May 22, 2023
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic and autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system attacks healthy tissues and cells of the body by identifying them as foreign, damaging different organs, joints, and systems, so following a multidisciplinary treatment is key for the patient. In this opportunity, Dr. Oscar Chigne, a rheumatologist at Clínica Ricardo Palma, gives us more information about this disease.
Symptoms and signs
The symptoms and signs of SLE can vary widely from person to person, as well as change over time. Some of the most common are:
It should be clarified that such symptoms may be associated with other diseases, so it is important to have a proper medical evaluation to make an accurate diagnosis.
The exact cause of SLE is not yet fully understood, although it is thought to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors.
There are several risk factors associated with the development of this disease:
SLE is a disease of heterogeneous presentation among patients, i.e., no two patients have the same clinical features, often making diagnosis difficult; in addition, its symptoms may reflect other diseases. The diagnosis of Lupus is usually based on a combination of symptoms, physical findings, and laboratory test results, including blood tests, urine tests, immunological markers, as well as imaging tests and biopsies if necessary.
The pharmacological treatment of SLE will depend on the individual pattern of organs and systems affected by the disease in each patient, both in extent and severity. Its objective is to control the symptoms and activity of the disease, preventing new outbreaks and its progression to the final damage of the involved organs. Such treatment may include:
Patients’ communication with the medical team is invaluable, making them active participants in their treatment and follow-up, ultimately contributing to achieving effective control of the disease and a better quality of life.
Dr. Oscar Chigne
Rheumatologist at Clínica Ricardo Palma