of protection, limits and borders, if there are wounds with pain it speaks of a duel of separation, the stains are a conflict of attack on integrity.
The three detailed conflicts are the initial symptoms of the disease, although later there are other triggers that can be added since according to the beliefs and the way of facing the conflicts it will affect one or more organs with greater or lesser severity.
The disease is bad for us, it really appears to indicate that something is not right, it is our biological program that protects us.
Keys that help us heal:
- The will to want to make changes that make us leave the comfort zone and break the routine that led us to the disease.
- The knowledge of oneself to find and respect our own limits.
- The capacity for acceptance and daring to change what we believed in but is not in harmony with what we really feel and do.
- The ability to adapt to any criterion, "be happy or have reason above all else."
- Love silence, if what you are going to say is not more beautiful than silence...