Systemic lupus erythematosus is a common autoimmune chronic disease. The disease causes the immune system to attack the healthy blood cells and tissues instead of malign external infectious organisms. People with systemic lupus erythematosus suffer from many disorders associated with the abnormal activity of the immune system. Patients with severe forms of lupus can also suffer from diseases of the internal organs (heart, lungs, kidneys, liver), musculoskeletal disorders (arthritis, osteoporosis), skin disorders (lupus rash) and diseases of the nervous system. People with lupus may have different symptoms and they can experience them at various intensities.
Considering the fact that systemic lupus erythematosus generates various uncharacteristic symptoms, it is very difficult to diagnose the disease relying only on physical examinations and patients’ reports of their symptoms. Many symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus can be actually misleading in the process of diagnosing the disease. Lupus can be correctly diagnosed only through the means of blood analyses and laboratory tests. If some of the patients’ experienced symptoms are linked to systemic lupus erythematosus, the medical treatment will be established according to the affected persons’ overall health condition.
If the disorder is in its initial stage and the patients’ symptoms are not very intense, the lupus treatment will be focused on preventing the occurrence of other diseases associated with systemic lupus erythematosus. However, if the patients’ symptoms are intense and the autoimmune disease is severe, the lupus treatment will be aimed at suppressing the malign action of the immune system on the body.
Systemic lupus erythematosus has an unpredictable evolution. People with the disease can experience short periods of symptomatic remission between episodes of symptomatic intensification. Most lupus treatments are focused upon extending the periods of remission and on ameliorating the symptoms of the disease. Although there is no effective cure for lupus, most medical treatments can keep the disease under control. However, due to the pronounced chronic character of the disease, patients require ongoing lupus treatment.
The most common medications prescribed in lupus treatments are: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, antimalarials and cytotoxic medications. Biologic medications can also be prescribed in lupus treatments in order to stop the production of certain antibodies that have a malign action on the organism. In severe forms of the disease (after prolonged medical treatments with immunosuppressive drugs), some lupus treatments can also include strong antibiotics. Lupus treatments often include analgesics and mild sedatives.
Corticosteroids are commonly prescribed in lupus treatments. These are powerful drugs that control the activity of the dysfunctional immune system.
Antimalarials are aimed at reducing the skin lesions and inflammation characteristic to lupus. These drugs are often used in both discoid and systemic lupus treatments.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are often prescribed in lupus treatments for reducing muscle pain and swelling or inflammation and rigidity of the joints.
Cytotoxic medications are very powerful and they are prescribed only to patients with severe forms of lupus. Cytotoxic medications and corticosteroids are usually prescribed together in lupus treatments and their aim is to suppress the production of antibodies that are harmful to the organism.
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