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Lupus is a common disease that affects both men and women of all ages. In women, it develops most often between the ages of 15 and 44. It's two to three times more common in African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians. Among Native Americans, it is twice as common.
Blood clots are common in patients with lupus, and they can affect many areas of the body. They can occur in the lungs or deep veins in the legs. Lupus blood clots are a sign of an underlying autoimmune disease and can have serious consequences for those who are affected. In fact, blood clots can be so dangerous that some people develop heart attacks or strokes. The good news is that treatment is possible.
There are many possible signs of a blood clot: pain and swelling in the legs, shortness of breath, or severe chest pain. In rare cases, a blood clot may even lead to a stroke, or transient ischemic attack. While transient ischemic attacks can be temporary and do not cause permanent damage, they can be potentially life-threatening. A patient who develops a blood clot in their leg may also experience a red rash, a severe headache, seizures, or memory loss.
Lupus and heart disease are two conditions that often co-exist. The most common cardiovascular disease associated with lupus is atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque or cholesterol in the arteries. These deposits prevent blood flow to the heart and other parts of the body. If these plaques rupture, they can lead to heart attacks or strokes. People with SLE are also at risk for obesity, which can cause heart problems.
Women with lupus have a greater risk of developing a heart attack or a stroke than do healthy women. The disease increases the risk of heart attack and stroke by 50 percent for women in their 20s and 30s. A recent study suggested that women with lupus have a greater than 10-fold increased risk of coronary heart disease overall. Researchers believe that this increased risk may be related to increased inflammation in the vessel walls. Chronic inflammation can cause plaque to build up and cause clotting and blockages in the heart.
The classification of glomerulonephritis in lupus is based on the type of lesion present in the glomeruli. Membranous lupus nephritis is classified into two classes, class III and class IV. Class III lesions are characterized by segmental glomerular capillary wall necrosis, and class IV lesions have segmental necrosis irrespective of the percentage of glomeruli involved. The present revised classification provides a better understanding of glomerular lesions and provides a basis for further clinicopathologic studies. It was developed under the auspices of the Renal Pathology Society and the International Society of Nephrology.
When a patient develops kidney disease, dialysis is usually required, and in advanced cases, patients may need a kidney transplant. The best treatment for lupus and nephropathy is to treat the condition early, so that the kidneys do not suffer too much damage. Treatment for lupus and nephritis includes immunosuppressants, which weaken the immune system.
A lupus skin rash is a characteristic inflammatory reaction that occurs on the skin and can be a warning sign of the disease. The rash can be raised or flat and can be itchy or painful. It is often associated with other lupus symptoms, such as joint pain, hair loss, and headaches.
There are several treatments available for lupus skin rash. Most are steroid-based and are administered to patients orally or topically. Injections can also be given to reduce inflammation in the skin. In severe cases, medications aimed at suppressing the immune system may be prescribed, such as methotrexate, mycophenolate mofetil, or thalidomide. However, such treatments can only be effective if taken over several months.
Inflammation of the joints is a common symptom of lupus. Other symptoms include an electrolyte imbalance and chronic unintentional dehydration. Science recognizes that the synovial membrane thickens as a symptom of lupus. And while there is no definitive treatment for lupus, there are ways to alleviate joint pain.
Patients suffering from lupus arthritis should visit a rheumatologist. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are often prescribed to relieve mild to moderate joint inflammation and pain. A physician may also prescribe an antimalarial medication, called hydroxychloroquine, to treat the inflammatory process in lupus arthritis. Although these treatments can take months to work, they can provide relief from joint pain. Patients with severe lupus arthritis may also be prescribed immunosuppressants.
Dialysis is a common treatment for patients with lupus, though it is not without risks. Long-term dialysis can have adverse side effects, including a greater risk of kidney failure. While dialysis is not a cure for lupus, it can improve quality of life and overall health.
The condition of lupus nephritis causes the body to attack the kidney. Its symptoms include swelling and proteinuria, making urine look foamy. In severe cases, lupus may cause permanent damage to the kidneys. Dialysis helps patients avoid these complications. Blood tests are used to diagnose the disease. A blood test checks for antibodies, which are proteins that are made by the immune system. Urine samples are also collected to determine whether there is protein in the urine.
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